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Exclusive Stream: Neon Trees Draw on Eclectic Influences for 'Mad Love'

Preview a song from the band's upcoming album 'Picture Show'

April 12, 2012 2:00 PM ET
neon trees
Neon Trees
Autumn De Wilde

Neon Trees drew on a wide variety of influences when writing and recording "Mad Love," a highlight from their forthcoming album Picture Show, their second. "This song went from being a fast punk song a la the Descendants or old Weezer to being demoed as something from Tunnel of Love-era Bruce Springsteen," says frontman Tyler Glenn. "I love this song. I was inspired by the Human League and Yaz as much as I was inspired by Roy Orbison when I wrote it. I love its evolution. [Drummer] Elaine [Bradley] has always had such a beautiful voice, but it never seemed to fit into a Neon Trees song before because of its purity. I think that finally this song gave her vocal a platform to work!" Picture Show will be in stores on April 17th, but you can pre-order it today from iTunes.

Mad Love by Neon Trees

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

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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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