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Song Stories

“Under the Westway”

Blur | 2012

Damon Albarn debuted what is only the second new Blur song in nine years at a fundraiser, but he said it could possibly be the final Blur track ever. "Initially I wrote it as a slightly wistful national anthem for my house," Albarn said. "I had this idea of getting it made into an old 78 record and making a flag and then just playing it -- just being really silly. But I had these chords and I ended up writing this tune around it. I don’t really do anything with Blur any more … Maybe this tune’s a last little coda to the whole story."

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Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

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