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Erykah Badu Debuts "Window Seat" on "Fallon": On the Scene

March 4, 2010 9:43 AM ET

At noon yesterday, Erykah Badu strolled into the cramped, freezing Studio 6B at New York's NBC Studios in Rockefeller Center to rehearse "Window Seat" for Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. The singer, who's prepping for the release of New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh on March 30th, arrived in a Slash-style top hat (which she wore on-air) atop her waist-long dreadlocks and walked straight into the center of the action, where a seven-piece band, including Roots drummer ?uestlove, had been warming up, running through the tune's silken groove over and over again. Badu offered a few musical directions regarding the bass and her backup singers, and rehearsed the song with her eyes closed, in deep focus.

If Badu was nervous when the show taped several hours later, nobody could tell: watch the full performance above, and keep an eye out for Rolling Stone's feature on the singer in an upcoming issue. Plus, read more about New Amerykah Part Two in our new issue's Spring Music Preview, where Badu reveals she recorded "Window Seat" in her shower to achieve the track's moody vibe: "I wanted to sound like I was in a tunnel. I got my laptop and closed the door."

Related Stories:
Erykah Badu, Lil Wayne Channel Funkadelic for "Jump in the Air"

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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.”

More Song Stories entries »
 
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