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Song Stories

“Now That You're Gone”

Sheryl Crow | 2008

"That's not about Lance," Sheryl Crow told Rolling Stone, referring to her ex, Lance Armstrong. "I dedicate that one to Karl Rove." But while Crow was writing politically charged tunes at the time, this one -- written after her breakup with the Tour de France champion cyclist -- is pretty clearly about a failed relationship. While the song asserts, "Now that you're gone, I can breathe," another track from the album countered, "I can't stand all this freedom." Crow, who had also recently battled breast cancer, said the music helped her avoid getting bogged down by painful feelings.

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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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