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Song Stories

“Girlfriend”

Matthew Sweet | 1991

According to producer Fred Maher, the swelling, multi-channel guitar intro to "Girlfriend" was an accident. "[Robert] Quine was holding a note when the tape machine started, and then he did it again on the subsequent takes, not necessarily on the same note, and when we pushed the faders up on all three or four takes, everybody went, 'That's cool.'" On the track, Quine's squalling Strat mixes it up maniacally with Greg Leisz's lap steel, revealing the seeming love song's lascivious core. "The first time I heard Greg's lap steel on 'Girlfriend,' I thought it was the most colossal sound," Maher marveled.

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Song Stories

“Madame George”

Van Morrison | 1968

One of the first stream-of-consciousness epics to make it onto a Van Morrison record, his drawn-out farewell to the eccentric "Madame George" lasted nearly 10 minutes, combining ingredients from folk, jazz and classical music. The character that gave the song its title provoked speculation that it was about a drag queen, though Morrison denied this in Rolling Stone. "If you see it as a male or a female or whatever, it's your trip," he remarked. "I see it as a ... a Swiss cheese sandwich. Something like that."

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