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Song Stories

“Love Will Tear Us Apart”

Joy Division | 1980

This haunting ode to romantic melancholia was the crowning moment in Joy Division's brief career, but Ian Curtis wasn't around to savor its success. "Love Will Tear Us Apart" was released just prior to the British postpunk group's 23-year-old frontman hanging himself two days before the band's scheduled first U.S. tour. "Ian's influence seemed to be madness and insanity," said Joy Division guitarist Bernard Sumner -- who, with his surviving bandmates, carried on as the worldwide successful New Order.

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Song Stories

“Long Walk Home”

Bruce Springsteen | 2007

When the subject of this mournful song returns home, he hardly recognizes his town. Springsteen told Rolling Stone the alienation the man feels is a metaphor for life in a politically altered post-9/11 America. “Who would have ever thought we’d live in a country without habeas corpus?” he said. “That’s Orwellian. That’s what political hysteria is about and how effective it is. I felt it in myself. You get frightened for your family, for your home. And you realize how countries can move way off course, very far from democratic ideals.”

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