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The Week in Music: Oscar Predictions, Lady Gaga and the Strokes Album Previews, and More

Also: The record industry responds to pop stars performing for Qaddafi's family

February 25, 2011 5:30 PM ET
The Week in Music: Oscar Predictions, Lady Gaga and the Strokes Album Previews, and More
Jason Merritt/Getty Images

We are totally obsessed with the Oscars this week. In our full guide to this weekend's Academy Awards, Rolling Stone movie critic Peter Travers offered his picks in the top acting categories – Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress – and split into "Hollywood Travers" and "Indie Travers" to duke it out over who should win for Best Picture.

Travers also gave reasons why each of the 10 films nominated for Best Picture -- 127 Hours, Black Swan, The Fighter, Inception, The Kids Are All Right, The King's Speech, The Social Network, Toy Story 3, True Grit and Winter's Bone – may win or lose on Sunday night. (Travers will also be live-Tweeting from the Oscars – follow along at twitter.com/petertravers.)

Photos: Oscar's Best Original Songs – The Rightful Winners and the Snubbed Losers 

Rolling Stone provided advance previews of two of the year's most hotly anticipated albums this week. Rob Sheffield gave a track-by-track rundown for the Strokes' new record Angles, and we also reported on six songs from Lady Gaga's forthcoming album Born This Way.

Photos: Rolling Stone Fact-Checks Famous Rock Songs

We also covered Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine's performance at the pro-labor rally on Monday in Wisconsin and the record industry's response to the revelation that artists such as Usher, Mariah Carey and Beyoncé have accepted big money to perform for the family of Libyan dictator Col. Muammar al-Qaddafi.

Also, Peter, Bjorn and John came by our office to perform a set for Rolling Stone Live, one-man dance pop spectacle Diamond Rings was named our latest Artist to Watch, and as always, we reviewed all the week's hottest new releases.

Photos: Rock's Most Iconic Hair Styles

On the television front, we recapped this week's booze-centric episode of Glee, chronicled the diminishing social status of the Situation on Jersey Shore, and commented on Jennifer Lopez's surprising show of emotion and handicapped the Top 24 finalists in this week's American Idol coverage.

Photos: I'm a Belieber - Greatest Superfan Communities

In the world of politics, Michael Hastings filed a shocking investigative report about how the U.S. Army illegally ordered a team of soldiers specializing in "psychological operations" to manipulate visiting American senators into providing more troops and funding for the war in Afghanistan. Also, Tim Dickinson wondered about what will happen to Libya's stockpiles of chemical weapons and uranium after the collapse of Qaddafi's regime, and Matt Taibbi discussed Wall Street corruption with Democracy Now host Amy Goodman.

Photos: Random Notes

Plus, the first round of our Do You Wanna Be a Rock & Roll Star? contest is still in progress! If you didn't know, 16 unsigned bands are competing to not only appear on the cover of Rolling Stone, but also win a contract with Atlantic Records and make their debut television appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. We encourage you to check out all the bands and vote for your favorites -- your vote counts, so let your voice be heard!

The Hottest Live Photos of the Week

We also posted a gallery of your Top 10 favorite Beatles albums, as determined by your votes on Facebook and Twitter. Our question for you this weekend is: What is the best cover version of all time? You can answer on our website, on facebook.com/rollingstone or on Twitter with the #weekendrock hashtag.

LAST WEEK: Bieber Fever, Grammys Aftermath, Radiohead's New Album and More

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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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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