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Song Stories

“Is It True”

Brenda Lee | 1964

As the British Invasion reached its peak in 1964, Brenda Lee went from Nashville to London to record one of her hardest-rocking hits, her perky vocal backed by a stuttering, squalling guitar. That guitar was played by session musician Jimmy Page, yet to skyrocket to fame with first the Yardbirds and then Led Zeppelin. "She said to me, 'I've come here to make a record with the British sound,'" remembered producer Mickie Most. "She felt she wouldn't get the same sound in Nashville because they're only just catching up on the British beat group sound of about six months ago."

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Song Stories

“Nightshift”

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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