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Song Stories

“(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction”

The Rolling Stones | 1965

"Satisfaction" begins its musical and lyrical assault on the senses with what can be called, with little argument, the most iconic guitar riff of 1960s rock. What's most remarkable is that Keith Richards literally wrote that intro in his sleep. "I woke up in the middle of the night. There was a cassette recorder next to the bed and an acoustic guitar," he told Rolling Stone about putting his slumber-derived inspiration down on tape. "The next morning when I woke up, the tape had gone all the way to the end. So I ran it back, and there's like 30 seonds of this riff -- 'Da-da da-da-da, I can't get no satisfaction' -- and the rest of the tape is me snoring!"

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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