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The Strokes’ Nick Valensi on 5 Great Songs by Guitarists-Turned-Singers

Guitarist talks key inspirations, from Keith Richards to Johnny Thunders

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Strokes guitarist Nick Valensi discusses his favorite tracks by fellow guitarists-turned-songwriters.

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"There's a lot for Strokes fans to like here," that band's guitarist Nick Valensi told Rolling Stone recently, speaking about the new debut by his side project CRX. "But there's another aspect to the record, too, which gets a little bit on the heavier, more aggressive side that maybe fans of other bands would appreciate that more." Here, Valensi shares some examples of guitarists-turned-singers who opened his eyes to the possibilities of going solo. "It's fairly obvious why I chose this category," he says.

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The Heartbreakers, “Born to Lose”

Johnny Thunders was one of the coolest voices to come out of the New York punk-rock generation. It's clear from his voice he just does not give a fuck.

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Keith Richards, “Take It So Hard”

I wonder if Keith played this for Mick, because this should have been a Rolling Stones song – it's that good. You can just feel his personality. 

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