Mick Jagger says "Gimme Shelter" is about a "world closing in on you." Carl de Souza/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Rolling Stones guitarist Ron Wood says 1980's "Dance (Pt. 1)," which he helped write, was designed to get people moving. Michael Loccisano/Getty Images hide caption

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Legendary guitarist and songwriter Pete Townshend composed rock operas like Tommy and Quadrophenia, and helped define rock music for generations. Ross Halfin/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Music From Another Dimension!, Aerosmith's first studio album in over a decade, is out Nov. 6. Left to right: Joey Kramer, Brad Whitford, Joe Perry, Steven Tyler and Tom Hamilton. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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The iconic cover of The Beatles' Abbey Road. Album cover hide caption

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Muse's Matthew Bellamy includes the heartbeat of his son in utero on the song, "Follow Me." AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Detail of the cover art from Ultraísta, the debut album from Nigel Godrich's new trio. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Ben Folds Five (from left): Robert Sledge, Darren Jessee and Ben Folds. Autumn de Wilde/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Rickie Lee Jones' new album, The Devil You Know, is a collection of covers. "I think [I recorded the album] partially to remind people that a singer is the one who interprets the song," she says. "And once you do that, it's yours." Myriam Santos/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Bonnie Raitt accepts her Lifetime Achievement Award at the Americana Music Awards in Nashville on Sept. 12, 2012. Susan Bibeau/Folk Alley hide caption

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For Aimee Mann, the moment a song begins is often just before a performance. Sheryl Nields hide caption

itoggle caption Sheryl Nields

Jonny Greenwood is responsible for the score of The Master and There Will Be Blood. S. Katan/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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John Convertino and Joey Burns have been performing as Calexico since 1996. Their latest album is called Algiers. Jairo Zavala/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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