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Song Stories

“Discoverer”

R.E.M. | 2011

“It’s a moment-of-discovery song,” said Michael Stipe, “about discovering oneself and suddenly feeling this huge sense of possibility. New York can do that to you,” he said. “You come here to change the world, but you end up changing yourself.” "Discover" was the lead single and opening cut on Collapse Into Now, and at the time of release the public had no idea the band’s 15th studio album would be its swan song, though like their subsequent retirement, the band planned it to be just that. After 30 years together spent shaping alternative rock, R.E.M. mutually agreed it was time to discover itself apart after this last musical moment.

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Song Stories

“Vicious”

Lou Reed | 1972

Opening Lou Reed's 1972 solo album, the hard-riffing "Vicious" actually traces its origin back to Reed's days with the Velvet Underground. Picking up bits and pieces of songs from the people and places around him, and filing his notes for later use, Reed said it was Andy Warhol who provided fuel for the song. "He said, 'Why don't you write a song called 'Vicious,'" Reed told Rolling Stone in 1989. "And I said, 'What kind of vicious?' 'Oh, you know, vicious like I hit you with a flower.' And I wrote it down literally."

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