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Song Stories

“Mustang Sally”

Wilson Pickett | 1966

Soul journeyman Mack Rice wrote and recorded this song first in 1965. He originally titled it "Mustang Mama," until his friend Aretha Franklin took note of the "ride, Sally, ride" chorus. Rice recalled, "She said, 'Why don’t you change the song to "Mustang Sally"? 'Cause that’s what you’re sayin’ a lot of.'" It didn’t become a national treasure until Wilson Pickett put his spin on it one year later, but his version almost never saw the light of day, thanks to a last-minute studio mishap. Pickett had already finished recording the tune when the tape flew off the reel and broke into pieces. Undeterred, seasoned studio engineer Tom Dowd hand-taped the reel back together.

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Song Stories

“You Oughta Know”

Alanis Morissette | 1995

This blunt, bitter breakup song -- famous for its line "Would she go down on you in a theater?" -- was long rumored to be about Alanis Morissette getting dumped by Full House actor Dave Coulier. But while she never confirmed it was about him (Coulier himself says it is, however), she insisted the song wasn't all about scorn. "By no means is this record just a sexual, angry record," she told Rolling Stone. "The song wasn't written for the sake of revenge. It was written for the sake of release. I'm actually a pretty rational, calm person."

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