We’re Almost There

Michael Jackson was as famed for his high-pitched voice as he was for his plastic surgery.  Allegedly, his softly-spoken manner was a direct result of his father Joe forcing him to undergo chemical castration making him get hormone injections at age 12 in a bid to delay puberty and keep his singing voice high.  After 1971, The Jackson 5 saw a steady decline from their early supernova success and that is when Michael and Jermaine started pursuing individual careers.  Puberty eventually kicked in and Michael’s voice changed around 1973–4.  His innocent smooth voice began to roughen out and began to grow into the raspy voice that the world knows and loves.  New songs were needed when

Michael’s voice started maturing, as his earlier high-pitched vocals suited when his voice dropped several octaves.  Brian Holland & Eddie Holland were brought in by Motown to help write music for Michael’s fourth studio album Forever, Michael and Hal Davis produced this 1975 album.  The single ‘We’re Almost There’ peaked at #54 on the Billboard Pop singles chart and it went to #7 on the Billboard R&B (Soul) Singles chart.

The Holland brothers helped to breathe new life into Michael Jackson’s solo career, trying their best to build a solid and convincing narrative to suit the young singer.  Michael sings about believing in, and wanting to reach, that distant point on the horizon where happiness becomes reality.  By staying focused and not giving up, moving forward, holding on, and taking one more step, because he is almost there could be seen as circumstances that were happening in Michael’s life at this time.  Michael was always trying to give it his best, even though he never attained the happiness that he deserved.  The young Michael is enticing us with promises that dreams can come true for lovers even though it may be a long hard climb.

This album would be his final one released with Motown before he and his brothers The Jackson 5, save for Jermaine, who remained with Motown left for CBS Records a year later.  This album displayed a change in musical style for the sixteen-year-old, who adopted a smoother soul sound that he would continue to develop on his later solo records for Epic Records.  Most Of the tracks were recorded in 1974, and the album was originally set to be released that year.  However, because of demand from the Jackson 5’s huge hit ‘Dancing Machine’, production on Michael’s album was delayed until the hype from that song died down.  Two years had gone by, and Jackson’s fourth solo album left him a bit bereft.

No matter how hard
The task may seem
Don’t give up our plans
Don’t give up our dreams

No broken bridges
Can turn us around
Cause what we’re searchin’ for
Will soon be found

Cause we’re almost there
Just one more step
(Cause we’re almost there)
Just one more step
(Just one more step)
Don’t give up
‘Cause we’re almost all almost there
(‘Cause we’re almost there)

(Look at the lovers)
Look at the lonely lovers
That didn’t make it
Life’s long hard climb
(Life’s long hard climb)
They just couldn’t take it
(They just couldn’t take it)

Don’t let it happen to me and you
Hold on together, darlin’
We’ll make it through

Darlin’, keep on reachin’ out for me
Keep on reachin, do it for me
Do it for me, cause baby

(‘Cause we’re almost there)
(We’re almost there)
(‘Cause we’re almost there)

We’re so close
I can taste it
A life so sweet
Can’t afford to waste it
(Can’t afford to waste it)

Need to feel your hand
Slippin’ from mine?
Just hold on tighter now, darlin’
Keep on tryin’

Baby, do it for me, do it do it baby
(Cause we’re almost there)
Just one more step
(We’re almost there)
Don’t give up
(Cause we’re almost there)
Just one more step

Baby baby, don’t give up
(‘Cause we’re almost there)
Keep on, keep on
(We’re almost there)
Just one more step
(‘Cause we’re almost there)
Cause we’re almost there


Just one more step
Cause we’re almost there
We’ve come to far
To turn around


Keep on reachin’
For higher ground
We’ve had our ups and we’ve had our downs
Let nothin’ in the world darlin’
Turn us around

Cause we’re almost there
We’re almost there
We’re almost there

Everything we’re lookin’ for
We’re almost there
Keep on reachin’ out for me

Cause we’re almost there darlin’
We’re almost there
We’re almost there darlin’
We’re almost there
We’re almost there

Ah we’re almost there
Written for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie MM Music Challenge #191 – Rock With You.

