How the Song Came to Be

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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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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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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When Motown Went to ‘War’—Edwin Starr’s #1 Hit @50

When Motown’s chief was reluctant to release an antiwar song by the Temptations as a single, another singer stepped in to re-record it. It went to #1.

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The Jaggerz’ ‘The Rapper’ @50

“The song was something that I wrote watching people in nightclubs. You’d see these dudes go over and start rapping to chicks,” said the band’s Donnie Iris.

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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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Deliverance’s ‘Dueling Banjos’: An Unlikely Hit

The song, featured prominently in the 1972 thriller, was used without the permission of its composer. There’s actually only one banjo used

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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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‘Billy Jack’: One Tin Soldier Rides Away

The movie, directed, written and starring Tom Laughlin, had a long journey on its way to the screen. Its memorable song was recorded – and charted – multiple times

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Gordon Lightfoot’s Tale of a Ship’s Crew and Its Captain

The singer-songwriter had a string of big hits including 1976’s “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” based on a true story of a doomed freighter

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