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Song Stories

“Die With Your Boots On”

Iron Maiden | 1983

For Iron Maiden's 1983 release Piece of Mind, the British metal group was in a very war-like mood, as three songs on the album dealt with this subject: "Where Eagles Dare," "The Trooper" and "Die With Your Boots On." It turns out that for the latter tune, Bruce Dickinson borrowed the title from an old book about a regiment of Scots Guards in World War II. Dickinson explained that the title had another meaning: "If you're going to go for something, go for it," he said. "That's exactly the same attitude we have on stage and we have off stage — work hard and play hard."

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Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

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