How the Song Came to Be

Joni Mitchell’s ‘Woodstock’: Behind the Song

The composer of one of the greatest countercultural anthems never made it to the festival that served as the song’s subject.

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Queen’s Homage to Space Exploration: ’39’

The band’s guitarist, Brian May, can do many things well, one of which is to write songs. This one, about time travel, presaged his PhD in astrophysics

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Harry Chapin’s Inspiration for ‘Taxi’

‘Cat’s in the Cradle’ may have been Harry Chapin’s biggest hit, but ‘Taxi’ resonated with listeners, perhaps due to its real-life connection.

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Dion’s ‘Abraham, Martin and John’ @ 50

Tension was in the air in 1968 and rock music reflected the turmoil. Then came a voice from the past, gently singing of non-violence and hope.

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Tom Petty’s ‘American Girl’: A Perfect Rock Song

Though the second single from the Heartbreakers’ 1976 self-titled debut failed to chart on Top 40, its story about the girl alone on the balcony overlooking US Route 441 resonates with his fans

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John Fogerty Talks About Writing ‘Proud Mary’

50 years after he began writing one of his most-beloved songs, the musician shared how he first started writing it and how the title came to be

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Dr. Hook ‘Cover of the Rolling Stone’

A band records a song about its burning desire to make it to the cover of the leading music magazine. We’ve got the backstory. Do you know who wrote it?

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The Crazy World of Arthur Brown’s Incendiary “Fire”

He took the title of his one hit seriously, even putting flaming items on his head while he performed. But he never made the charts again after his 1968 smash.

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Pete Townshend’s ‘Teenage Wasteland’

For years, he worked on an ambitious project called Lifehouse. It was intended to be another rock opera and a logical follow-up to Tommy. This song evolved into “Baba O’Riley”

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A-Ha Reinterprets ‘Take on Me’ Via MTV Unplugged

It’s a single you’ve heard countless times and its 1985 video has an astonishing number of views on YouTube. A touching acoustic version transforms the song

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