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Song Stories

“Downtown”

Petula Clark | 1965

Few celebrations of the city's allure and bright lights were as upbeat or successful as Petula Clark's "Downtown," a 1965 chart-topper that broke her in the US after years of stardom in the UK and France. Her producer Tony Hatch had written the song in hope that an American black singer or group would record it. "While I'd been in the States, I'd been greatly inspired by the atmosphere in New York and the life there," he remembered in 'This Is My Song': A Biography of Petula Clark. "I had picked up the word 'Downtown' [in the US]."

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Song Stories

“Road to Nowhere”

Talking Heads | 1985

A cappella harmonies give way to an a fuller arrangement blending pop and electro-disco on "Road to Nowhere," but the theme remains constant: We're on an eternal journey to an undefined destination. The song vaulted back into the news a quarter century after it was a hit when Gov. Charlie Crist used it in his unsuccessful 2010 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Florida. "It's this little ditty about how there's no order and no plan and no scheme to life and death and it doesn't mean anything, but it's all right," Byrne said with a chuckle.

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