Song Stories


Paul Revere and the Raiders | 1966

A tough garage-pop number with a seething Mark Lindsay vocal, "Kicks" was an unusually stern anti-drug song, almost scolding a girl's dependence on kicks to face the world. The real-life subject on whom the song was based was actually a male friend of writers Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. "We wrote it for a friend of ours who flipped out," Mann revealed in Rolling Stone. "It's not a complete anti-drug song; we're not anti-drugs. But the song was for certain people who we think should cool it. Their heads aren't right for drugs."

Song Stories Main Next

Song Stories


Tune-Yards | 2011

The opening track to Merrill Garbus’ second album under the Tune-Yards banner (she also plays in the trio Sister Suvi), “Bizness” is a song about relationships that is as colorful as the face paint favored by Garbus both live and in her videos. Disjointed funk bass, skittering African beats, diced-and-sliced horns and Garbus’ dynamic voice, which ranges from playful coos to throat-shredding howls, make “Bizness” reminiscent of another creative medium. “I'd like for them not to be songs as much as quilts or collages or something,” Garbus said.

More Song Stories entries »