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Song Stories

“Fight the Power”

Public Enemy | 1989

The defiant rap group first recorded what is perhaps their best-known song for the Spike Lee movie Do the Right Thing. Built on multiple layers of samples beginning with the agitated bass pattern from "Hot Pants Road" by James Brown's backing group the J.B.'s, the song was a provocative call to arms for would-be revolutionaries. Frontman Chuck D once called the song the group's "most important record . . . It was written to be an anthem, at a particular time that needed an anthem."

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Song Stories

“Love Is the Answer”

Utopia | 1977

The message of the Beatles' "All You Need Is Love" proved to be a universal and long-lasting one, which Utopia revisited 10 years later on this ballad. "From a lyrical standpoint, it's part of a whole class of songs that I write, which are about filial love," Todd Rundgren explained. "I'm not a Christian, but it's called Christian love, the love that people are supposed to naturally feel because we are all of the same species. That may be mythical, but it's still a subject." Though "Love Is the Answer" wasn't a hit, a cover version two years later by England Dan & John Ford Coley peaked at Number Ten on the Billboard singles chart.

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