Song Stories

“Shoot Out the Lights”

Richard and Linda Thompson | 1982

Richard and Linda Thompson wrote and recorded Shoot out the Lights, their last and best album together, as their marriage was falling apart, occasioning what producer Joe Boyd called "an elaborate soap opera." Its masterpiece is the title track, a slow, dissonant rocker about a psychotic killer made even more devastating by a pair of masterfully unrestrained guitar solos from Richard, the second alternately soaring and twitching, ending on a tantalizingly unresolved note. His lyric, originally about the Russians in Afghanistan, "Somehow developed into this urban melodrama," he told Rolling Stone. "I can't understand how that happened."

Song Stories Main Next

Song Stories

“Whoomp! (There It Is)”

Tag Team | 1993

Cecil Glenn — a.k.a., "D.C." — was a cook at Magic City, a nude dance club in Atlanta, when he first heard women shout "Whoomp — there it is!" Inspired by the party chant, he and partner Steve "Roll'n" Gibson wrote a song around it. Undaunted by label rejections, they borrowed $2,500 from Glenn's parents and pressed 800 singles, which quickly sold out in the Atlanta area. A record deal came soon after. Glenn said the song was meant for positive partying. "If you're going to say 'Whoomp there it is,' and you're doing something negative, we'd rather it not have come out of your mouth."

More Song Stories entries »