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Song Stories

“Don't Mug Yourself”

The Streets | 2002

Mike Skinner came out blasting on his debut album as the Streets, spinning tales of smoking, video games, and drinking with geezers. "Don't Mug Yourself" was originally slated to be a B side until Skinner realized how poppy it was. "It's about bugging yourself with a girl," Skinner said. "Just really liking a girl and acting like a complete twat." Appropriately enough, the song was written after a night of binge drinking with his buddy Calvin. "We ended up getting really, really smashed," Skinner said. "Calvin heard the instrumental and he was like 'I want to be on this tune.'"

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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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