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Song Stories

“Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang”

Dr. Dre | 1992

Against a sample of the bass line of Leon Haywood's "I Want'a Do Something Freaky to You," this 1992 smash united the rival SoCal cities Long Beach and Compton and, in the process, cemented Dre's status as a major player in music -- and also made Snoop Dogg a household name. The song's impact on pop culture was so massive that it spawned an academic tome of the same name and inspired a Glee spoof on Funny or Die 20 years after its release. "The mastermind on his working methods: 'I sit around by myself in the studio at home, push buttons and see what happens,'" Rolling Stone reported Dre as saying in naming the track one of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

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Song Stories

“Madame George”

Van Morrison | 1968

One of the first stream-of-consciousness epics to make it onto a Van Morrison record, his drawn-out farewell to the eccentric "Madame George" lasted nearly 10 minutes, combining ingredients from folk, jazz and classical music. The character that gave the song its title provoked speculation that it was about a drag queen, though Morrison denied this in Rolling Stone. "If you see it as a male or a female or whatever, it's your trip," he remarked. "I see it as a ... a Swiss cheese sandwich. Something like that."

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