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Song Stories

“Help Me”

Joni Mitchell | 1974

Joni Mitchell wrote and recorded this song for her album Court and Spark, but she had to switch from her regular band to make the song sound exactly the way she wanted. "I had attempted to play my music with rock & roll players," she told Rolling Stone. "They’d laugh, 'Awww, isn't that cute? She's trying to teach us how to play.'" Mitchell switched to a jazz band, Tom Scott’s L.A. Express, and scored the biggest hit of her career in the process.

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Song Stories

“Vicious”

Lou Reed | 1972

Opening Lou Reed's 1972 solo album, the hard-riffing "Vicious" actually traces its origin back to Reed's days with the Velvet Underground. Picking up bits and pieces of songs from the people and places around him, and filing his notes for later use, Reed said it was Andy Warhol who provided fuel for the song. "He said, 'Why don't you write a song called 'Vicious,'" Reed told Rolling Stone in 1989. "And I said, 'What kind of vicious?' 'Oh, you know, vicious like I hit you with a flower.' And I wrote it down literally."

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