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Song Stories

“I'll Take You There”

The Staple Singers | 1972

After attending the funeral of his little brother -- the second of two Bell brothers that were murdered -- Stax vice-president Al Bell walked to a bus in his father's back yard and thought about heavenly ascent. "I sat on the hood of that bus, thinking about my brother's death, and all of a sudden, I started hearing in my head the bass lines of 'I'll Take You There,' and I started hearing the music, and all of the words came next." He gave the song to the Staple Singers, a former gospel act that went mainstream to reach a wider audience.

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Song Stories

“Road to Nowhere”

Talking Heads | 1985

A cappella harmonies give way to an a fuller arrangement blending pop and electro-disco on "Road to Nowhere," but the theme remains constant: We're on an eternal journey to an undefined destination. The song vaulted back into the news a quarter century after it was a hit when Gov. Charlie Crist used it in his unsuccessful 2010 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Florida. "It's this little ditty about how there's no order and no plan and no scheme to life and death and it doesn't mean anything, but it's all right," Byrne said with a chuckle.

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