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Song Stories

“Hey Jane”

Spiritualized | 2012

Jason Pierce of Spiritualized told Rolling Stone that Lou Reed's music — in particular, his 1970 song "Sweet Jane" — influenced this eight-minute-long song. "It was a kind of idea that rock & roll is such a big part of me," he said. "I wanted to write on a thing that reflected the sadness and the demise of that in that record. Hence the name Jane. It was written specifically about a couple of people, but the name 'Jane' seems as fitting as any. There is a line in the middle of it, where she is listening to 'Sweet Jane' on the radio."

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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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