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Song Stories

“Love Child”

Diana Ross and the Supremes | 1968

One of Motown's first hits with a socially conscious theme, "Love Child," dressed in a catchy melody and carefully orchestrated arrangement, told the story of a young woman stigmatized after getting born out of wedlock. It was written over the course of a weekend by British lyricist Pam Sawyer, guitarist Deke Richards, singer R. Dean Taylor and Frank Wilson at Detroit's Pontchartrain Hotel. "Every idea was thrown out until we came up with that one," remembered Wilson. "Sometime on Saturday we came up with the idea. [Motown chief] Berry Gordy came by, loved the idea."

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Song Stories

“Bizness”

Tune-Yards | 2011

The opening track to Merrill Garbus’ second album under the Tune-Yards banner (she also plays in the trio Sister Suvi), “Bizness” is a song about relationships that is as colorful as the face paint favored by Garbus both live and in her videos. Disjointed funk bass, skittering African beats, diced-and-sliced horns and Garbus’ dynamic voice, which ranges from playful coos to throat-shredding howls, make “Bizness” reminiscent of another creative medium. “I'd like for them not to be songs as much as quilts or collages or something,” Garbus said.

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