The Story Behind the Song “Change The World” by Eric Clapton

The Story Behind the Song “Change The World” by Eric Clapton

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Eric Clapton

“Change the World” is a song is written by Gordon Kennedy, Tommy Sims, and Wayne Kirkpatrick, and it’s been recorded by Eric Clapton for the soundtrack of the 1996 romantic and fantasy film Phenomenon in the leading role with John Travolta.

“Everything started in Nashville’s Omni Studio A in 1991. We were working on recording four new tracks that particular day when, on some downtime, Tommy Sims played Wayne Kirkpatrick and me, the idea asking if it was something that we could write together. Some months would go by before Wayne asked for Tommy to put the idea on tape. Wayne would write the chorus lyric, and all but one line of the second verse before handing me a tape with his additions. I had Wayne’s parts and I had made some musical changes so, I was confident enough that we could go ahead and lay down a demo,” said Gordon Kennedy.

He also added: “In April of ’91, I traveled to Columbus, Ohio, to meet Tommy and record the demo track. I still have the micro-cassette recording of me in the car, playing the track through the car system, and singing along into the micro recorder, trying to come up with the first verse lyrics, and Wayne’s missing second verse line. By the time I got back to Nashville, I went back to Omni Studio B to put the guitar and vocals on the demo. None of us were together when we each wrote our bits for that song,” he added.

The interesting thing is how Gordon described “Change the World” as a music fan, and he said that if we look back, he remembers how he at the time looked at the song and it sounds enough like McCartney. Gordon said: “It was Wayne’s idea to make it into a love song. Once that was established, it was mostly just finding those phrases that sounded like the grandiose things we wish we could do to demonstrate love”.

As the words of Gordon, the demo of this song was done in a basement where actually Tommy had gone to work on a church choir project. At the time, Tommy had a keyboard set up there and they sampled sounds with a Shure 57, including a la human-beat-box noises for the percussion. Tommy did some cool strings and cellos and Gordon bought the 2” multi-track and played a single guitar track on a ’46 Martin D-18 as well as he added the vocals later.

On the question of what Gordon mostly enjoyed it during the writing this song, in general, he said: “We are all made of the same ultimate Creator, and that innate in us to want to create. The idea that there can be a moment that starts with a blank canvas, and perhaps within hours, yields something that wasn’t there before is beautiful. This journey took us on something that we could have never dreamed, and I remember one us, saying right afterward, “we should probably write another song together!”, and we went on to write 11 songs together.”

“Change The World” was called a “pop hit song,” four years after the demo was done, Eric Clapton recorded this song and spent 13 weeks at No.1 and a record 81 consecutive weeks in the Top 20 AC charts in Billboard, and it was Grammys Song Of The Year.

Source: https://americansongwriter.com/eric-clapton-change-the-world-story-behind-the-song/doug-waterman/

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