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Song Stories

“That's Entertainment”

The Jam | 1980

Paul Weller spins the mod take on the working man's blues in this list of the everyday realities that comprised life for both the blue-collar workers and restless adolescents in the U.K. circa 1980. Though never released as a British single during the Jam's lifetime, the song's realistic imagery resonated so deeply with listeners the song still reached the U.K. charts three separate times as an import or reissue. The secret to the songs powerful lyrics, according to Weller? "Coming home pissed from the pub and writing 'That's Entertainment' in 10 minutes," he said.

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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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