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Metallica Unveil "Death Magnetic" Cover

July 18, 2008 12:07 PM ET

Yesterday, Metallica unveiled the remarkably subtle cover art for its forthcoming album, Death Magnetic. We see shards of metal arranged in a curious pattern, as if by some natural force, creating a shape that looks almost like a coffin — but what does it symbolize? As always, Metallica keeps us guessing.

In an interview with Norwegian television this week, frontman James Hetfield pontificated on the dense similes the album's title is built upon. "It started out as kind of a tribute to people that have fallen in our business, like Layne Staley. Some people are drawn towards [death], just like a magnet, and other people are afraid of it and push away."

Rock Daily will take the rest of the day off to turn on the black light and really think about that one, though we have to admit that this cover is not nearly as badass as Kill 'Em All or Master of Puppets but is head and shoulders above Load and Reload.

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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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