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Song Stories

“Iron Man”

Black Sabbath | 1971

Despite "Iron Man" containing one of heavy metal's most recognizable guitar riffs -- courtesy of Black Sabbath's mighty mustachioed guitarist, Tony Iommi -- one shouldn't read too much into the song's lyrics, which appear to be about a doomed part-human/part-machine time traveler. "We smoked a lot of dope, so that might be why some of the lyrics are a bit unusual," Iommi recounted in his autobiography. "Like 'Iron Man,' which came from a comic about a robot which became alive." The song continues to resonate in the decades since it was first released: A live version won a Grammy Award in 2000 and could be heard in the end credits of the 2008 action movie about the comic-book superhero of the same name.

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Song Stories

“Promiscuous”

Nelly Furtado with Timbaland | 2006

This club-oriented single featuring Timbaland, who produced Nelly Furtado's third album, Loose, was Furtado’s sexy return after the Canadian singer's exploration of her Portuguese heritage on Folklore. "In the studio, initially I didn’t know if I could do it, 'cause Timbaland wrote that chorus," Furtado said. "I'm like, 'That's cool, but I don't know if I'm ready to do full-out club.'" The flirty lyrics are a dance between a guy and girl, each knowing they will end up in bed together but still playing the game. "Tim and I called it 'The BlackBerry Song,' she said, "because everything we say in the song you could text-message to somebody."

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