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Song Stories

“Crazy Train”

Ozzy Osbourne | 1981

"Crazy Train" is the song that not only introduced Ozzy Osbourne as a solo artist but also introduced the world to guitar shredder Randy Rhoads. But according to original Ozzy Osbourne Band bassist Bob Daisley, he was the brains behind the tune, not the Prince of Darkness. "The title was mine and 99% of the lyrics were mine," Daisley boasted. "I think a word or two came from Ozzy." With lyrics suggesting that we all oughta get along, "Crazy Train" is one of Osbourne's most covered solo songs, including unexpected renditions by the likes of Pat Boone and the Blue Man Group.

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Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

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