iTunes Plus Subtracting Price, Adding Indies

October 17, 2007 1:05 PM ET

Since iTunes Plus launched with cautious fanfare in late May, things have been relatively quiet on the Plus front. The service, which mainly featured EMI's stacked catalogue (sans Beatles and Radiohead), offers higher-quality, DRM-free MP3s at a greater cost than the normal iTunes store. That has changed: As of today, Apple lowered the price on DRM-free tracks from $1.29 to $0.99. Price-cutting isn't the only news over on the Plus side: the service will also add more independent labels to their roster of DRM-free tracks. iTunes' latest moves are likely a response to the prices on Amazon.com's digital music service, which offers DRM-free tracks for $.89 to $.99.

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iTunes Plus: Worth The Fuss?
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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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