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Song Stories

“Hey Jane”

Spiritualized | 2012

Jason Pierce of Spiritualized told Rolling Stone that Lou Reed's music — in particular, his 1970 song "Sweet Jane" — influenced this eight-minute-long song. "It was a kind of idea that rock & roll is such a big part of me," he said. "I wanted to write on a thing that reflected the sadness and the demise of that in that record. Hence the name Jane. It was written specifically about a couple of people, but the name 'Jane' seems as fitting as any. There is a line in the middle of it, where she is listening to 'Sweet Jane' on the radio."

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Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

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