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Song Stories

“Rock & Roll Woman”

Buffalo Springfield | 1967

With intertwining acoustic and electric guitars, and Buffalo Springfield's effervescent backup harmonies, Stephen Stills paid tribute to a "Rock & Roll Woman" who epitomized cool hipness. The lyrics were inspired by one of the biggest female rock superstars of the age, Jefferson Airplane's Grace Slick. The idea for the music, Stills confirmed, "came from jamming with David Crosby at his house. We got hung up on the F to D change in D-modal, which is mountain minor tuning. We kept playing it over and over and over again."

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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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