Jan 192014
 

from AFTER THE LOVE HAS GONE/ROCK THAT! (single)

written by David Foster, Jay Graydon & Bill Champlin

This week is all about “After The Love Has Gone,” one of the brighter gems in the David Foster repertoire. This magnificent ballad was co-written with Jay Graydon and Bill Champlin and was performed by legendary group Earth, Wind & Fire on their July 1979album “I Am.” The genesis of the song is very interesting and was told by Foster in his bio:

“…One day I got a call from Berry Gordy, the founder of Motown Records, and I went to talk to him about Jaye P. Morgan’s

unreleased album. He liked it, but he had some ideas of his own. ‘It’s good, real good,’ he said, ‘but you need to do something that combines both pop and R&B.’ ‘I have something like that,’ I lied. I sat down at the piano and it was one of those moments where the chorus for the song just poured out of me like a gift from heaven: Oh woh, after the love has gone/ what used to be right is wrong. I remember thinking, Goddamn it! This is great! I couldn’t believe that had come out of me on the spot and under pressure.”

Right after that meeting, Foster met his pal Jay Graydon to work on the song. Graydon talked about it in an interview:

“He (Foster) comes over to my house, and we went into my little dinky studio at the time. He sits down at the piano, and he says, ‘Listen to this chorus.’ He plays it, and I said, ‘Hey, here’s an idea for a verse.’ And I went, ‘da da dom, A major 7, da-D-minor-6, da da A major 7, bom ba da da da F-sharp minor.’ And he just immediately continued on with that, and we had the whole song written in about half an hour/45 minutes. We called Champlin. We said, ‘Bill, get over here, we need a lyric.’ David was producing Champlin at the time. David recorded it with Champlin, I think maybe three different versions. He got one that he really liked, but then David was also writing with Maurice White for Earth, Wind & Fire for the “I Am” album. He played the song for Maurice, and Maurice loved it. David called me and says, ‘Hey, man, Earth, Wind & Fire wants to record it, but I don’t want to tell Champlin that it’s gonna have to get pulled off his record. Will you do it?’ I said, ‘I sure will.’ (laughs) I called Bill and I said, ‘Bill, here’s the story.’ And he says, ‘I’m not an idiot, man.’ (laughing) I said, ‘I’m glad you say you’re not an idiot. Because they say this thing’s gonna be a single for sure. And this could be big.’”

Another interesting story was told by famous music executive Tommy Mottola in his recent bio. The former boss of Sony Music was Hall & Oates’ manager in the seventies. He said about Foster and the song:

“One day when Daryl, John and I were in the house that we rented in LA, Foster came over and sat behind the piano. David has these big hands, and when he put them on the keys and played, his sound and his attack were mesmerizing. Foster started to play this incredible melody to “After The Love Has Gone,” which, of course, everybody now knows so well. Even though he wasn’t a great singer, you knew immediately that this was going to be a gigantic hit. It was undeniable. I’m telling you, if an alley cat had sung it, it still would’ve gone to number one. ‘Yeah, it’s a good song,’ Daryl said, ‘but it’s really not our style. We don’t need that song. We want to write our own music.’ What could I do? He wanted to make his own music. But at the same time, it was really frustrating to me because it was like having a golden goose that refused to lay golden eggs. More than a year after David Foster played us that song, he stepped onstage to accept his first Grammy for it at the 1979 awards. I could only shake my head as the airways filled with EWF’s rendition of “After The Love Has Gone.”

Another flattering comment came from legendary jazz guitarist Pat Metheny who said that “After The Love Has Gone” was probably the last time that any pop/R&B artist ever managed (attempted?) to get anything that harmonically sophisticated out there to the masses via the Top 40. “After The Love Has Gone” reached #2 on Billboard on both the Hot 100 and the R&B charts and was #3 on the Adult Contemporary chart. The song sold over one million copies in the US alone and was a Top 5 hit in the UK. The song eventually brought home two Grammy trophies.

And one definitive word for “After The Love Has Gone?” MASTERPIECE!


Listen

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Lead Vocals: Maurice White
Keyboards & Synths: David Foster & Larry Dunn
Bass: Verdine White
Drums: Fred White
Percussion: Ralph Johnson & Philip Bailey
Saxophone Solo: Don Myrick
Guitars: Al McKay & Johnny Graham
Backing Vocals: Maurice White & Philip Bailey
Strings Arranged by David Foster
Horns Arranged by Jerry Hey
Produced by Maurice White


Lyrics

For awhile to love was all we could do
We were young and we knew
And our eyes were alive
Deep inside we knew our love was true
For awhile we paid no mind to the past
We knew love would last
Ev’ry night somethin’ right
Would invite us to begin the dance

Somethin’ happened along the way
What used to be happy was sad
Somethin’ happened along the way
And yesterday was all we had
And oh after the love has gone
How could you lead me on
And not let me stay around
Oh oh oh afterthe love has gone
What used to be right is wrong
Can love that’s lost be found

For awhile to love each other with all
We would ever need
Love was strong for so long
Never knew that what was
Wrong oh baby wasn’t right
We tried to find what we had
Till sadness was all we shared
We were scared this affair would lead our love into
Somethin’ happened along the way
Yesterday was all we had
Somethin’ happened along the way
What used to be happy is sad

Somethin’ happened along the way
Oh yesterday was all we had
And oh after the love has gone
How could you lead me on
And not let me stay around
Oh oh oh after the love has gone
What used to be right is wrong
Can love that’s lost be found

Oh oh oh oh oh oh after the love has gone
What used to be right is wrong
Can love that’s lost be found
Oh woh woh after the love has gone
What used to be right is wrong
Can love that’s lost be found

Oh woh woh after the love has gone
What used to be right is wrong
Can love that’s lost be found
Oh woh woh
Oh woh woh after the love has gone
What used to be right is wrong
Can love that’s lost be found

Woh woh woh after the love has gone
What used to be right is wrong
Can love that’s lost be found
Woh woh woh