.

Song Stories

“Hey Ya!”

Outkast | 2003

Although this Number One single was released on an double album full of funk and hip-hop, Andre 3000 told Rolling Stone its guitar chords were inspired by the Ramones, the Buzzcocks and the Smiths. A playful, funky song that gave birth to the catchphrase "Shake it like a Polaroid picture" -- much to the Polaroid Corporation's delight -- "Hey Ya!" was inspired by romance gone bad. "When you've given love to someone and then take it away, that's terrible," Andre said, accepting responsibility for his own failed relationship with Erykah Badu. "I don't want to do nobody else like that."

Find out how the duo came up with its name.
prev
Song Stories Main Next

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."

More Song Stories entries »
www.expandtheroom.com