Behind the Song with "Still Close to My Heart"




Happy Quarantined Monday number 1,000, peeps...LOL! You know, they say truly great songs are timeless. Now, I don’t want to come off as arrogant or anything like that, as many of you know I’m not about that. However, I do believe “Still Close to My Heart” has all the makings of a great song. Good lyrics, strong melody, and even though it’s “new to you,” it’s most certainly stood the test of time. Let’s start with the lyrics. These lyrics were written in 1985 when I was just 17 years old-in the era of the power ballad, I might add. After breaking up, my first “real” relationship partner was dating someone else and, as it always seems to happen, reached out to me just as I was ready to move on. We had some conversations about rekindling our relationship. At the time, I still cared for her a great deal. Ultimately, we both had our reasons for not getting back together. Bonus? I wrote lyrics for a song that finally made an album in 2020! Big deal...what’s 35 years?!? Musically, the song was always with me. Strangely, in all my trips to the studio in the 90s and beyond, this song never made it to tape. Then, one day while sitting in my home studio, I just decided to finally put the idea down. I can’t remember how quickly it came together but after all those years stuck in my head, it was pretty fast. The only things that changed from the demo version on this one? Tony’s keys got added and we dropped the dual guitar solo. That’s it. Now, here’s the really cool part of this story. The song was actually on the cutting room floor. We were set to record another song called “When I Hear Your Name.” In fact, that song was sent to Roy for rehearsal for the live set. One day, I get a call from Roy, asking why he was singing a song that didn’t even make the album. It seems that Ty Sims had mistakenly sent “Still Close” to the guys for tracking and cut the other song from the album! This, my friends, is what is known as a happy accident. Instead of having another mid-tempo rocker, you got a heartfelt, mid-tempo power ballad. And I’ll have to agree with Roy: this song fits the album way better. The influences on the song are quite obvious. This song has Boston written all over it and we’re not even going to be shy about that. They are such a heavy influence on the sound of this band and it’s something we share with great pride. The performances by the guys are amazing and it seems like they were reading my mind about what nuances were wanted, when & where, in the song. Again, big thanks to Erik Johnson for some stellar backing vocal melody work as it truly makes the song pop in the chorus. Ty’s mix is unreal, as usual. Only a few more songs to go, peeps. We’ll keep posting if you keep reading. Stay safe. Peace!


Mike


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