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Song Stories

“Rock & Roll”

The Velvet Underground | 1970

Lou Reed celebrates the power of "Rock & Roll" with savage glee in the Velvet Underground song of that title, seeing it as the salvation of a young girl when it blasts out of the radio. First issued on the band's 1970 album, Loaded, it gained a new audience when a ten-minute version was featured on Reed's 1974 live album Rock'n'Roll Animal. "'Rock & Roll,'" he admitted in the liner notes to the VU box set Peel Slowly and See, "is about me. If I hadn't heard rock & roll on the radio, I would have had no idea there was life on this planet."

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Song Stories

“Vans”

The Pack | 2006

Berkeley, California rappers the Pack made their footwear choice clear in 2006 with the song "Vans." The track caught the attention of Too $hort, who signed them to his imprint. MTV refused to play the video for the song, though, claiming it was essentially a commercial for the product. Rapper Lil' B disagreed. "I didn’t know nobody [at] Vans," he said. "I was just a rapper who wore Vans." Even without MTV's support, Lil' B recognized the impact of the track. "God blessed me with such a revolutionary song… People around my age know who really started a lot of the dressing people are into now."

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