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Song Stories

“Friends of P”

The Rentals | 1995

It turns out that when the members of Weezer struck up a friendship with Ric Ocasek (who produced their self-titled debut album), they also hit it off with the Cars frontman's supermodel wife, Paulina Porizkova — the proof being this song by this Weezer offshoot group. As Ocasek explained, "I found out later that [the Rentals' Matt Sharp] had written that song about my wife. I thought the song was OK, although I thought it was a bit silly. The truth was that Rivers [Cuomo] and P were actually the ones that got along really well."

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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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