Song Stories


Beyonce | 2006

Beyonce had girls (and guys) across the globe chanting, "To the left, to the left" when she released "Irreplaceable." In the song, the diva lets her beau know that he should never think he's indispensable and demands that he pack his stuff and … well … place it "to the left." Simple enough, but Beyonce's "pack your shit and go" opus became an anthem. "Nobody expected it to be the phenomenon it was, it surprised everyone," said Tor Hermansen, one-half of production duo Stargate. "For one, it crosses every boundary; it went from the mix show on Hot 97 in New York to country stations …it's a song people from all walks of life can enjoy."

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Song Stories


The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

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