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Song Stories

“Dyers Eve”

Metallica | 1988

One of Metallica's speediest and most ferocious songs is "Dyers Eve," the closing track of 1988's …And Justice for All. And there's a reason why the song is completely over-the-top: James Hetfield vents throughout about childhood trauma he had experienced. As the singer-guitarist explained to Rolling Stone, "'Dyers Eve' portrays a child who's been sheltered from most of the outside world, as I was with this religion that my parents were involved in, Christian Science. That alienated me from a lot of the kids at school." Perhaps due to its challenging tempo, it was not until 2004 that Metallica played "Dyers Eve" in its entirety in concert.

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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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