.

Song Stories

“Crosstown Traffic”

The Jimi Hendrix Experience | 1968

"Crosstown Trafic" was recorded at the Record Plant in 1968, and, as Jimi Hendrix explained, "I was playing piano on it." In addition, as legend tells it, he also played a homemade kazoo made from paper and a comb on the track. Traffic's Dave Mason was a guest vocalist (cleverly making the most of the word "traffic"), which is to say that "Crosstown Traffic" wasn't necessarily meant to be a  focal point of Electric Ladyland, and yet it was released as the album's third single. "You have the whole planned-out LP, and all of a sudden they'll make 'Crosstown Traffic,' for instance, a single, and that's coming out of a whole other set," Hendrix complained. Despite his protestations, the song hit the U.S. Hot 100 Singles chart in 1969 and hit again in 1990 in the U.K.; the Red Hot Chili Peppers have been doing a punked-up version of it since the 1980s.

prev
Song Stories Main Next

Song Stories

“Bleeding Love”

Leona Lewis | 2007

In 2008, The X Factor winner Leona Lewis backed up her U.K. singing competition victory with an R&B anthem for the ages: "Bleeding Love," an international hit that became the best-selling song of the year. The track was co-penned by OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder (whose radio dominance would continue with songs such as Beyonce's "Halo" and Adele's "Rumour Has It") and solo artist Jesse McCartney, who was inspired by a former girlfriend, Gossip Girl actress Katie Cassidy. Given the song's success, McCartney didn't regret handing over such a personal track: "No, no," he said. "I'm so happy for Leona. She deserves it. There are really no bad feelings."

More Song Stories entries »
www.expandtheroom.com