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Song Stories

“Shaky Town”

Jackson Browne | 1977

Running on Empty was a different sort of live album: Although all the tracks were laid down on tour, not all of them were recorded on concert stages. This song, written by touring guitarist Danny Kortchmar, was cut in a motel room -- specifically, Room 124 of the Holiday Inn in Edwardsville, Illinois. "We were just trying to get away with it," Browne admitted. "We knew we could do it with the violin and acoustic guitar, but we also put the drums in the room, and Danny and I actually sang in the shower. I just love the way that sounds."

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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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