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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

“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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