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Song Stories

“Last Kiss”

Pearl Jam | 1999

Teen tragedy songs were popular in the late 1950s and early 1960s. After Eddie Vedder heard this musical tale of a fatal wreck, written in 1961 and later recorded by J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers, he introduced the song to the band, who recorded it for $1,000 and offered it to fan club members as a Christmas gift. Later, the ballad--featuring Vedder's mournful vocals--became one of their biggest hits. "It just reaffirmed the fact that you don't have to think about it, and that a sound check record can do well," Vedder said.

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Song Stories

“Vans”

The Pack | 2006

Berkeley, California rappers the Pack made their footwear choice clear in 2006 with the song "Vans." The track caught the attention of Too $hort, who signed them to his imprint. MTV refused to play the video for the song, though, claiming it was essentially a commercial for the product. Rapper Lil' B disagreed. "I didn’t know nobody [at] Vans," he said. "I was just a rapper who wore Vans." Even without MTV's support, Lil' B recognized the impact of the track. "God blessed me with such a revolutionary song… People around my age know who really started a lot of the dressing people are into now."

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