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Song Stories

“The Rain Song”

Led Zeppelin | 1973

Thought to have been written in response to George Harrison's alleged challenge to John Bonham that Led Zeppelin didn't do any slow songs, this mellow change of pace from Houses of the Holy is a prime example of "the ethereal Page and Plant," as the singer put it to Rolling Stone. "Sometimes we have backing tapes of tracks worked out and somebody goes, 'Well, we got no bloody lyrics,'" Plant explained. "'The Rain Song' was just sort of a little infatuation I had. The next morning I'd scribble it out. If I had done it the day after, it would have been no good."

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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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