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Exclusive Stream: The Mars Volta, 'Noctourniquet'

Band's sixth album weaves a complex tale

March 20, 2012 10:00 AM ET
The Mars Volta
The Mars Volta
Eliot Lee Hazel

The Mars Volta are set to release their sixth studio album, Noctourniquet, the band's first since 2009. Bandmates Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez are about to embark on a busy year, having announced a reunion of their previous band, At the Drive-In, for the first time in 11 years. That band has already played a few select gigs, and the frontmen have said there will be more live dates in 2012.   

Noctourniquet, which is inspired by mythologies from the Greeks to the Superman saga, will be released on March 26th, and you can stream the album in its entirety on Spotify.

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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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