The ultimate love song, written by John Legend and songwriter Toby Gad in the lead-up to Legend’s wedding in Sept 2013. He sang the song to his new wife, Chrissy Teigen, during their wedding ceremony on Lake Como.
It was suggested to him by one of his managers to write a song dedicated to his fiancee with a similar message to Billy Joel’s She’s Always a Woman to Me, and you can certainly hear the similarities both musically and lyrically.
The song is striking because of it’s simplicity, which makes it all the more astounding that it was a no. 1 hit. At it’s core it’s just piano and vocals. Some backing vocals enter the mix after a while, some sounding natural, others towards the end with a bit of a robotic sound but they all add to the feel of the song.
I wrote about Paul Simon’s Bridge Over Troubled Water a couple of weeks ago – another stripped back hit ballad – and how it might not have ben a hit only for Clive Davis and Columbia records putting their weight behind it.
Because pop hits usually need a bit more punch to succeed.
But from time to time, if you get it just right, all you need is a stand-out vocal performance, a well-crafted piano accompaniment (I love how the intro becomes the backing track for the first verse), and an authentic and well-written message.
It’s the latest song that students and subscribers are dissecting and learning how to play on my online piano tuition service.
6 questions on it here – go on – test yourself.