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Streets, Franz See Mercury

Winner of U.K. prize to be announced in September

July 20, 2004 12:00 AM ET
The Streets' A Grand Don't Come for Free, Franz Ferdinand's self-titled debut, Belle and Sebastian's Dear Catastrophe Waitress, Basement Jaxx's Kish Kash and Joss Stone's Soul Sessions are among the albums nominated for U.K.'s prestigious Mercury Prize. The Mercury Prize is an annual honor bestowed on the best album released by a British artist.

The twelve albums that made the Mercury short list -- which also includes Keane's Hopes and Fears, Amy Winehouse's Frank, Jamelia's Thank You, Robert Wyatt's Cuckooland, Snow Patrol's Final Straw, Ty's Upwards and the Zutons' Who Killed . . . the Zutons -- were selected by a panel of judges, who will meet in September at the Mercury Prize Awards show in London to choose a winner.

Previous Mercury Prize winners include PJ Harvey's Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea, Badly Drawn Boy's The Hour of Bewilderbeast, Primal Scream's Screamadelica and last year's winner, Dizzee Rascal's Boy in da Corner.

A compilation album of songs from this year's nominees will be released in the U.K. in August.

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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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