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Song Stories

“Military Madness”

Graham Nash | 1971

Though on the surface a jaunty early-1970s singer-songwriter outing, "Military Madness" portrays the devastation that war wreaked on Graham Nash's family and native country of England. The song is based on autobiographical experience that is "totally true," Nash said. "I was born in this upstairs room in a kind of hotel that had been turned into a hospital in an evacuation area....My father was in the army, while my mother was having me--February 2, 1942, in the midst of World War II." Lead guitar on the track is supplied by fellow rock star Dave Mason.

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Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

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