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Song Stories

“Space Odyssey”

M.I.A. | 2010

Maya Arulpragasam, a.k.a. M.I.A., is best known for her clanking beats and unusual samples, but she and dubstep producer-DJ Rusko went a different sonic direction on this dreamy piece of head music. According to M.I.A.'s publicist, "The song and video were made Monday night for $100," and it was quickly released via Twitter. Here the singer continues her ongoing feud with the New York Times, decrying the fact that they short-listed her native Sri Lanka as a top place to visit in 2010, even though people there where being shot. The song subsequently appeared on Maya.

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Song Stories

“Vicious”

Lou Reed | 1972

Opening Lou Reed's 1972 solo album, the hard-riffing "Vicious" actually traces its origin back to Reed's days with the Velvet Underground. Picking up bits and pieces of songs from the people and places around him, and filing his notes for later use, Reed said it was Andy Warhol who provided fuel for the song. "He said, 'Why don't you write a song called 'Vicious,'" Reed told Rolling Stone in 1989. "And I said, 'What kind of vicious?' 'Oh, you know, vicious like I hit you with a flower.' And I wrote it down literally."

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