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Song Stories

“Stylo”

Gorillaz feat. Mos Def and Bobby Womack | 2010

Cartooned bandmate Murdoc described it as being, "An electro-ish 'crack funk' sound, with a little bit of politics and a lot of soul going down," courtesy of soul legend Bobby Womack, who took advantage of the Gorillaz offer to record his first verses in 20 years. Despite the fun nature of the beats, the lyrics commented on a grave situation. "With "Stylo," I wanted the music to feel euphoric, whilst still putting across how precarious our tightly packed situation is now worldwide -- where we're at as a species on this overpopulated planet," Murdoc said.

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Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

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