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Song Stories

“Float On”

Modest Mouse | 2004

After the cosmic dread of Modest Mouse's 2000 full-length The Moon and Antarctica, their funk-fueled “Float On” sounded like summer vacation. With his solar system reveries behind him, Isaac Brock turned to a new metaphor for the optimistic track. “There is something genuinely freeing to me about the ocean,” the Modest Mouse frontman said. “There are no borders — it’s f---ing beautiful. I’m not going to get to do space travel, so what’s under the water is quite a bit more interesting to me.” Audiences soaked up the good vibes: “Float On” helped make Good News for People Who Love Bad News the band’s first platinum album.

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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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