Song Stories

“Devil Inside”

INXS | 1988

With his alluring vocals, Michael Hutchence sang about a certain horned imp but he wasn't trying to proselytize. "It's incredible how people are raised about and become pious individuals and everybody looks up to them and they have complete faith," he told Rolling Stone. "It's wonderful to have faith, but I don't think the pope is any better than anyone else." Hutchence didn't think Jimmy Swaggart was any better either as he dedicated 'Devil' to the infamous sinner. "By addressing the devil – and I don't believe in the devil, it's a metaphor – and not trying to achieve the angel, we're a lot better off."

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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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