Song Stories

“Crimson and Clover”

Tommy James and the Shondells | 1968

Tommy James and Shondells were one of the most reliable pop bands of the late Sixties, recording a string of hits throughout the second half of the Sixties. Written by James and drummer Pete Lucia, "Crimson and Clover" benefited from 24-track recording gear that brought an effects-laden sound to the band. It became the band's biggest hit, selling 5.5 million copies. "Nobody knew if it was going to be accepted," James told Rolling Stone. "When it first came out, everybody thought I had gone crazy. A lot of people thought their radios were broken." Honorable mention should go to Joan Jett's rocking version of the song, as well.

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Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

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