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Song Stories

“Little Black Submarines”

The Black Keys | 2011

Though the song may sound a little “Stairway to Heaven”-ish, this Akron, Ohio, duo has stolen from the best from the beginning, in particular old blues. Rolling Stone picked this song from El Camino as Number 18 in the 50 Best Singles list of 2011, partially on the strength of Dan Auerbach’s wailing guitar solo. “That was my jock-rock moment,” Auerbach said. “We actually did that song in two versions, an acoustic one and an electric one and spliced them together. I think that the electric half of that song is the closest representation of our live show than anything we’ve done before.”

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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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