Rock With You – Challenge #191

Michael Jackson was born on August 29, 1958 and he dreamed of playing the role of Spiderman so much that he once tried to purchase Marvel Comics when it filed for bankruptcy just so he could cast himself as the character. On June 25, 2009, the day that Jackson died, Wikipedia, AOL, and Twitter all crashed at the same time at 3:15 pm. Despite boasting assets of $1 billion at the time of his death, Jackson also allegedly owed $500 million in unpaid debts. Michael was so impressed with the treatment he received at the Brotman Medical Center in California following the accident in the Pepsi commercial, that he donated $1.5 million to the hospital, which resulted in them naming it the “Michael Jackson Burn Center.”
Michael Jackson created the Neverland Ranch mansion named for the home where Peter Pan lived to be a private theme park, where he would entertain children. Jackson has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one for his work as a solo artist and the other as a part of the Jackson 5. Michael was afraid of his father, because he would beat him with a belt when he made mistakes performing as a child in the family band. Thriller is the only music video preserved for posterity by the US Library of Congress, recognizing its contribution to American media and culture. Jackson was scheduled to be attending a meeting at the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11, however, he missed the event because he overslept.

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Michal Jackson included this song on his fifth solo album Off The Wall which was released in 1979 and it reached #1 in the US and charted #7 in the UK.  Quincy Jones produced this album and he met Michael when he starred as the Scarecrow in the failed Broadway musical production of The Whiz in 1978.  Quincy Jones arranged the musical scores for The Wiz and he was impressed by Michael’s dedication.  Rod Temperton wrote this song, and he was the keyboard player and primary songwriter in the UK funk-disco group Heatwave who had a hit in 1977 with ‘Boogie Nights’.  The Heatwave debut album Too Hot to Handle included the song ‘Turn Out the Lamplight’ which appeared on George Benson’s album Give me the Night, and this was written by Temperton and produced by Quincy Jones.  Quincy Jones enlisted Temperton to write some songs for Jackson and the arrangement…

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Holding On and Holding It In

Building a Mystery’ is a song by Sarah McLachlan, from her fourth studio album Surfacing, which was released in 1997.  Sarah explained the song as being about the fact that we all have insecurities to hide, and we often do that by putting on a facade.  She says that “unfortunately, if we just be who we are, that’s usually the more attractive and beautiful thing.”  ‘Building a Mystery’ was Canada’s best-selling single of 1997, topping the country’s official chart for eight weeks, and it peaked at #13 in the United States.

This song is about a woman that is in love with nameless character that is dressed in Rasta wear and he only comes out at night.  There is an energy that comes from his dark side and that is why she finds herself attracted to him.  McLachlan’s lover is constructing his identity to give an impression of mysteriousness to the outside world, but this guy is really strange as he writes suicide poetry, and wears a cross from a faith that died before Jesus came.  He is building up a mystery about himself, by living in a church, sleeping with voodoo dolls and being a non-conformist by wearing sandals in the snow.  He seems to be searching for the ghosts in the halls and the only light comes from the street lamps of a city at night, where the vampires roam.  I think that the real mystery in this song is why she loves this dark figure of a man.

I guess it is possible that this dude could be a warlock who has a magical smile that she just can’t seem to wash away from her brain.  She wonders if he can look out of a window without his shadow getting in the way, because he is so beautiful.  She mentions that he has an edge and a charm, but it seems strange to her that he is always so careful when she is in his arms.  She is trying to hold on by holding in all of her feelings and this just builds up the mystery more.  He woke up screaming a prayer from his secret god to feed off fears and hold back tears.  He threw a tantrum with his know-it-all grin at the right time, when the evening’s air gets thin.  This guy is clearly different, going way beyond that of being unique.  He may be dangerous, but he has a hold on this woman and she feels a connection to him.

