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Song Stories

“Flagpole Sitta”

Harvey Danger | 1998

"If I died today and there was an obituary about me, it would run in the local paper and it would say that I was the author of that song," Harvey Danger frontman Sean Nelson said about the inescapable ubiquity of "Flagpole Sitta," especially in movies and TV shows. "I'm okay with it, but I definitely don't view it as an accomplishment because I view it as a strange fluke, and the fluke has nothing to do how good the song is. That song, for me, has transcended quality; it's just bizarre and perverse. What I meant when I wrote the words and melody doesn't matter at all anymore."

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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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