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Behind The Song

Dig deep into the lyrics of classic rock songs and the storytellers that created them in "Behind The Song," a podcast 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.

Latest Episodes

How “Sweet Emotion” helped put Aerosmith on the Mount Rushmore of Rock

They’re not exactly as wholesome as apple pie, but they have been anointed “America’s Greatest Rock Band” for good reason. Aerosmith have sold more hard rock albums than any other American band, and they went from being an opening act to stadium headliners with the release of their third album, Toys In The Attic, released in 1975. The lead single from that album, “Sweet Emotion” marked important firsts: it was their first song to hit the Top 40 chart, and it was the first co-write credit that bassist Tom Hamilton got on the scoreboard. Steven Tyler’s lyrics are full of daggers aimed at Joe Perry’s then-girlfriend, and there is even a hidden message buried in the song. Dig in to the history of this classic tune in the new episode of the Behind The Song podcast.

Watch the video episode and subscribe to the Behind The Song Youtube channel:
https://bit.ly/2DBF4wJ

The Bob Dylan song that Jimi Hendrix made his own

Bob Dylan wrote “All Along The Watchtower” for his 1967 album, John Wesley Harding, after realizing he was getting swindled by his own management and record label. Jimi Hendrix immediately covered the song for his final album, Electric Ladyland, and did such a mind-blowing job of interpreting it musically and lyrically that Bob Dylan has long admitted it to be the better version. Find out the history this classic in the new episode of the Behind The Song podcast.

Watch the video episode and subscribe to the Behind The Song Youtube channel:
https://bit.ly/2DBF4wJ

How The Romantics went from Motor City Rockers to MTV darlings

Straight out of Detroit Rock City, The Romantics made their first entry into the Billboard chart with a high-energy tune sung by their drummer. That song, “What I Like About You,” later became the subject of a high-profile lawsuit when it was used in a TV commercial…which made the band even more popular than when the song first was released in 1980. Get into the story of this great Motor City band in the new episode of the Behind The Song podcast.

Watch the video episode and subscribe to the Behind The Song Youtube channel:
https://bit.ly/2DBF4wJ

Judas Priest’s “Living After Midnight:” Metal Gods riding the razor’s edge of British Steel

When Judas Priest released their classic British Steel album in 1980, it paved the way for metal music to really hit the mainstream, and is one of the reasons the band were finally given the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame induction honor. “Living After Midnight” exemplifies the greatest thing about metal to metal fans: providing an escape from the norm for a fist-pumping few powerful minutes. Get into the story behind it in the new episode of the Behind The Song podcast.

Watch the video episode and subscribe to the Behind The Song Youtube channel:
https://bit.ly/2DBF4wJ

Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell”: from punk rocker to pop star

“Rebel Yell” by Billy Idol is now a classic for good reason. It showcases his unique ability to put a hard edge on a pop song, and it was one of the reasons his 1983 Rebel Yell album went double platinum. His success paved the way for a mainstream embrace of the aesthetics of punk rock, heralding a turning point in 1980’s music at large. One listen to this song and you want more more more…dig in to the story behind it in the new episode of the Behind The Song podcast.

Watch the video episode and subscribe to the Behind The Song Youtube channel:
https://bit.ly/2DBF4wJ

The Cars’ biggest hit was a pop oddity

“Drive” by The Cars was their biggest hit, with a video that sparked a long marriage for Ric Ocasek and supermodel Paulina Porizkova, but the song touches on unusual questions. Cruise through the history of this classic tune in the new episode of the Behind The Song podcast.

Watch the video episode and subscribe to the Behind The Song Youtube channel:
https://bit.ly/2DBF4wJ

The Thrill Ride of Van Halen’s “Panama”

Van Halen’s rip-roaring “Panama” from their classic album 1984 is a song about a car, and a girl, and it represents a joyful, pedal-to-the-metal breakout moment for the band just before frontman David Lee Roth left to find his own groove on another track. Take a ride through the history of this song in this episode of the Behind The Song podcast.

Watch the video episode and subscribe to the Behind The Song Youtube channel:
https://bit.ly/2DBF4wJ

Investigating Elvis Costello’s “Watching The Detectives”

Elvis Costello’s first song to chart in the US was “Watching The Detectives,” a song born out of a night spent listening to The Clash with lyrics that tell two tales. Find out all about it in this episode of the Behind The Song podcast.

Watch the video episode and subscribe to the Behind The Song Youtube channel:
https://bit.ly/2DBF4wJ

How Deep Purple’s classic song was born out of flames

“Smoke On The Water” by Deep Purple is a true account of a horrific fire that the band witnessed in Switzerland while waiting to record the Machine Head album in 1971. Find out the insane story of how the band’s most well-known song came to rise out of those flames in the new episode of the Behind The Song podcast.

Watch the video episode and subscribe to the Behind The Song Youtube channel:
https://bit.ly/2DBF4wJ

The J. Geils Band’s hit song about love gone wrong

The new episode of the Behind The Song podcast is about the lyrics and history of “Love Stinks” by The J. Geils Band. An anti-Valentine’s tune that we can all sing along to, it was written just after singer Peter Wolf divorced Faye Dunaway, one of the most famous actresses in the world. It has just enough swagger to be a fun antidote to love’s downside, and it was their biggest hit in a decade when it was released in 1980.

Watch the video episode and subscribe to the Behind The Song Youtube channel:
https://bit.ly/2DBF4wJ

The song Simple Minds didn’t want to record for The Breakfast Club soundtrack

“Don’t You (Forget About Me)” made its debut in the opening and closing credits for the 1985 movie that it was written specifically for, The Breakfast Club, and it has since made its way permanently into popular culture by being such a huge part of the classic John Hughes teen drama. It became an instant hit for the band Simple Minds, going all the way to number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 Chart, but it almost wasn’t recorded by the very reluctant band at all. Find out how Jim Kerr and the rest of Simple Minds were finally convinced to do it, and the surprising number of other artists who passed entirely on recording this bonafide hit, in this episode of the Behind The Song podcast.

Watch the video episode and subscribe to the Behind The Song Youtube channel:
https://bit.ly/2DBF4wJ

The story behind Paul Simon’s “Still Crazy After All These Years”

In 1975, Paul Simon released his fourth solo album. The title track, “Still Crazy After All These Years,” was inspired while Simon was going through a rocky period in his life the year before, and it ended up being a song that so perfectly speaks to working through the beginnings and the endings of life that it has been heralded as the “Auld Lang Syne” of popular music. From when he first shared the song while he was still in the process of writing it on the Dick Cavett show, to his famous performance of it on Saturday Night Live dressed in a turkey costume, find out the backstory of this tune by one of music’s most masterful writers in the new episode of the Behind The Song podcast.

Watch the video episode on the Behind The Song Youtube channel:
https://bit.ly/2DBF4wJ

Janda co-hosts afternoons with Seaver on The Drive.

Janda is an enthusiastic transplant to Chicago, having recently arrived from Los Angeles. She has hosted radio programs across the country, including at KCRW – Los Angeles, 91X – San Diego, Soundbreak.com – Los Angeles, KNDD – Seattle, WAVF – Charleston and WEND – Charlotte. Her experience also includes work behind the camera as a video director and producer and as a music curator.

Janda’s interests outside of radio and music include all kinds of film and TV shows, thriller fiction, food, her family and her cats Ollie and Liam. When she has any spare time, she studies traffic maps and practices saxophone and guitar. Her favorite artist of all time is David Bowie, and her favorite color is red.

Janda says, “I’m thrilled to be here in Chicago, the best city in the world, and at The Drive, the best station with the best fans in the world!”