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Behind The Song

Author: The Drive | Hubbard Radio

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Dig into the lyrics of classic rock songs and the storytellers that created them in "Behind The Song," a podcast of essays by The Drive's Janda Lane. Hear what was happening behind the scenes while some of the most iconic songs in rock history were being written.

133 Episodes
Without the music, the 1983 cult classic film Eddie & The Cruisers just wouldn’t be the same. And without the film, the real-life bar band band who wrote many of the songs for its multi-platinum soundtrack wouldn’t have recorded the Top Ten single from it, “On The Dark Side.” Get into the story of how John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown band got the gig of a lifetime in this episode of the Behind The Song podcast.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
By the time Bachman Turner Overdrive were ready to record their third album, Not Fragile, Randy Bachman had sent demo tapes to almost two dozen record labels, all met with rejection letters. Finally, a twist of fate led to inking a contract with Mercury Records…but they were told they were one song short of “that magic element” the label thought they needed for the album. In this episode of the Behind The Song podcast, find out how “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” was begrudgingly added to the track listing and became a number one smash for B.T.O. even though Randy Bachman had intended for the song to be nothing more than a brotherly inside joke! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Temple Of The Dog’s short-lived status as a Seattle rock supergroup got its start as a tribute project for the late Andrew Wood of Mother Love Bone, and ended up yielding one self-titled album that became a platinum seller. The idea to record songs for Wood, who died of an overdose at age 24, was the late Chris Cornell of Soundgarden’s way of coping with the grief of losing his friend, and the band he recruited as the songs became a full album included not only fellow Seattle musicians who would go on to form Pearl Jam, but a then-unknown singer who had flown up from San Diego, Eddie Vedder. Unpack the touching history of this classic tune in this episode of the Behind The Song podcast. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
“One Way Or Another” by Blondie is based on an experience frontwoman Debbie Harry had with a stalker ex-boyfriend. In an incredible turnabout of power, the song ended up being one of the major hits on the band’s commercial breakthrough album, Parallel Lines. It’s an inspirational tale about making something positive out of a very negative experience. Find out more in this episode of the Behind The Song podcast.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
“Live And Let Die” marked some important firsts for the James Bond film franchise. It was the first 007 film to star Roger Moore as James Bond, and when it came to the music, it had a little help from some key players with Beatles pedigrees. Paul McCartney’s title theme was the first rock song ever for a Bond film, and the entire score was created by producer Sir George Martin, the fifth Beatle. Find out how it all came together in this episode of the Behind The Song podcast.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Eddie Money seemed to burst onto the national music scene fully formed when his self-titled debut album was released in 1977 and “Two Tickets To Paradise” climbed up the charts, but he had already traveled a long and unlikely road to get there. His journey begins in a New York City police family, quitting the force himself to travel to California, where he realized his dream to become a rock star with the help of legendary promoter Bill Graham. Let’s unpack the incredible journey of this cop-turned-rock’n’roller in this episode of Behind The Song. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
A favorite among Dead fans and casual listeners alike, “Casey Jones” has a super catchy melody and an origin story that goes back to early 1900’s Americana. It all started with a real-life train engineer whose heroic act inspired a ballad that eventually became the album closer on the Workingman’s Dead album, released in 1970. As with all things Grateful Dead, there’s a story here, and so let’s get into it in this episode of Behind The Song.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
By the time Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers set out to record their third album, Damn The Torpedoes, they were in a legal mess with MCA Records over a contract sale which resulted in Petty losing all of his publishing rights, among other issues. In a drastic strategy to get the label off his back, he filed for bankruptcy and hid the master tapes of the material he, the band, and co-producer Jimmy Iovine were working on every day. That strategy worked, which resulted in a rare triumph for artists in the music business. When Damn The Torpedoes was released, it became their breakthrough, led by “Refugee,” a song Petty crafted the lyrics for in about 10 minutes. Dig in to the incredible story in this episode of the Behind The Song podcast. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
By the time David Bowie wrote the songs for his Aladdin Sane album, which was released in April of 1973, it was his first time writing as an actual rock star. Inspired by the people and places he saw in America while touring as his Ziggy Stardust concept, he called Aladdin Sane his “Ziggy Goes To America” album. Two people in particular that he met in New York City became the muse for its first single, the glam rock bop “The Jean Genie.” Get into the story in this episode of the Behind The Song podcast. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
By the time U2 recorded their seventh album, 1991’s Achtung Baby, they were exhausted from nonstop touring, going through personal struggles at home in Ireland, and were at odds with each other about which direction to take musically. So, they headed to Berlin for a fresh start, landing on the day of the German Unification after the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was there that they wrote the song that put them all on the same page as a band again, the timeless “One,” a song about division that actually helped the band transition into a new decade. Get into the whole story in this episode of the Behind The Song podcast. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
