All I Need

This was the song that finally succeeded in capturing my growing feelings for Brandy, after several failed attempts to write something for her.  As described before, I felt like I’d written all the love songs I could squeeze out of one lifetime, and fell flat trying to dip back into those rich (but well-worn) inspirations.  I was patient though, even to the point of deciding it didn’t matter if I ever wrote her a good song; the love was the real thing, whether or not it inspired a decent tune. 

Taking the pressure off myself must have done the trick because when this song started coming, it felt like a whole new vista of possibilities opening.  When I sing “maybe / other times I’ve been in love were baby / steps…” I’m not just referring to past loves, but past songs I’ve written.  It was my way to take the most clichéd rhyme in pop music – Maybe-Baby – and twist it into a fresher image.  Plus, when I came out with “baby steps” it led straight into the lines, “…and now I’m walking next to you / Straight and tall and true” which suggested the lyric for what became the bridge or pre-chorus, “We’re on solid ground.”  The next line, “I’d like to keep you around” is deliciously understated and became the hook of that pre-chorus. 

I couldn’t resist incorporating further clichés like “bringing out the best in me” and “you complete me” – even old chestnuts can resonate with truth.  But my favorite lines are still the opening, which convinced me I was on to something when I first spontaneously sang them.  Though we’d been together only a few months, it was already true that we’d “had lots of perfect moments” and when I wrote 14 years ago that it was “easy to see that there will be a whole lot more,” I could never have predicted just how many more perfect moments we would experience.  And more will certainly come.

As for more songs, only two remain from Suite: Dreams! Tomorrow we’ll be back in dreamland listening to Dream With Me, the most intimate song on the album, just guitar and my voice (in about 8 harmonies)!

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