You come out at night
That’s when the energy comes
And the dark side’s light
And the vampires roam
You strut your rasta wear
And your suicide poem
And a cross from a faith
That died before Jesus came
You’re building a mystery

You live in a church
Where you sleep with voodoo dolls
And you won’t give up the search
For the ghosts in the halls
You wear sandals in the snow
And a smile that won’t wash away
Can you look out the window
Without your shadow getting in the way?
Oh, you’re so beautiful
With an edge and a charm
But so careful
When I’m in your arms

‘Cause you’re working
Building a mystery
Holding on and holding it in
Yeah, you’re working
Building a mystery
And choosing so carefully

You woke up screaming aloud
A prayer from your secret god
You feed off our fears
And hold back your tears
Oh, give us a tantrum
And a know-it-all grin
Just when we need one
When the evening’s thin

You’re so beautiful
A beautiful fucked up man
You’re setting up your
Razor wire shrine

‘Cause you’re working
Building a mystery
Holding on and holding it in
Yeah you’re working
Building a mystery
And choosing so carefully
Ooh, you’re working
Building a mystery
Holding on and holding it in
Yeah you’re working
Building a mystery
And choosing so carefully

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Possession – Challenge #190.

Possession – Challenge #190

Sarah McLachlan is 53 and she sings, plays piano, keyboards, guitar, banjo, ukulele and the harp. In 1998, she won Female Vocalist of the Year, Songwriter of the Year (along with her producer Pierre Marchand), Single of the Year for ‘Building a Mystery’, and Album of the Year for Surfacing. In 1999, Sarah McLachlan was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada by then-Governor General Adrienne Clarkson in recognition of her successful recording career, her role in Lilith Fair, and the charitable donations she made to women’s shelters across Canada. In 2000, she won an International Achievement award and in 2004, won Pop Album of the Year for Afterglow and again shared the Songwriter of the Year award with Pierre Marchand for the singles ‘Fallen’, ‘World on Fire’, and ‘Stupid’. In 2001, she was inducted to the Order of British Columbia. On October 23, 2001, ‘Building a Mystery’ became the first song ever played on an Apple iPod. Apple Founder, Chairman and CEO Steven P. Jobs selected and played a short portion of the song at the iPod Introduction keynote held at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California. It was the first song in his “Favorites” playlist. On February 12, 2010, McLachlan performed her song ‘Ordinary Miracle’ at the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

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‘Possession’ was the break-out hit on Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan’s best-selling third studio album Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, which was released in 1993.  The song was inspired by McLachlan’s reaction to two deranged fans, both of whom had concocted a fantasy in which they were already in a relationship with her.  Sarah said that writing this song was very therapeutic for her, and after it was released, she had stopped getting stalker-type fan letters, which made her grateful.  From a young age, McLachlan attracted a lot of attention in the music industry and she was offered a contract while she was still in school, but her parents encouraged her to focus on her studies.  In 1988, she released her first album, Touch, which was an instant hit and in 1991 her second album Solace was released.

McLachlan is known for founding the tour Lilith Fair a concert tour and travelling music…

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Get To You

Dion Francis DiMucci, better known magnanimously as Dion, the guy who was an original member of the 1950s doo-wop group Dion and the Belmonts that were from the Bronx, New York City has had a career filled with highs and lows, but Dion never stopped making music.  For the past 17 years, he’s been a bluesman, singing in a voice that has barely weathered, and in late 2005 he recorded Bronx in Blue, the first of half a dozen albums that have highlighted his guitar skills and his command of blues and traditional country music.  In 2020, Dion released Blues with Friends, a collection of original blues songs performed as duets with such superstar pals as Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, Van Morrison, and Billy Gibbons.  Now 82, he just released a new single last Wednesday, which sounds really good to me.  This song is titled ‘I’ve Got To Get To You’ and it sounds a lot like an old Canned Hear song to me.

‘I’ve Got To Get To You’ features vocals from the great Boz Scaggs as well participation from the father and son guitar team of Mike and Joe Menza.  Dion wrote this with long-time collaborator Mike Aquilina.  Dion said that he tried to get every form of transportation imaginable in this song and he was inspired to write this song after a conversation with Roy Orbison more than fifty years ago.  It is a fun track featuring lots of rockin’ guitars and the video is fun to watch.

