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Inside Maroon 5's Sessions for Fall Album 'Hands All Over'

Watch exclusive footage of Adam Levine and Co. in Switzerland as they prep poppiest album yet

May 18, 2010 4:05 PM ET

How do you top a twice-platinum smash album like It Won't Be Soon Before Long? For Maroon 5, you team up with the producer behind megahit records like AC/DC's Back in Black and Def Leppard's Hysteria. For their forthcoming disc Hands All Over (due out in September), the California pop-rockers jetted over to producer Robert "Mutt" Lange's studio in Lake Geneva, Switzerland, where they spent two months writing and recording their third record. Rolling Stone has exclusive footage of the group cutting the new album (check out the clip above).

"He worked me harder than anyone ever has," M5 frontman Adam Levine tells Rolling Stone. "I would come in with a finished song, and he'd say, 'That's a good start. Now strip it down to the drums and start over.' The coolest thing about him is that not only has he been a huge, legendry producer, but he also is a legit, serious writer."

The resulting disc is the band's brightest-sounding and poppiest yet. "His opinion was, 'Your success is cute, but I think you can be huge,'" says Levine. The album delivers Lange's mix of catchy hooks and punchy rhythms on the funk-rock sing-along "Misery" and stadium-ready stomper "Stutter"; Nashville stars Lady Antebellum help out on the country ballad "Out of Goodbyes." Says Levine, "Our first record was a reflection of my love for Stevie Wonder. With the second I kept going back and forth between Prince and the Police. But there was no one on my mind for this album. It's just great pop."

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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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