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Song Stories

“Brian Wilson”

Barenaked Ladies | 1992

Steven Page wrote this song about a man whose life parallels Brian Wilson's back when the Beach Boys leader -- overweight and bedridden -- was under the care of controversial psychologist Eugene Landy. Several years later, Wilson visited the band during a recording session. "That was bizarre," Page told Rolling Stone. "It was a textbook postmodern moment: Brian Wilson entered the studio to play us his version of our song 'Brian Wilson,' and asked us, 'Is it cool?' He looked me straight in the eye, and I was like, 'You're asking me if your version of our song is cool? It's f---ing unbelievable.'"

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Song Stories

“You Oughta Know”

Alanis Morissette | 1995

This blunt, bitter breakup song -- famous for its line "Would she go down on you in a theater?" -- was long rumored to be about Alanis Morissette getting dumped by Full House actor Dave Coulier. But while she never confirmed it was about him (Coulier himself says it is, however), she insisted the song wasn't all about scorn. "By no means is this record just a sexual, angry record," she told Rolling Stone. "The song wasn't written for the sake of revenge. It was written for the sake of release. I'm actually a pretty rational, calm person."

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