EW Staff
September 16, 2011 AT 04:00 AM EDT

1. ”Rip Her to Shreds” (1976)
”It’s so dirty and menacing. It’s what we all do when we’re getting catty — that’s what the New York scene was like. There’s toughness, but a lot of affection as well. It’s like being roasted.”

2. ”One Way or Another” (1979)
”I was actually stalked by a nutjob, so it came out of a not-so-friendly personal event. I tried to inject a little levity into it to make it more lighthearted. It was a survival mechanism.”

3. ”Rapture” (1980)
”This was the first song with rap in it that went to number one. A lot of rappers have told me that it was the first rap song they ever heard, because rap really wasn’t on the radio then.”

4. ”Maria” (1999)
”[Keyboardist] Jimmy [Destri] had the basic idea, then we built up that pulsating verse. The chorus really flies; it has undone many a karaoke singer. And me.”

5. ”Mother” (2011)
”It’s about a very adventurous club I used to go to in [New York City’s] Meatpacking District that embodied a lot of energy: music, comedy, drama, a whole fetish thing.”

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