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Coldplay Up for Mercury

Third time could be charm for British rockers

July 19, 2005 12:00 AM ET

Coldplay's X&Y is the highest-profile finalist for the 2005 Mercury Music Prize, awarded to the British/Irish album of the year by an independent panel. The nomination is the third for the London-based rockers, who received nods for 2002's A Rush of Blood to the Head and their 2000 debut, Parachutes. They have yet to win the prestigious award.

The Mercury Prize has often been awarded to burgeoning talent -- Roni Size and Badly Drawn Boy are among the past winners, and Scottish rockers Franz Ferdinand took it home last year. This year, eight of the twelve albums are debuts, including Sri Lanka-born hip-hopper M.I.A.'s Arular, coed dance-pop crew the Go! Team's Thunder, Lightning, Strike and folk singer Seth Lakeman's Kitty Jay. Three British buzz bands are also jockeying to be this year's Franz Ferdinand, as the Kaiser Chiefs' Employment, Bloc Party's Silent Alarm and Maximo Park's A Certain Trigger are nominated.

This year's winner will be announced September 6th at the 2005 Nationwide Mercury Prize Show.

The list of 2005 Mercury Prize nominees:

Antony and the Johnsons, I Am a Bird Now
Bloc Party, Silent Alarm
Coldplay, X&Y
The Go! Team, Thunder, Lightning, Strike
Hard-Fi, Stars of CCTV
KT Tunstall, Eye to the Telescope
Kaiser Chiefs, Employment
The Magic Numbers, The Magic Numbers
Maximo Park, A Certain Trigger
M.I.A., Arular
Polar Bear, Held on the Tips of Fingers
Seth Lakeman, Kitty Jay

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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