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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

“Road to Nowhere”

Talking Heads | 1985

A cappella harmonies give way to an a fuller arrangement blending pop and electro-disco on "Road to Nowhere," but the theme remains constant: We're on an eternal journey to an undefined destination. The song vaulted back into the news a quarter century after it was a hit when Gov. Charlie Crist used it in his unsuccessful 2010 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Florida. "It's this little ditty about how there's no order and no plan and no scheme to life and death and it doesn't mean anything, but it's all right," Byrne said with a chuckle.

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