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Song Stories

“Eruption”

Van Halen | 1978

Eddie Van Halen's six-string showcase immediately inspired countless guitarists to decorate their instruments in wild stripe designs, purchase Floyd Rose tremolos and learn the two-hand tapping technique. In 2008, Van Halen told Rolling Stone how he came up with the two-hand tap. "I was watching Jimmy Page going [sings hammering guitar lick], like that, with one hand, in 'Heartbreaker.' I thought, 'I can play like that, and you wouldn't know if I was using this finger or this one." Originally a concert warm-up piece for Eddie, "Eruption" earned a spot on the group's debut album after producer Ted Templeman heard it.

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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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