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Song Stories

“Upside Down”

Diana Ross | 1980

After an absence of almost five years from the Top Ten, Diana Ross reasserted her superstardom with a vengeance on the chart-topping "Upside Down," whose irregular thumping rhythms and lusty vocals bridged funk and disco. The track was written and produced by Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers of Chic, though Ross had the album from which it came remixed to make her vocals more prominent. "I was furious and got on the phone right away and called Motown," Rodgers said. "Then I had to say, 'Hey! I know where they're coming from. I understand what they're doing.'"

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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