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Song Stories

“Back in Black”

AC/DC | 1980

When Bon Scott died on February 19, 1980, some assumed AC/DC were done for. But with new singer Brian Johnson in tow, the hard-rockin' Aussies roared back with the album Back in Black, aong with an anthem of the same name. "I just wrote what came into my head, which at the time seemed like mumbo jumbo," explained Johnson. "'Nine lives. Cats eyes. Abusing every one of them and running wild.' The boys got it, though. They saw Bon's life in that lyric." At last count, the Back in Black full-length is the third-highest-selling album ever, at 49 million copies worldwide -- behind only Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon.

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Song Stories

“Vicious”

Lou Reed | 1972

Opening Lou Reed's 1972 solo album, the hard-riffing "Vicious" actually traces its origin back to Reed's days with the Velvet Underground. Picking up bits and pieces of songs from the people and places around him, and filing his notes for later use, Reed said it was Andy Warhol who provided fuel for the song. "He said, 'Why don't you write a song called 'Vicious,'" Reed told Rolling Stone in 1989. "And I said, 'What kind of vicious?' 'Oh, you know, vicious like I hit you with a flower.' And I wrote it down literally."

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