"Oh By The Way": Pink Floyd Celebrates 40th Anniversary

October 25, 2007 1:11 PM ET

If you thought Pink Floyd had exhausted all their fortieth anniversary surprises after they unleashed their three-disc The Piper at the Gates of Dawn reissue, think again. The band is releasing the massive Oh By The Way, which culls together all of the band's proper studio albums into one box set. Technically, the band formed around 1965, making them forty-two, but this belated birthday present makes up for the oversight. Each compact disc is repackaged in mini-vinyl reproductions, complete with all the posters and postcards and dust jackets that accompanied the original records, except tiny-sized. They even brought back the original, iconic Dark Side of the Moon album cover for the first time since 1993, which is enough to warrant purchase. While the set includes every studio album from Piper to 1994's The Division Bell, it curiously lacks the must-have rarities collection Relics. Storm Thorgersen, who is responsible for the majority of PF's most well known artwork, was even employed to design the new cover. There are additional rumors that there might be an accompanying DVD featuring interviews and live performances. The set is out December 4th, giving people adequate time to wrap this behemoth in time for the holidays.

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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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