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Song Stories

“Killing in the Name”

Rage Against the Machine | 1992

This opening salvo from Rage set the tenor for the band's career as the song spewed venomously against racism perpetraed by the U.S. establishment. The track's conception began simply, with Tom Morello coming up with the riff while teaching a guitar lesson. It ended up a modern anthem, being covered live by Phish, remixed by Deadmau5 and used by Bill Hicks in one of the political comic's final standup performances before he died. "We were melding hard rock, punk and hip-hop, and I was the DJ," Morello told Rolling Stone. "It allowed me to emulate a lot of noises that I heard on Dr. Dre and Public Enemy records."

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Song Stories

“Hungry Like the Wolf”

Duran Duran | 1982

This indulgent New Romantic group generated their first U.S. hit with the help of what was at the time new technology. "Simon [Le Bon] and I, I think, had been out the night before and had this terrible hangover," said keyboardist Nick Rhodes. "For some reason we were feeling guilty about it and decided to go and do some work." Rhodes started playing with his Jupiter-8 synth, and then "Simon had an idea for a lyric, and by lunchtime when everyone else turned up, we pretty much had the song." The Simmons drumbeat was equally important to the sound of "Hungry Like the Wolf," as Duran Duran drummer Roger Taylor stated it "kind of defined the drum sound for the Eighties."

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