How the Song Came to Be

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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Carly Simon’s Breakthrough: ‘You’re So Vain’

Watch the singer-songwriter perform a previously unheard verse of her huge 1972 hit from a ‘Carly Simon No Secrets’ classic albums special

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Sonny & Cher’s ‘The Beat Goes On’ (& On & On)…

A breakdown of the way things used to be vs. the inevitable winds of change, it gave them their third major hit. But some things, it seemed, never changed.

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ELO’s ‘Don’t Bring Me Down… Bruce!’

Most classic rock acts have a misheard lyric. It goes with the territory. So what did Jeff Lynne do when concert audiences started singing along to his big hit?

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Barry McGuire vs. Barry Sadler: When the News Hit #1

One chart-topper listed complaints about the inequities and horrors of the day, while the other was a patriotic paean to the Army’s elite special forces.

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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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‘Brandy’ by Looking Glass (It’s a Fine Song)

For one week only, in the summer of 1972, it was the best-selling, most often played single in the United States of America.

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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 Beatles’ Forgotten Top 20 Hit: A ‘Sweet’ Story

A top 20 hit in the U.S., yet it has received virtually no radio airplay in decades and is almost never mentioned in accounts of the band’s early days.

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A-Ha Reinterprets ‘Take on Me’ With 2 New Versions

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

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