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Song Stories

“Sabotage”

Beastie Boys | 1994

By the time the Beastie Boys released Ill Communication, their transformation from frat-boy rappers to surprisingly adept funk-rock instrumentalists was complete. But what about fuzz rock? "[Adam] Yauch came in one day with this idea for a song," explained Adam Horovitz, "where the fuzz bass keeps playing, and we would all do these hits and stops to bring, like, suspense and drama." Not only did the song create that suspense and drama but so did its Spike Jonze-directed Seventies-cop-TV-spoof video, complete with car chases, wigs and drooping 'staches.

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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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