In July ’86, on the boat from Marseille to Ajaccio, I could swear I was overhearing at some incredibly subliminal level, the Tears for Fears song Head Over Heels. It was one of those moments when you squint, trying to guess what you think is on the radio far in the background, and maybe I thought so because all of a sudden I found myself writing TFF-ish lyrics in my head for the first time ever and had this vague sensation that I was capable of writing a really brilliant pop song, right there on the deck of the ship, with no musical instrument to refer to for pitch.
I wrote what I was feeling; it was the first musical sensation I had during the trip, and it was extremely powerful. Later, when I walked inside the ship and started down the corridor, I finally was able to identify that at some incredibly low level, the TFF song was playing, just barely above the threshold of audibility. I do believe that subliminals work, now, though how I am not entirely sure.
When I began to work it out on my keyboards later that October, I wanted to make it intensely commercial. Of course, my other desire with this song was to make it a bigger and better pop hit than Papa Don’t Preach by Madonna. But that was not to be.