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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

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

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