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Song Stories

“All That She Wants”

Ace of Base | 1994

When Ace of Base recorded this reggae-inspired pop tune, singer Linn Berggen said "We knew we had made a hit." Inspired by "Another Mother," a hit by fellow-Swede Kayo, the group decided to write something similar. They sent a demo of their song--then titled "Mr. Ace"--to producer Denniz Pop, who listened to it repeatedly after the cassette got jammed in his car stereo. While the song quickly climbed the Danish and U.K. charts, distributors didn't think it could be a U.S. hit until Clive Davis, founder of Arista Records, thought otherwise.

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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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