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Written by Richard Page, Steve George & John Lang

Let’s say we have to create the perfect tune to define what “quality pop” is all about. First thing we need is a great up-tempo ballad with a gorgeous melody and sharp lyrics. Another fundamental aspect is the arrangement that has to be accessible to the untrained ear yet challenging and include non-conventional chord changes plus a strong jazz taste. The production has to be high tech, utilizing the best musicians around. Right after sequestering the best rhythm section available, it is absolutely necessary to find an outstanding keyboard player. He has to be able to create with piano and fender rhodes a sweet carpet that flows throughout the song while throwing in some unpredictable synth lines. The rhythm section has to help keep him precise and on target. Remember to enlist a couple of world-class guitar players who can embellish the song with their rhythmic licks. A solo break is a must and nothing is better than a soft flugelhorn played by the best guy in the business. What piece do we need to complete this puzzle? The singer! He needs to be versatile, smooth as silk and sing the lyrics with true passion. Add a couple of background singers with voices as sweet as candy that will mix perfectly with the lead singer.
Now, we really don’t need to create such a tune. Just listen to “My Old Friend” from Al Jarreau’s masterpiece, “Breakin’ Away.” This song is simply perfect, not one note is out of place. Thank you Al Jarreau, Jay Graydon, David Foster, Pages, Tom Canning, Jerry Hey, et al, for such an incredible musical experience.


[audio:|titles=My old friend|artists=Al Jarreau]

Lead Vocals: Al Jarreau
Drums: Steve Gadd
Bass: Abe Laboriel
Fender Rhodes & Acoustic Piano: David Foster
Electric Guitar: Steve Lukather
Electric Guitar & Synthesizer Programming: Jay Graydon
Synthesizers: David Foster & Tom Canning
Synthesizer Programming: Michael Boddicker
Flugelhorn: Jerry Hey
Background Vocals: Richard Page & Steve George
Arranged by Jay Graydon, Al Jarreau & Tom Canning
Produced by Jay Graydon


I can recall those warm summer days.
No decisions. Child’s play.
Did they slip away?
Gone forever. Gone forever.
Lost to yesterday.

From the beginning you’ve been
Always there my old friend.
True until the end of time.

As I walk down streets
full of amber leaves
I see nothing’s really
changed at all.
We’re just older now.
Still together,still together
after all these years.

From the beginning you’ve been
Always there my old friend.
True until the end of time.

From the beginning you’ve been
Always there my old friend
True until the end of time.