I’ll take a helicopter or a Concord jet
A creaky elevator or a red Corvette
I’ll water ski an ocean, ride a tugboat too
There isn’t a single thing that I wouldn’t do

I’ve got to get to you, woah
Got to get to you
Got to get to you, woah
I’ve got to get to you

You know I’d drive an ice cream truck or wagon train
I’d climb the highest flagpole in the pourin’ rain
I’ll take a city subway or a ten-speed bike
Just shoot me out a circus cannon if you like

I’ve got to get to you, woah
Got to get to you
Got to get to you, woah
I’ve got to get to you

Love is kind
It suffers long
It’s never proud or jealous
Love will never do you wrong
Good God
Love will never fail us

I’d jockey a camel on the burnin’ sand
Scale every mountain peak across the land
I’d steer a locomotive or roller skate
Because my motor’s runnin’ and it’s gettin’ late

I’ve got to get to you, woah
Got to get to you
Got to get to you, woah
I’ve got to get to you

You know I’d ride a steamboat or a motorcycle
I’d roll across the earth upon a unicycle
I’d grab a taxi, I’d pay the fare
Hop in a hot air balloon ‘cause I really care

I’ve got to get to you, woah
Got to get to you
Got to get to you, woah
I’ve got to get to you

Who took the sun and gave you rain?
Who filled your heart with sorrow?
Who came and stole your tender years?
Who filled your eyes with tears of no tomorrow?

You know I’d drive a tractor or a limousine
I’d try a Pogo stick or a submarine
I’d push a scooter, I’d use an ATC
A rickshaw or a dog sled
It’s all the same to me

I’ve got to get to you, woah
Got to get to you
Got to get to you, woah
I’ve got to get to you

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Can’t Get It Outta My Head – Challenge #189.

Can’t Get It Outta My Head – Challenge #189

ELO was formed in Birmingham, England in the autumn of 1970 from the ashes of the eccentric art-pop combo the Move, reuniting frontman Roy Wood with guitarist/composer Jeff Lynne, bassist Rick Price, and drummer Bev Bevan. Lynne joined the Move as a second guitarist and pianist and the last Move album and the first Electric Light Orchestra album were recorded at the same time and during the same recording sessions. Announcing their intentions to “pick up where ‘I Am the Walrus’ left off”, the quartet (Wood, Lynne, Price and Bevan) sought to embellish their engagingly melodic rock with classical flourishes, tapping French horn player Bill Hunt and violinist Steve Woolam to record their self-titled debut LP (issued as No Answer in the U.S.). In the months between the sessions for the album and its eventual release, the Move embarked on their farewell tour, with Woolam exiting the ELO lineup prior to the enlistment of violinist Wilf Gibson, bassist Richard Tandy, and cellists Andy Craig and Hugh McDowell.

ELO released 12 albums between 1971 through 1973. Roy Wood left the group in 1972 and the group disbanded in 1986. Lynne released two solo albums Armchair Theatre (1990) and Long Wave (2012). Additionally, he began producing various artists. In 1988, under the pseudonyms Otis Wilbury and Clayton Wilbury, he co-founded the supergroup Traveling Wilburys with George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, and Tom Petty. Lynne’s songwriting and production collaborations with former Beatles led him to co-produce their Anthology reunion singles from John Lennon demos ‘Free as a Bird’ (1995) and ‘Real Love’ (1996). In 2014, Lynne reformed ELO and resumed concert touring under the name “Jeff Lynne’s ELO”. ELO did have a brief reunion from 2000 to 2001, without Lynne, but ELO remained largely inactive until Lynne joined again. In 2017, the key members of ELO (Wood, Lynne, Bevan and Tandy) were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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Until 1974, the Electric Light Orchestra had managed only modest hits with ‘Showdown’ and a cover of Chuck Berry’s ‘Roll Over Beethoven’, but their fourth studio album Eldorado was a big turning point for them.  It featured the song ‘Can’t Get It Out of My Head’ written by Jeff Lynne which reached #9 on the US charts.  Eldorado did not chart in the UK where ELO is from, but it reached #16 on the Billboard 200 album chart.  A 30-piece orchestra and choir were used on this album and ELO was not just a rock band with strings, they became a rock and roll orchestra, with Louis Clark being brought in to arrange and conduct the strings.  Clark would later become a full group member.  Eldorado is the first complete ELO concept album and bandleader Jeff Lynne conceived the storyline before he wrote any music.  The plot follows a Walter Mitty-like character (a meek, mild man with a vivid fantasy…

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The Moon Doesn’t Have a Dark Side

Every part of the Moon gets an equal amount of light from the Sun.  The phenomenon known as tidal locking which provides the same rotational period as its orbital period around a partner is what gives the moon its dark side.  Since our Moon is tidally locked with the Earth, it rotates in exactly the same time as it takes to orbit the Earth, thus it will always show the same face to the Earth.  This synchronous rotation where the moon spins around its own axis once for each time it orbits around us on Earth prevents us from seeing what we call the back of the moon.  We can only see 59% of the Moon over the course of an orbit and the other 41% is referred to as the dark side of the Moon.

