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Song Stories

“Rock Soldiers”

Ace Frehley | 1987

In early 1982, Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley was involved in two serious car accidents - one of which involved a high-speed police car chase on the Bronx River Parkway (and the destruction of Frehley's DeLorean car). And on his first post-Kiss solo album, Frehley's Comet, Ace opted to document this reckless period of his life, in the form of "Rock Soldiers." As he explained in his bio, No Regrets: "'Rock Soldiers' was inspired by my ill-fated trip in the DeLorean but also evokes images of the crash that nearly killed me and Anton [Fig]. It is, more than anything else, a song about rock star excess, and was written very honestly about my own life experiences, which, as it turned out, were far from over." Frehley co-wrote the tune with Chip Taylor, the same gentleman that penned both "Angel of the Morning" and "Wild Thing."

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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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