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Song Stories

“Situation”

Yazoo | 1982

Ex-Depeche Mode member Vince Clarke's synthesizer spits out a rapid riff somewhere between rock and classical music on "Situation." Alison Moyet sings a soulful vocal so deep many assumed they were hearing a male singer, It was originally a B side, only becoming a hit in the duo's native U.K. after it garnered increasing club play in the U.S. (where the group was forced to shorten its name to Yaz). The thumping beat helped the track become a staple of dance clubs in the early 1980s. "It's great that the single is doing so well in the States, although I'm not too happy with the record itself," Moyet said not long after its release. "I think it's pretty shoddy, actually!"

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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