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Song Stories

“Handle With Care”

The Traveling Wilburys | 1988

The Traveling Wilburys formed spontaneously one day at Bob Dylan’s house in Malibu, California, where George Harrison had invited his pals Tom Petty and Roy Orbison to help him and producer Jeff Lynne record a B side for his just-released Cloud Nine. “Jeff and George roughed out the music in the afternoon, and Bob actually barbecued chicken for us,” Petty remembered. “While we ate, we all sat around throwing lines out, got the lyric done, sang it and cut the track. And that became ‘Handle With Care.’ George came up with the title from a road case.” They hadn’t recorded a B side, they’d cut a hit – and become a band.

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Song Stories

“Road to Nowhere”

Talking Heads | 1985

A cappella harmonies give way to an a fuller arrangement blending pop and electro-disco on "Road to Nowhere," but the theme remains constant: We're on an eternal journey to an undefined destination. The song vaulted back into the news a quarter century after it was a hit when Gov. Charlie Crist used it in his unsuccessful 2010 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Florida. "It's this little ditty about how there's no order and no plan and no scheme to life and death and it doesn't mean anything, but it's all right," Byrne said with a chuckle.

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