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Kings of Leon Get Shakin'

Band preps second album for January

August 24, 2004 12:00 AM ET
Nashville rockers Kings of Leon will release their second album, A-Ha Shake Heartbreak, in January. The band reteamed with producer Ethan Johns (Ryan Adams, Counting Crows) to record the follow-up to 2003's Youth and Young Manhood earlier this summer in Studio City, California.

"We played so many shows and saw so much stuff, that when we got time off, it was just pouring out," says drummer Nathan Followill of the five-week, twelve-song recording stint, which yielded the likes of "Pistol of Fire," "Razz," "Soft" and "Milk." "On the last record there were no expectations, because we had no fans and we had never made music before," Followill says. "On this one we knew what we wanted, and we were very comfortable and confident."

Kings of Leon -- Nathan and brothers Caleb (guitar, vocals) and Jared (bass), and cousin Matthew (guitar) -- have broadened their sound from the bluesy roots of Youth and Young Manhood, and the new material reflects such diverse influences as Run-DMC, Talking Heads and the Ronettes. "There are definitely songs on there that you hear and think, 'That's the Kings of Leon,'" Nathan says, "and then there are songs that take three or four listens to realize that it's us."

Kings of Leon will head out on an East Coast U.S. tour in October.

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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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