How the Song Came to Be

Grand Funk’s ‘We’re an American Band’ Backstory

The song’s author, GFR drummer Don Brewer, explains how the 1973 all-time classic rock hit came about while the band was on tour. Sweet, sweet Connie…

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When Brownsville Station Were Smokin’

Back in 1973, lots of high school students took extra bathroom breaks since that was generally the only place they could light up. The backstory of a classic

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Desmond Dekker’s ‘Israelites’—Admit It, You Don’t Know the Lyrics

Even as it found its way to the top 10 in the U.S. and several other countries, many listeners had no idea what this proto-reggae song was about.

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Friend & Lover’s ‘Reach Out of the Darkness’: So Groovy Now

The song begins with a lyric that could only have been written in the late ’60s: “I think it’s so groovy now that people are finally getting together.” And the record was attributed to artists whose name could only have

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The Kinks’ ‘Celluloid Heroes’: Everybody’s a Star…

“Everybody’s a dreamer, and everybody’s a star,” Ray Davies sang. But it was never quite that simple. Watch a stellar performance of this Kinks Klassik.

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The Beatles’ “I’m Down”: The Overlooked McCartney Song You Need to Get Into Your Life

McCartney loved Little Richard’s singing, and used to cover his songs with the band. Then he decided to write his own tune in Richard’s style…

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Elton John’s ‘Levon’: A Pauper to a Pawn

The first single from 1971’s Madman Across the Water is “one of our finest moments lyrically and melodically” and includes Paul Buckmaster’s soaring orchestral arrangements.

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Iron Butterfly’s Classic ‘In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida’

The single and album signaled a shift from the psychedelic sound toward something more aggressive, loud and primal. Rock fans either loved it or hated it.

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Leonard Cohen: New Doc & LP Shine a Light on the Origin of ‘Hallelujah’

“I said to Leonard, ‘This is the one. This is what we’ve been waiting for. This might be your best record.'”–Producer/songwriter/performer John Lissauer

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When Liberace Was “Feelin’ Groovy”

The famed entertainer performed it on national television in 1968. Our look back at the song’s history. (Its composer, Paul Simon, hates it.)

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