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Song Stories

“Mellow Yellow”

Donovan | 1966

With an arrangement more suited to a woozy Salvation Army band than a rock group, the giddily psychedelic non sequiturs of "Mellow Yellow" wormed their way just shy of the Numner One spot. Backup vocals were contributed by Paul McCartney, who had used a phrase by Donovan in "Yellow Submarine." The "electrical banana" in "Mellow Yellow" was a vibrator, but it fueled rumors that you could get high by smoking the peel of that fruit. Country Joe McDonald revealed himself to Donovan as the source of that urban legend many years later, telling the singer, "By the way, man -- the 'mellow yellow' s---? The bananas? It was me."

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Song Stories

“Stillness Is the Move”

Dirty Projectors | 2009

A Wim Wenders film and a rapper inspired the Dirty Projectors duo David Longstreth and Amber Coffmanto write "sort of a love song." "We rented the movie Wings of Desire from Dave's brother's recommendation, and he had me go through it and just write down some things that I found interesting, and they made it into the song," Coffman said. As for the hip-hop connection, Longstreth explained, "The beat is based on T-Pain. We commissioned a radio mix of the song by the guy who mixes all of Timbaland's records, but the mix we made sounded way better, so we didn't use it."

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