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Michael Franti and Spearhead Celebrate True Valentines in 'Life Is Better With You' - Song Premiere

Singer-songwriter honors bad days with the good

July 26, 2013 9:00 AM ET
Michael Franti
Michael Franti
Courtesy of Capitol Music Group

Click to listen to Michael Franti & Spearhead's "Life is Better With You"

Singer-songwriter Michael Franti's long career spans decades and genres, from the Beatnigs' industrial/punk/spoken word mesh to the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy's activist rap. Franti's style has evolved to include pop, funk, reggae and folk in his current project, Michael Franti and Spearhead, who have released a new track, "Life Is Better With You." The affectionate, buoyant song is inspired by his partner, Franti says.

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"We had a great Valentine's Day last year followed by a not-so-great day after," Franti tells Rolling Stone. "We spent the afternoon talking through it and by the end of the day, we felt closer than before."

"I told her that even my worst day with her is better than any day I had before she was in my life, and out came the words, 'Life is better with you," he says. "I picked up the guitar and wrote the song right then. I hope it inspires gratitude through the ups and downs of relationships for couples, friends, parents and kids."

"Life Is Better With You" will appear on Michael Franti and Spearhead's next LP, All People, which will be released on July 30th. You can exclusively stream the song here or preorder the album on iTunes

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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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