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From the KORD writers:

How ‘Closing Time’ came pouring out of Semisonic

If you hear “Closing Time” anywhere today other than in KORD, it means you’ve stayed out much too late, and now it’s time to go home — or wherever else you’re planning on sleeping instead. Semisonic’s signature hit is the last-call anthem of bartenders everywhere, the barroom ballad to end all barroom ballads, and with empathy and authority it turns up the house lights, settles your tab and bids you goodnight.

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Eddie Kendricks’ falsetto elevates the Temptations’ ‘Just My Imagination’

The otherworldly “Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)” brings full circle Eddie Kendricks’ career with the Temptations, concluding a remarkable 11-year run that made him, in the words of Motown Records historian Brian Chin, “a star among equals in one of the greatest vocal assemblages in American music history.”

CIRCA 1970: Photo of Temptations Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
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‘Tell Me Something Good’ reverses Rufus’ fortunes, and makes Chaka Khan a star

When Stevie Wonder gives you a song, you humbly accept it, thankful for the legendary musician’s interest in your band. Unless, that is, you’re 20-year-old Chaka Khan. “You got anything else?” the Rufus frontwoman asked Wonder after his first offering failed to impress.

CIRCA 1975: Photo of Chaka Khan Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
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How a Motown superfan launched the Miracles’ ‘Tears of a Clown’ to number one

Smokey Robinson was on the brink. After 15 years fronting the Miracles, one of the first and most formidable acts signed to Motown Records, he was poised to leave the group. But those plans abruptly changed with the fluke success of 1970’s “The Tears of a Clown,” the Miracles’ first-ever number one pop single — a song rescued from obscurity by the head of the British division of the Motown Fan Club.

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Solve the ‘Love Rollercoaster’ murder mystery that will not die

“Love Rollercoaster” is an absolutely fantastic title for a funk record. It promises dizzying peaks and valleys, heart-stopping twists and death-defying turns — in short, the ride of your life — and its playfulness and pizzazz no doubt helped the Ohio Players rumble all the way to the top of the charts in early 1976. “Love Rollercoaster” is an unspeakably terrible title for a hardboiled crime saga, on the other hand, but there’s a murder mystery captured in the record’s grooves as well. For decades, rumors have persisted that if you listen closely to “Love Rollercoaster,” you can identify the haunting scream of a stabbing victim — most likely Ester Cordet, the former Playboy model featured on the cover of the Ohio Players’ Honey — whose final moments of life were inadvertently captured on tape while the band cut the song in the apartment next door. Or something like that: there are many versions of the “Love Rollercoaster” legend, and many rabbit holes to explore. Now, for the first time ever, you can solve the mystery conclusively — and exclusively — within the KORD app. Here’s the evidence we’ve collected.

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When America got hooked on Robert Palmer’s ‘Addicted to Love’

The first thing you think of is the video. That’s okay: everybody thinks of the video first. “Addicted to Love” has been viewed, referenced and imitated so many times that it’s familiar even to people who never had MTV — who weren’t even alive the last time the network played music videos. It represents Reagan-era decadence, music industry excess, rampant misogyny or the glory of rock and roll (depending on who’s watching), and to this day, it epitomizes what a lot of people think the Eighties was about: sharp-dressed men in Italian suits and high-fashion models with glossy lipstick, everyone’s face a mask of exquisite boredom. Stripped of those signature visuals, “Addicted to Love” still can seem like a collection of Eighties stereotypes: the glossy synths; the wanky guitar solo; the monolithic beat, like a dinosaur swaggering down the street. But keep listening, and those stereotypes fall away. You realize that “Addicted to Love” is a brilliant blend of styles: classic soul vocals, heavy metal guitar pop and, holding it all together, a bedrock of funk.

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