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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

“Madame George”

Van Morrison | 1968

One of the first stream-of-consciousness epics to make it onto a Van Morrison record, his drawn-out farewell to the eccentric "Madame George" lasted nearly 10 minutes, combining ingredients from folk, jazz and classical music. The character that gave the song its title provoked speculation that it was about a drag queen, though Morrison denied this in Rolling Stone. "If you see it as a male or a female or whatever, it's your trip," he remarked. "I see it as a ... a Swiss cheese sandwich. Something like that."

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