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Song Stories

“Hunger Strike”

Temple of the Dog | 1991

When Eddie Vedder eavesdropped in on a Temple of the Dog rehearsal, he was taken by the tune "Hunger Strike," with its lyrics about a modern-day Robin Hood. But it was a unique vocal idea that Vedder had that was the song's missing ingredient. "I was sitting in the corner, putting duct tape on a little African drum," Vedder recalled. "About two-thirds of the way through, [Chris Cornell] was having to cut off the one line, and start the other. I'm not now, and certainly wasn't then, self-assured or cocky, but I could hear what he was trying to do, so I walked up to the mic -- which I'm really surprised I did -- and sang that other part, 'Going hungry, going hungry.'" Pearl Jam has performed the song onstage sporadically -- whenever Cornell guests.

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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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