"Fallen Angel" was the first single Robertson released as a solo artist. He wrote the song with Martin Page, who had co-written the hits "These Dreams
" and "We Built This City
." In our interview with Page
, he explained: "Robbie was playing with lyrical ideas for a huge period of time and every time I would go back to the Village (the recording studio in Los Angeles) to work with him, it was quite frustrating, because I thought we were doing very well and he'd say, 'I've changed the words.' He would sing it and ask me, 'What do you think?' And I'd say, 'Well, I think it's all good, Rob. Really good.' Everything he did I thought was fine.
But then one special day he called me and he said, 'I really have what this song's about.' At first it was going to be called 'War of Angels,' and it was going to be the idea of fallen angels actually falling out of heaven and touching hell. He was really getting into this kind of biblical place. But all of a sudden, very emotionally he said to me, 'It's about Richard.' And I could see in his face that he'd nailed it. It was his special song to Richard Manuel. I think it was a great testament to his undying friendship for his friend who left a little too early."