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Song Stories

“Seven and Seven Is”

Love | 1966

Driven by ominous fuzz chord riffs and nonstop drum rolls, Arthur Lee's surrealistic rant "Seven and Seven Is" was capped off by an atomic explosion, a brief country blues tag ending the song like dust settling over a demolished building. More than 30 takes were recorded, mainly because the song's drum part was so exhausting that Lee and Love drummer Snoopy Pfisterer had to take turns playing it. "It was about a lady named Anita," disclosed Lee. "She's born on the seventh, and I'm born on the seventh, and that's 'seven and seven is.'"

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Song Stories

“Vicious”

Lou Reed | 1972

Opening Lou Reed's 1972 solo album, the hard-riffing "Vicious" actually traces its origin back to Reed's days with the Velvet Underground. Picking up bits and pieces of songs from the people and places around him, and filing his notes for later use, Reed said it was Andy Warhol who provided fuel for the song. "He said, 'Why don't you write a song called 'Vicious,'" Reed told Rolling Stone in 1989. "And I said, 'What kind of vicious?' 'Oh, you know, vicious like I hit you with a flower.' And I wrote it down literally."

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