Song Stories

“Chasing Pavements”

Adele | 2008

While working on her first full-length album, 19, this British powerhouse discovered her boyfriend had cheated on her. But before she could channel her insufferable heartbreak into a song, she had to let out a little aggression. "I went to the pub [where he was] and punched him in the face," Adele recounted to Rolling Stone. "I got thrown out, and as I was running away, the phrase 'chasing pavements' came to me." And that fateful slug was doubly worth it, as the resulting breakup song earned the singer a Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

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Song Stories


The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

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