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Runaway Train – Soul Asylum’s Ode to Depression & Addiction

Runaway Train rises to the level of a great song for many reasons. Chief among them is that its poignant, well-crafted lyrics are open to multiple interpretations, sliding on a scale from the ridiculous to the sublime. Nevertheless, the words mean a lot of different things to many people. Coupled with a mesmerizing rhythm guitar; […]

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Featured Songs Song Profiles

Runaround Sue’s Ties to Buddy Holly and the Famous Plane Crash

It was the swaggering, swinging exuberance and old-fashioned excellence emanating from the big cities that lifted Rock-N-Roll out of the hole it had fallen into after a series of devastating losses in the late 1950s and . The state of Rock-N-Roll was in a state by the middle of . February of 1959 witnessed the […]

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Featured Songs Song Profiles

Profiling Caravan by Van Morrison, A 1970 Rock Great

Kot: Did you enjoy The Last Waltz? (the Band’s farewell concert in 1976, in which Clapton, Bob Dylan and a host of greats performed.) Clapton: I did, yeah. A fantastic event. I loved it. Kot: Was the music up to snuff? Clapton: For me, Muddy [Waters] and Van [Morrison] steal the show. Van doing Caravan […]

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Featured Songs Song Profiles

Introducing Rock & Roll Fans to Can’t You See by Marshall Tucker Band

Although Marshall Tucker lacked the musical virtuosity of either The Allman Brothers or Lynyrd Skynyrd, they recorded a handful of gold nuggets that helped propel them into the front ranks of the Southern Rock movement of the late 1960s and early 70s. (In fact, some would say this gives Marshall Tucker short shrift: They have […]

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Featured Songs Song Profiles

Blogging About Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison

On a good day, it makes you tap your toes and smile broadly. On great days it returns the wings of an eagle to ride as in times gone by. On quieter days, it brings a tear to your eye for all the things that were and might have been. Among standard, pedestrian ratings of […]

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A Profile of Black Magic Woman by Santana

“Black Magic Woman” fittingly has had two major lives. The first came from Fleetwood Mac for whom Peter Green wrote the song and then, of course, the second coming from Santana in the classic form that moved Rock-N-Roll heaven and earth. (The Fleetwood Mac line up that invented “Black Magic Woman” is a far cry […]

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Featured Songs Song Profiles

Deep Read Into Ballad Of A Thin Man by Bob Dylan

“The Times They Are a-Changin’” (released 1964) was written in 1963 as a demo by troubadour Dylan. As a clarion of change, it is endlessly sung and cited as among his best work, although a Folk song and not a Rock song by any means. As a forerunner of “Ballad Of A Thin Man,” the […]

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Featured Songs Song Profiles

In-Depth Look at American Girl by Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers

American Girl is a song that moves quickly through portrayals of modernist ennui to despair to (at least an imagination of) suicide and ends up at a possible redemption. It is set to a sprightly tune with a bopping rhythm that is one part early Byrds, one part Beatles’ vocal influence, one part New Wave […]

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Featured Songs Song Profiles

Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band & A Day in the Life by The Beatles, A Rock & Roll Thrill Ride

Brian had a nervous collapse. What broke his heart was Sgt. Pepper. — Van Dyke Parks on Brian Wilson’s reaction to The Beatles’ Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band album: When the transition occurs between The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band (the reprise song) and A Day In The Life, we are totally […]

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Featured Songs Song Profiles

A Deep Look at 96 Tears by ? And The Mysterians

The ultra-minimalist, offbeat 96 Tears can legitimately be called one of the chief inspirations of punk music, one that was in turn influenced by the ragged sound of a slice of the British Invasion (The Who’s and The Kinks’ early work). It is also one of a handful of garage band songs that leapt into […]

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