The late Peter Green was one of the early guitar heroes in England, alongside names like Eric Clapton. He formed Fleetwood Mac in 1967, and their early records during his time leading the band yielded songs that were transcendent, psychedelic, and rooted in the blues music that he loved. Before quitting the band and spending many years afterward battling schizophrenia, he wrote “Black Magic Woman,” a song popularized by Santana when he covered it for his Abraxas album. Get into the whole incredible story in this episode of the Behind The Song podcast. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
“Lady” was the first of several hit Styx songs that Dennis DeYoung wrote for his longtime wife, Suzanne. It became the first hit song for the band, and it is largely held to be the very first power ballad in rock. Get into the inspiring story in this episode of the Behind The Song podcast. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
“In The City” is best known as an album cut on 1979’s The Long Run, an album the Eagles cobbled together after many months and on the heels of their epic Hotel California album and tour. But it was first co-written by Joe Walsh for the soundtrack to the cult classic film The Warriors, and it’s his version you hear in the unforgettable end scene. Find out how this song came to be recorded by both Joe Walsh and the Eagles after the film was released in this episode of Behind The Song!  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
"Right Now” by Van Halen is an inspirational song about living in the moment, but it took a long time to come together. Released on 1991’s For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge, their third after Sammy Hagar joined as frontman, it was purposefully written without a trace of reference to fast cars, girls, or partying. The video for the song was so ahead of its time - dealing with world issues and cultural hot button topics - that Hagar was afraid that the lyrics he had so painstakingly penned would get lost in the concept, at first. And of course, there’s the incomparable Eddie Van Halen playing piano on “Right Now,” a musical note that has its own backstory. Unpack it all in this episode of Behind The Song!  Watch the video episode and subscribe to the Behind The Song Youtube channel: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
The Dark Side Of The Moon by Pink Floyd stands alone in many ways. By dealing with the uncomfortable concepts of life, death, greed, and mental illness, this body of work chimes with the human experience on a real level, which is remarkable considering that Roger Waters wrote the lyrics when he was just in his late 20’s. The content resonates so completely that The Dark Side Of The Moon holds the record on the Billboard 200 chart for being the longest-charting album in the chart’s history - over a thousand weeks and counting. It is one of the best-selling albums in the world, one of the most important in the entire rock genre. And when it comes to “Time,” track four on side one, we have a song that confronts us with our very path of existence. It traces the whole pattern of life, from youth to death and the great beyond, in six minutes and 53 seconds of pure poetry and amazingly creative audio imagery - ticking clocks and all. Get into it in this episode of the Behind The Song podcast.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
ELO’s “Mr. Blue Sky” is one of the best examples of Jeff Lynne’s particularly bouncy brand of symphonic rock, a song that holds several surprises and reveals itself more and more with each repeated listen...including the very last line of the song, which is actually an often-misheard request! It has been proven to fit a “Feel Good Song Formula” by a scientist who tested it to find the world’s happiest tune. And for such a bright, happy song, would you be surprised to know that it all came about after Lynne had been suffering from a weather-induced writer’s block, a mental funk, while holed up in Switzerland? A funk that literally ended when the sun came out. Let’s dig in to the awesome story of “Mr. Blue Sky” in this episode of the Behind The Song podcast.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
The song is the biggest hit of Pete Townshend’s solo career, an infectious tune that the songwriter behind The Who has called “just a little ditty.” It’s a Hollywood favorite, used in charming romantic scenes in movies and TV shows. But like most things about this artist’s work, “Let My Love Open The Door” has a more complex and deeper meaning than what it sounds like at first. Let’s get into it in this episode of the Behind The Song podcast. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
When Pat Benatar’s Tropico album was released in 1984, she was on top of the world: an established superstar talent with a string of chart-toppers, and she and her husband and musical partner Neil Giraldo were about to become first-time parents. The biggest hit from the album, “We Belong,” would become a worldwide smash, extending her golden streak on the charts. It’s a love song that was actually written by two Los Angeles musicians who were struggling to make it at the time, and its success became a windfall for them that they didn’t see coming. Get into the story in this episode of the Behind The Song podcast. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
By 1981, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were barely talking, having differing opinions on the direction of The Rolling Stones. Making new music together seemed out of the question, but they were booked on a world tour, and needed an album to tour behind. That’s when engineer Chris Kimsey stepped in to save the day, poring over forgotten outtakes from the band’s previous sessions to cobble together what would become the Tattoo You album. The lead track, “Start Me Up,” was the biggest surprise to Keith Richards, who had written it as a reggae song but never liked what he heard when it was recorded. But, Kimsey found a diamond in the rough: when Richards and Charlie Watts briefly went into the rockin’ version we fans have come to know in one of those forgotten sessions. That outtake, after a little polishing, became one of the biggest hits of the Stones’ career, and it’s a miracle it was ever found to begin with. Get into the story in this episode of the Behind The Song podcast. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
He was the first former Beatle to release a Christmas single after the band broke up, and he found a way to make a Christmas song carry a message of peace and unity without being overly saccharine. But then again, he was John Lennon. Get into the story of how his and Yoko Ono’s 1971 single “Happy XMas (War Is Over)” arrived just in time for Christmas in this episode of the Behind The Song podcast. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Comments (14)


