Song Stories

“Poor Boy”

Nick Drake | 1970

The jazzy, humorously self-pitying folk-rock of "Poor Boy" was given an unexpected jab by a chorus of soulful female singers gently making light of Nick Drake's sorrow. Pianist Chris McGregor only got to play on the track by asking to stick around after producer Joe Boyd mixed his record that morning. "When I heard 'Poor Boy,' I thought of 'So Long, Marianne' on the Leonard Cohen album and its mocking chorus of girls' voices," recalled Boyd. "When I suggested it to Nick, he looked at me for a minute, unsure how to respond, but didn't seem entirely convinced."

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Song Stories

“Bleeding Love”

Leona Lewis | 2007

In 2008, The X Factor winner Leona Lewis backed up her U.K. singing competition victory with an R&B anthem for the ages: "Bleeding Love," an international hit that became the best-selling song of the year. The track was co-penned by OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder (whose radio dominance would continue with songs such as Beyonce's "Halo" and Adele's "Rumour Has It") and solo artist Jesse McCartney, who was inspired by a former girlfriend, Gossip Girl actress Katie Cassidy. Given the song's success, McCartney didn't regret handing over such a personal track: "No, no," he said. "I'm so happy for Leona. She deserves it. There are really no bad feelings."

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