Song Stories

“Masters of War”

Bob Dylan | 1963

Bob Dylan's "Masters of War" seemed to open the floodgates for a host of rock acts over the years to pen their own anti-war songs (Creedence Clearwater's "Fortunate Son," Black Sabbath's "War Pigs," John Lennon/Yoko Ono's "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)," etc.). And in the book Down the Highway: The Life of Bob Dylan, author Howard Sounes explains that the song "Was inspired by the Cold War arms buildup. Yet like many of Bob's best songs, 'Masters of War' transcended the time in which it was written." At the 1992 'Tribute to Dylan' concert at Madison Square Garden, Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder and Mike McCready performed a version of the tune.

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The Pack | 2006

Berkeley, California rappers the Pack made their footwear choice clear in 2006 with the song "Vans." The track caught the attention of Too $hort, who signed them to his imprint. MTV refused to play the video for the song, though, claiming it was essentially a commercial for the product. Rapper Lil' B disagreed. "I didn’t know nobody [at] Vans," he said. "I was just a rapper who wore Vans." Even without MTV's support, Lil' B recognized the impact of the track. "God blessed me with such a revolutionary song… People around my age know who really started a lot of the dressing people are into now."

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