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Song Stories

“Wannabe”

Spice Girls | 1997

Although the Spice Girls created the image of an all-for-one/one-for-all group — and popularized the phrase "girl power" — it turns out the entire band did not have full input on their breakthrough hit, a song co-written by the band with Matt Rowe and Richard Stannard. "It was so intimidating — like standing in a room with no clothes on," Victoria Beckham recalled. "And particularly during the early sessions, I didn't have as much input as I did later. In fact, with 'Wannabe' I missed most of it."

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Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

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