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The Rolling Stones Sign Deal with Universal Music Group

July 25, 2008 12:08 PM ET

The Rolling Stones made the move from their longtime label EMI to Universal official today, signing a long-term deal that not only encompasses future albums but also includes the band's post-Sticky Fingers catalog. The Stones released their concert film soundtrack Shine A Light through UMG earlier this year. EMI lobbied hard to bring the band back after their contract expired, but the tumultuous year the label has had since being acquired by equity firm Terra Firma perhaps ushered the Stones' exile from EMI. Live Nation were also rumored to be in the bidding for the band's services. The Stones will release their UMG albums through the company's Polydor label, marking the first time the entire Stones catalog shared the same label. The UMG deal also includes the digital rights to the Stones discography. The Rolling Stones mark the third major artist to leave EMI in the past year, joining Paul McCartney and Radiohead.

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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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