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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

“Vans”

The Pack | 2006

Berkeley, California rappers the Pack made their footwear choice clear in 2006 with the song "Vans." The track caught the attention of Too $hort, who signed them to his imprint. MTV refused to play the video for the song, though, claiming it was essentially a commercial for the product. Rapper Lil' B disagreed. "I didn’t know nobody [at] Vans," he said. "I was just a rapper who wore Vans." Even without MTV's support, Lil' B recognized the impact of the track. "God blessed me with such a revolutionary song… People around my age know who really started a lot of the dressing people are into now."

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