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Song Stories

“Bright Lights Big City”

Jimmy Reed | 1961

Using the relaxed blues shuffle common to many of his recordings, Jimmy Reed's "Bright Lights Big City" good-naturedly laments how urban glitz has gone to his baby's head. This was one of five songs the Rolling Stones chose to record for a demo they recorded in March 1963 shortly before issuing their first single, although they did not include it on any of their official releases. Harmonizing with Reed is his wife Mary, whom he credited with having "started helpin' me write that thing, word for word."

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Song Stories

“Love Is the Answer”

Utopia | 1977

The message of the Beatles' "All You Need Is Love" proved to be a universal and long-lasting one, which Utopia revisited 10 years later on this ballad. "From a lyrical standpoint, it's part of a whole class of songs that I write, which are about filial love," Todd Rundgren explained. "I'm not a Christian, but it's called Christian love, the love that people are supposed to naturally feel because we are all of the same species. That may be mythical, but it's still a subject." Though "Love Is the Answer" wasn't a hit, a cover version two years later by England Dan & John Ford Coley peaked at Number Ten on the Billboard singles chart.

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