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Song Stories

“Shady Love”

Scissor Sisters | 2011

Scissor Sisters planned to release "Shady Love" as the debut single from their fourth album Magic Hour, but ended up choosing "Only the Horses" as the lead, instead. The band insisted that "Shady Love," which features uncredited raps from Harlem's Azealia Banks, wasn't necessarily indicative of the feel of the rest of their LP. "It's a song we had fun making, so while it wasn't necessarily true to the direction of the album or what most people might think of as Scissors, we thought it would be good to just get out there in between albums," band member Babydaddy explained. The accompanying music video, featuring school children dancing and lip-syncing to the tune, received plenty of attention itself.

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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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