In order to fully appreciate the last song on the Pink Floyd album Dark Side Of The Moon, which is called ‘Eclipse’ you should listen to all the songs that come before this on the album, because this is a concept album, where each side of the album is a continuous piece of music.  ‘Eclipse’ seamlessly follows ‘Brain Damage’, so these two songs are often paired together and they were played that way on the radio.  I am not going to get into the meanings of all these songs, because that post could go on forever, but I will touch on what I think ‘Eclipse’ is about.  The lyrics are very simple but the meaning behind them seems kind of deep to me.  I tend to think that “all” basically has the same meaning as “everything” and there are only two lines in this song that don’t include at least one of these words and this is why I am going deep.  Get ready to stand on your tippy toes, because I am ready to start shoveling it and soon you will be up to your ears, or your eyeballs trying to survive the whole enchilada.  Better yet, make sure that you are wearing your waders, but I will leave what you wear under your waders up to you.

People make patterns out of things and we organize things into groups.  This song deals with senses (touch, sight and taste) and emotions (love, hate and distrust) and then it moves on to common traits that are shared by humanity.  All and everything bot represent wholeness, which could be unity or something that is unbroken, or not damaged.  Having this wholeness allows us to transcend any limitations in life that may be holding us back.  Actions that you take in life can easily become contradictions, and people will “beg, borrow or steal”, or do whatever they think is necessary to get something that they want or feel they need to be complete.  Life seems to be a vicious circle where things are created and then destroyed finally meeting their end, so when the sun is eclipsed by the moon, the light disappears and “all that is now, all that is gone, all that’s to come” will melt together and whether your thoughts are on This, That or The Other, “everything under the sun is in tune” and you will finally have this unity in your brain, but now I am in so deep, I don’t see any way of getting out of this song.

All that you touch
And all that you see
All that you taste
All you feel
And all that you love
And all that you hate
All you distrust
All you save
And all that you give
And all that you deal
And all that you buy
Beg, borrow or steal
And all you create
And all you destroy
And all that you do
And all that you say
And all that you eat
And everyone you meet (everyone you meet)
And all that you slight
And everyone you fight
And all that is now
And all that is gone
And all that’s to come
And everything under the sun is in tune
But the sun is eclipsed by the moon

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Standing on the Moon – Challenge #188.

Standing on the Moon – Challenge #188

Michael Jackson did the Moon Walk and 12 men have walked on the moon, but Jerry Garcia was not among them. All of these astronauts were part of the US Apollo program and these lunar landings occurred between July 1969 and December 1972. I guess it might be fun to collect some interesting moon rocks and drive around in that lunar rover and maybe take some selfies with the Earth in the background, but if I went there, the only thing on my mind would be getting back home. A total of six flags have been planted on the Moon, one for each US Apollo landing. Unfortunately, Apollo 11’s flag was too close to the landing module and it was knocked over by the exhaust when the module launched again.

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‘Standing on the Moon’ was written by Robert Hunter and sung by Jerry Garcia and recorded on the thirteenth and final studio album by the Grateful Dead Built to Last, which was released in 1989.  This song is said to be about a homesick space traveler, and it incorporates solitude which is sad and solemn, but it has a message of love and it carries a political statement, as it is considered to be an anti-war song that begs us to hear the cries of children.  Robert Hunter stated this song came to him all at once, and he jotted it down on paper with no changes, like it came “Out of the head of Zeus, full-born and clad in armor.”  Jerry didn’t like to go back to songs and redo parts of them, so when Hunter handed the lyrics to Garcia, they had to be a finished product.

