I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive, by Steve Earle

At a book signing, Steve Earle was speaking when someone leaned on a light switch and the windowless room went dark. "Did I die?" Earle asked in a quiet voice.

Tell My Sister, by Kate & Anna McGarrigle

The McGarrigle sisters (Kate died of sarcoma last year) were more successful in their native Canada than in the States, but they were deeply admired by those who covered their songs: Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Maria Muldaur, Kate's son Rufus Wainwright.

Night of Hunters, by Tori Amos

While it's hard to imagine many pop artists signing up to write a song cycle based on the history of classical music, for Amos—whom  Deutsche Grammophon approached with this idea—the project seems almost inevitable.