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Song Stories

“It's Too Late”

Carole King | 1970

Underpinned by rumbling piano riffs suggesting the end is near, Carole King's warning that a relationship is too late to salvage gave her a Number One hit in 1971, solidified by a chorus as jubilant as it is relieved that the game is over. King co-wrote the song with Toni Stern, who said she did her part "very fast, in a day." "I won't say who 'It's Too Late' is about," Stern added. "I don't kiss and tell."

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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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