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


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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