Song Stories

“Threshold Apprehension”

Black Francis | 2007

Before jumping to his death, Dutch painter Herman Brood lived a life of sex, drugs and rock & roll. Where bands such as U2 have dedicated live performances to Brood after his 2001 passing, Charles Thompson, a.k.a. Frank Black — who here reverted to his Black Francis moniker from his Pixies days — dedicated an album to Brood, including this Pixies-like punker about sex, drugs and suicide. "I have my own impressions as to what his painting 'Threshold Apprehension' was all about," he said. "My song 'Threshold Apprehension' has nothing to do with the painting except that it, and my record Bluefinger, has everything to do with my impressions of Herman Brood."

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Song Stories

“Bleeding Love”

Leona Lewis | 2007

In 2008, The X Factor winner Leona Lewis backed up her U.K. singing competition victory with an R&B anthem for the ages: "Bleeding Love," an international hit that became the best-selling song of the year. The track was co-penned by OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder (whose radio dominance would continue with songs such as Beyonce's "Halo" and Adele's "Rumour Has It") and solo artist Jesse McCartney, who was inspired by a former girlfriend, Gossip Girl actress Katie Cassidy. Given the song's success, McCartney didn't regret handing over such a personal track: "No, no," he said. "I'm so happy for Leona. She deserves it. There are really no bad feelings."

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