Flaming Lips' Double Album "Embryonic" Due in the Fall

June 17, 2009 8:26 AM ET

Contrary to popular belief, churning out a double album isn't easy, the Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne tells the BBC's 6 Music blog. Nailing down a track list has been hard, he says, "Because we want to go in so many strange directions and sometimes we're unfocused and sometimes we're just so wishy-washy." The two-disc set is due in September, and though song names and a track order have yet to be determined, Coyne is ready to wrap up the follow-up to 2006's At War With The Mystics: "I think it must be like being a cook in the kitchen you're preparing this great thing but by the time it's ready you're sick of it because you've been smelling it, you've got it in your hair and in your fingers and all that." Of course, a two-disc set isn't the most ambitious project the Lips have tackled: in 1997 they released Zaireeka, four albums meant to be played simultaneously. The Lips most recently recorded a cover of Madonna's "Borderline" and had "Do You Realize???" named Oklahoma's official rock song.

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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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