Dec 172017
 

from ARETHA
Written by Willard Eugene Price

“Come To Me” was an evocative ballad recorded by the legendary Aretha Franklin for her 1980 Aretha album. Aretha was Ms. Franklin’s debut with Clive Davis’ Arista Records label. That record featured the Queen Of Soul into an updated, pop-oriented, glossy sound that was achieved with the help of some of the hottest LA session cats including David Foster playing keyboards and synthesizers on a few tracks.

“Come To Me” was written by late songwriter Gene Price (1944-2013) and produced by the late, great Arif Mardin (1932-2006) that gave the intense ballad fuel for a powerful melody that fit Ms. Franklin’s unmistakable voice like a glove. The great musical interplay between David Paich of Toto fame on piano and Foster on electric piano gave the song a sophisticated feel and radio friendly atmosphere enhanced by the catchy arrangement written by Mardin.  The late super-producer spoke to renowned music journalist David Ritz for the book “Respect: The Life Of Aretha Franklin.” Here is what was said about “Come To Me” and the “Aretha” album:

“Aretha and Clive were very clear in that they wanted this record to have a certain sheen. They didn’t want the old Atlantic sound. They came to me with four songs. The one the liked the most was ‘Come To Me,’ a big ballad that had the resonance of a movie theme. Aretha was very specific about the musicians. She read Billboard and knew exactly who was hot and who wasn’t. Toto was extremely hot back then, and, at Aretha’s urging, I used three of their members, David Paich on piano, Jeff Porcaro on drums and Steve Lukather on guitar. I employed a young David Foster to play synths. I borrowed bassist Louis Johnson from the Brothers Johnson, another hot group….in addition to the ballad, I was asked to produce two covers, Otis Redding’s “Can’t Turn You Loose” and The Doobie Brothers’ ‘What A Fool Believes,’ and the slightly funky ‘Love Me Forever.’”

“Come To Me” was the third single off the album, released in May 1981. The ballad, with its noteworthy musicality and Ms. Franklin’s superb vocals, became a minor hit. ‘Come To Me’ reached #89 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and #39 on the r&b singles chart. The fact that both Ms. Franklin and Clive Davis believed in the strength of this song is confirmed by the fact that the same version of ‘Come To Me’ was released again on her 1989 record Through The Storm.” “Come To Me” was also the b-side of the title-track, a Top 20 hit duet with UK superstar Sir Elton John. Another stand-out track from Aretha was the delicious funky cover of “What A Fool Believes.” Check out our past reviews of that goodie in our archives.


Listen

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Lead & Backing Vocals: Aretha Franklin
Bass: Louis Johnson
Drums: Jeff Porcaro
Electric Piano & Synthesizer: David Foster
Percussion: Steve Forman
Acoustic Piano: David Paich
Backing Vocals: Edie Lehman, Marti McCall, Myrna Mathews

Produced & Arranged by Arif Mardin


Lyrics

You’re asking me to
Understand your feelings
To just forget about my own
And let you go

Darling, I won’t
Raise a hand to stop you
Just let me say one thing
Before you go

Come to me
Whenever you get lonely
Just reach out your hand
And there I’ll be
My love will light your
Way out of the darkness
If you ever need a true love
Come to me

I believe that time alone
Will change you
The changing tides
Will bring you back to me

And when you grow tired
Of chasing rainbows
Just make a wish for love
And there I’ll be

Come to me
Whenever you get lonely
Just reach out your hand
And there I’ll be
My love will light your
Way out of the darkness
If you ever need a true love
Come to me

Ooh, come to me
Whenever you get lonely
(Come to me, baby)
Just reach out your hand
And there I’ll be
Yeah, yeah, yeah

My love will light your
Way out of the darkness
If you ever need a true love
Come to me, sweet baby

Come to me
Whenever you get lonely

Log on to kill this message.

(Oh, yeah, come to me, baby)
Just reach out your hand
(Reach out, reach out)
And there I’ll be

My love will light your
Way out of the darkness
If you ever need a true love
Come to me

(If you ever get lonely)
Come to me
Whenever you get lonely
Just reach out your hand
And there I’ll be
(Reach out for me)
(Sweet baby, I’ll be there)

My love will light your
Way out of the darkness
If you ever need a true love
Come to me, yeah