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Song Stories

“Space Oddity”

David Bowie | 1969

David Bowie's story of an astronaut who detaches himself from earthly communication progressed like a rocket launch, moving from an opening countdown to an ethereal drift into space. Released to coincide with the buildup to the first moon landing in the summer of 1969, it gave Bowie his first British hit, cracking the US Top Twenty when it was re-released in 1973. It was written, he told Performing Songwriter, "because of going to see the film 2001, which I found amazing....I was very stoned when I went to see it, several times, and it was really a revelation to me."

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Song Stories

“Wake Up Everybody”

John Legend and the Roots | 2010

A Number One record by Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes in 1976 (a McFadden- and Whitehead-penned classic sung by Teddy Pendergrass) inspired the title and lead single from Wake Up!, John Legend's tribute album to message music. The more familiar strains of "Wake Up Everybody" also fit his agenda. "It basically sums up, in a very concise way, all the things we were thinking about when we were putting this record together in that it's about justice, doing the right thing and coming together to make the world a better place," he said. Vocalists Common and Melanie Fiona assist Legend on this mission to connect.

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