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Song Stories

“Informer”

Snow | 1993

Inspired by his stint in jail, Snow hooked up with MC Shan and released "Informer." Reggae purists, who didn't buy into Snow's brand of Canadian dancehall, criticized the song. Nonetheless, "Informer "quickly climbed the charts and holds two Guinness world records — as the Biggest Selling Reggae Single in U.S. History and Highest Charting Reggae Single in U.K. History. "We recorded it in my basement. Actually, I own 66 percent of the publishing rights on that 12 Inches of Snow album," MC Shan revealed. "That's what I been doin' all these years … that album made it possible for me to sit on my ass and rethink my whole life."

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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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