Song Stories

“Every Morning ”

Sugar Ray | 1998

Some artists fight the temptation of replicating the sound of their breakthrough hit for subsequent tunes. Not Sugar Ray, who embraced the laid-back, feel-good sound of "Fly" once again for their next hit, "Every Morning." "I don't want to sound premeditated, but 'Fly' is the blueprint now for experimentation," Mark McGrath admitted to Rolling Stone. "A lot of it we owe to David Kahne, who produced those records. He said, 'Let's build songs around your voice.'" The song features samples of two songs: Malo's "Suavecito" and Hugh Masekela's "Grazing in the Grass."

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Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

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