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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

“Road to Nowhere”

Talking Heads | 1985

A cappella harmonies give way to an a fuller arrangement blending pop and electro-disco on "Road to Nowhere," but the theme remains constant: We're on an eternal journey to an undefined destination. The song vaulted back into the news a quarter century after it was a hit when Gov. Charlie Crist used it in his unsuccessful 2010 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Florida. "It's this little ditty about how there's no order and no plan and no scheme to life and death and it doesn't mean anything, but it's all right," Byrne said with a chuckle.

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