Hi i love sex my contact here

Mar 16th

Tommy Kincaid

I'm fr I'm from Aberdeen (unfortunately) I born and raised in that no opportunity, nothing to do but get loaded absolute complete hellhole. It's pretty obvious that I'm really proud of the pile of shit town I came from. I was around 14-15 when I started telling anyone that would listen that when I turned 18 I was gone, "see you later bye gone"& of course everyone just said yeah whatever. I can't blame them, I'm sure they figured that I'd stay there and roll around in the mud with the rest of them and have six different kids with six different women like the rest of them and live my life there life basically exactly like everyone I grew up with has done and if there happy,then I'm happy for them,more power to them.The fact is that just not my speed,i need a little action,hope, opportunity,you know the same things that almost all people that live with a purpose in their life strive fo have. I will be the first to say that I'm not even remotely close to perfect, I've done a lot of things

Mar 9th

John Dotson

Styx was always my favorite band seen them several times,lady hit the charts the way dennis wrote this song for his wife was perfectly done.Babe and the best of times were great songs the list goes on for styx for the band always never had enough listening to them they were my favorite then and still are til this day god bless them all love these guys glad i could share my thoughts John D

Feb 9th

Rabbits Lair

suicide with carbon monoxide makes more sense than carbon dioxide

Nov 29th

Mel Smith

I'm so grateful and thrilled with this program. I'm learning so many things that I didn't know, getting corrected on many misconceptions I've held for years, and gaining a much more, deep respect for the tracks I love and grew up on. The narration is easy to follow in a sweet, joy to listen to voice. Thank you so much for this podcast! I'm about 20 episodes in and I'm not turning it off until I catch up!

Jun 29th
Reply (1)

Chris Bradley

please play the complete song related to the episode at the end of the podcast.

Dec 20th
Reply (4)

Mike Rickey

First one of these i listened to and I'm hooked!! i love the sfx and music layered in the background

Jul 11th

Juan Bejar

Thank you Janda

May 13th

Juan Bejar

Thank you

May 13th
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