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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

“Madame George”

Van Morrison | 1968

One of the first stream-of-consciousness epics to make it onto a Van Morrison record, his drawn-out farewell to the eccentric "Madame George" lasted nearly 10 minutes, combining ingredients from folk, jazz and classical music. The character that gave the song its title provoked speculation that it was about a drag queen, though Morrison denied this in Rolling Stone. "If you see it as a male or a female or whatever, it's your trip," he remarked. "I see it as a ... a Swiss cheese sandwich. Something like that."

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