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Song Stories

“The '59 Sound”

The Gaslight Anthem | 2008

The title track to Gaslight Anthem's 2008 breakthrough album, "The '59 Sound" is a tribute to a dead friend, hooked to the Jersey band's signature Springsteen-goes-hardcore sound. Nostalgia courses through the lyrics, which are stuffed with references to radios and favorite songs, and the title comes from singer Brian Fallon's love for classic rock and soul. "I once built a 1959 Fender Bassman amp – the same kind that Carl Perkins used, that Elvis' guitar player used. Springsteen used one in the younger days," Fallon told Rolling Stone. "So [the title] was a reference to both that amplifier and that music."

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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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