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Jody Rosen's Best of 2010

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Singles

1. Justin Bieber ft. Ludacris, "Baby"
Resistance is futile.

2. Easton Corbin, "A Little More Country Than That"
In an off-year for country, newcomer Easton Corbin was a standout. This Number One hit was a declaration of down-home traditionalism with clever lyrics and limpid singalong tune.

Critic's Picks: Christian Hoard's Best Album and Singles of 2010

3. Ke$ha, "Your Love is My Drug"
The world's most obnoxious human being has the world's catchiest choruses.

4. Trey Songz, "Love Faces"

5. Katy Perry, "Teenage Dream"

Critic's Picks: Will Hermes' Best Albums and Singles of 2010

6. Easton Corbin, "Roll With It"

7. The-Dream, "Turnt Out"

8. Taio Cruz, "Dynamite"

Rolling Stone's Best of 2010: Music, Movies, Videos, Photos and More

9. Lindstrom & Christabelle, "Lovesick"

10. Waka Flocka Flame, "Hard in Da Paint"

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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.”

More Song Stories entries »
 
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