Jerry Garcia…

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Make Your Dreams Come True

Bob Dylan wrote the song ‘Make You Feel My Love’ for his 30th studio album Time Out Of Mind which was released in 1997.  This beautiful song is about regretting not being with someone, and no matter what life throws at you, if you can always be there to offer them a warm embrace, and try to hold you for a million years, or go to the end of the earth for then, to make them feel your love, you can live your life without any regrets.  Dylan is not afraid of being humiliated, ridiculed, or embarrassed and he is not concerned with his dignity, as he is willing to go hungry, get bruised, beaten up and go black and blue, or even go crawling down the avenue, so there is nothing that he wouldn’t do for this love.  True love knows no boundaries and if you really love another person, rain and wind blowing in your face will not deter you from being with them.

Love is the sole inspiration that brings most people together, just like the Captain and Tennille predicted.  Love can make your dreams come true, but it is also a funny thing.  In ancient times, people genuinely considered love to be a sickness.  Parents warned their children against it, and adults quickly arranged marriages before their children were old enough to do something dumb in the name of their emotions.  Falling in love can make you feel all sorts of crazy and wonderful things, as your heart may race whenever your partner is near and you might even get those butterflies in your stomach and so many other things may happen to your body when you fall in love.

Adele decided to cover this song ‘Make You Feel My Love’ on her debut album 19 which was released in 2008.  Adele wrote 9 songs in a short space of time, all about this awful relationship that she was in, but when she heard the Bob Dylan song, she felt that it summed up exactly what she had been trying to say in her songs.  She said that it was weird that her favorite song on this album was a cover, but she knew that it belonged there.


When the rain is blowing in your face
And the whole world is on your case
I could offer you a warm embrace
To make you feel my love
When the evening shadows and the stars appear
And there is no one there to dry your tears
I could hold you for a million years
To make you feel my love

I know you haven’t made your mind up yet
But I would never do you wrong
I’ve known it from the moment that we met
No doubt in my mind where you belong

I’d go hungry, I’d go black and blue
I’d go crawling down the avenue
No, there’s nothing that I wouldn’t do
To make you feel my love

The storms are raging on the rolling sea
And on the highway of regret
Though winds of change are throwing wild and free
You ain’t seen nothing like me yet

I could make you happy, make your dreams come true
Nothing that I wouldn’t do
Go to the ends of the Earth for you
To make you feel my love
To make you feel my love

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Hello, It’s Me You’re Looking For – Challenge #187.

Hello, It’s Me You’re Looking For – Challenge #187

Lionel Richie is a popular singer, songwriter, and producer who is most admired for his smooth and soulful love ballads of the 1970s and ’80s. In 1967, after graduating Joliet East High School in Illinois, he studied economics and accounting at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. While there, he joined a campus band, the Mystics, as a saxophonist, composer, and, occasionally, singer. With some personnel changes in 1968, the Mystics became the funk and rhythm-and-blues group the Commodores, with Richie as a lead vocalist. The Commodores reached the mainstream when Motown asked then to open up for the pop-music sensation the Jackson 5. In 1978, the Commodores had their first Billboard Hot 100 #1 hit with ‘Three Times a Lady’. Richie began to collaborate with other artists like country musician Kenny Rogers, for whom he wrote and produced ‘Lady’ in 1980, and in 1981, he wrote ‘Endless Love’ and sang a duet with pop-soul singer Diana Ross. These musical excursions accelerated Richie’s rapid rise in popularity and ultimately precipitated his split from the Commodores.

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Lionel Richie wrote the hit song ‘Hello’ and recorded it for his second solo album Can’t Slow Down in 1983.  The phrase, “Hello, is it me you’re looking for?”, was something that Lionel Richie said to his record producer James Anthony Carmichael when he came by to visit Richie while he was playing piano, to which Carmichael replied, “Finish that song.”  When Lionel Richie was young, he watched beautiful women walk past him, but he was too shy to talk to any of them, and he wondered if any of them were looking for him.  Richie initially felt that the song was corny, but when he finished the verse, he fell in love with it.  Richie had this song written for his first solo album, but he left it off, however his wife Brenda loved it, and insisted he include it on his second album.

The song is one of Lionel Richie’s…

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