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Song Stories

“Complete Control”

The Clash | 1979

The Clash recorded "Complete Control" with one of their idols: Jamaican dub producer Lee "Scratch" Perry. But the song couldn't have been less reggae; instead, it's a propulsive punk rant about overbearing management and record-label chicanery. (The title came from the Clash's manager, Bernie Rhodes, who called for "complete control" during one band meeting.) The lyrics are a laundry list of grievances -- beginning with a complaint about how CBS Records handled an earlier Clash single. "We was on tour and 'Remote Control' was put out behind our backs," bassist Paul Simonon explained in 2003. "We were angry, yeah, but 'Complete Control' was funny as hell."

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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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