Song Stories

“Miss Murder”

AFI | 2006

Fifteen years and seven studio albums into its career, rock band AFI found mainstream success with "Miss Murder," off its first and only No. 1 album Decemberunderground. The song, which reached No. 24 on the Billboard Hot 100, is about singer Davey Havok's internal struggle with fame and thoughts of death. Havok has said of the band's influences, "Each of us grew up on everything from punk to hardcore to dark '80s U.K. stuff like The Cure, Bauhaus, Joy Division and Sisters of Mercy. And there were rock bands like Guns N' Roses and Metallica and industrial bands like Skinny Puppy, Ministry, Front 242 and Alien Sex Fiend. And we all love The Smiths."

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Song Stories


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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