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Song Stories

“Thirteen”

Big Star | 1972

Alex Chilton chose to write about the innocence of young love instead of pent-up frustration for this ballad, which he titled after the age of the protagonists. However, Chilton admitted he was not happy with how the song turned out. "I think the performance of it on the record is bad. Just the singing really is … it's the wrong sort of approach, but at that time I didn't really know how to make the voice sounds in the studio that I wanted to do; it was a year or two later when I figured that out." When Chilton was at the age of 13, he experienced a life-changing occurrence -- the Beatles' landmark appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.

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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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