.

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.

prev
Song Stories Main Next

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.

More Song Stories entries »
www.expandtheroom.com