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Song Stories

“Kill for Peace”

The Fugs | 1966

At a time when widespread opposition to the Vietnam War had only just started to build, the Fugs satirized the absurdity of war by putting the lyrics of "Kill for Peace" to a crude rocker reminiscent of "Twist and Shout." An offer for the Fugs to perform on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show was rescinded when the band's Ed Sanders insisted they be allowed to sing "Kill for Peace." The number originated, said Sanders, when his Fugs partner Tuli Kupferberg "spotted the sentence 'Pray for Peace' on a letter and then, in his noggin, sprouted the idea for a modification."

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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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