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Warner Music Wants "Guitar Hero," "Rock Band" to Pay Higher Licensing Fees

August 8, 2008 1:57 PM ET

While CD sales have plunged, music video games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band have been massively successful — so now record companies want a bigger piece of the gaming pie. Warner Music Group has begun demanding the makers of music-based video games pay more for song licenses. The company's chief executive, Edgar Bronfman, compared the clout of Guitar Hero and Rock Band to MTV and the iPod, saying, "The amount being paid to the music industry, even though their games are entirely dependent on the content we own and control, is far too small."

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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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