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Comebacks 2006: The Who

For its 2006 Year in Music issue, 'Rolling Stone' looks at the year's redux artists

Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend of The Who perform in support of the bands 'Endless Wire' release at the HP Pavilion on November 8th, 2006 in San Jose, California.
Tim Mosenfelder/Getty
December 28, 2006

The last time the Who hit the studio for a new album, 1982's It's Hard, they put an Atari machine on the cover to look up-to-date. Since then, that Atari has become an antique – and bassist John Entwistle died on the eve of the band's 2002 reunion tour. As Pete Townshend said this year, "There has been some terrible, terrible stuff happening around this band for a long, long time." But even with only half of the Who still alive. Townshend and Roger Daltrey soldiered on with a big tour and the acclaimed new Endless Wire. Talk about an old-school Who album – it even came complete with a mini rock opera.

This story is from the December 28th, 2006 issue of Rolling Stone.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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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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