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Song Stories

“Walk Like an Egyptian”

The Bangles | 1986

A three-and-a-half-minute slice of mainstream guitar rock with a touch of girl-group pop, "Walk Like an Egyptian" also contains a whiff of novelty, with its odd subject matter of observing life on the Nile and the brief bout of whistling in the instrumental break. Written by Liam Sternberg, a demo featuring Marti Jones on vocals was turned down by Toni Basil of "Mickey" fame before making its way to the Bangles. Singer and drummer Debbi Peterson doesn't appear on the record, accounting in part for her description of the track in Rolling Stone as "a nice little novelty song kind of thing, but I don't feel like it's us."

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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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