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Song Stories

“Lola”

The Kinks | 1970

The forceful opening guitar chords and rousing "Lo-lo-lo-lo Lola" chorus gave the Kinks a Top 10 hit, but even in 1970 listeners could figure out that the "Lola" who so transfixed singer-songwriter Ray Davies was a transvestite. A passing reference to Coca-Cola in the lyrics would have prohibited the song from gaining BBC airplay, forcing Davies to fly to London in the middle of a U.S. tour to rerecord the phrase in a new version as "cherry cola." "The song is actually meant to show that things aren't always what they seem," Davies owned up.

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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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