.

Song Stories

“Thinkin Bout You”

Frank Ocean | 2012

Odd Future's crooner spun himself off from that collective by releasing a mixtape, working with Kanye West and writing tracks for a few big names. "Thinkin Bout You," which has Ocean hoping a girl from his past still keeps him in mind, was originally intended for R&B singer Bridget Kelly. But Ocean's demo version was leaked, a music video followed, and then the song became the lead single from his debut album. Kelly still recorded it, and she talked about all the confusion. "I think the unfortunate thing is that everyone [saw] it as Frank's record so when mine came out, it was kinda like, wait a minute, she's covering Frank Ocean's song," she said. "And it was like, not really. Your boy actually demoed my song."

prev
Song Stories Main Next

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.”

More Song Stories entries »
www.expandtheroom.com