The Decemberists Ready "Singles Series," "Conan" Appearance

August 22, 2008 3:39 PM ET

Starting October 14th, the Decemberists will begin releasing their three-volume Always The Bridesmaid: A Singles Series. The first installment, available both digitally and on 10'' vinyl, will feature "O New England" and "Valerie Plame," an ode to the former CIA operative that was outed by Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff "Scooter" Libby. Additionally, the band will hit Late Night with Conan O'Brien the eve of Election Day and the other two volumes in the collection will be released on November 4th and December 2nd.

Always The Bridesmaid: A Singles Series:

Volume I. "Valerie Plame" / "O New England"
Release date: October 14, 2008

Volume II. "Days of Elaine" / "Days of Elaine (long)" and "I'm Sticking With You"
Release date: November 4, 2008

Volume III. "Record Year" / "Raincoat Song"
Release date: December 2, 2008

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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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