Old Memories

Album: Keys (2021)
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Songfacts®:

  • It is a truism that the memories of lost loves never fade away. If anything, they get stronger with age, as memorabilia such as old love songs and old photographs act as reminders of those special times you had together. Here, Alicia Keys reflects on those "old memories."

    "When you play a record you can't get that person out of your head, when you pass that picture you can't believe that memory is like, you have something so vivid," she told Apple Music. "You're realizing how precious every moment is. Every day is like we're losing somebody. You know what I mean? So, those memories that we create in those special moments with the people we love, we have to hold onto it and it's super powerful."
  • Alicia Keys wrote this is a 3/4 time signature (like a slow waltz). "That's my secret tempo," she said. "Any time I drop a 3/4 record it works."
  • Keys wrote the song with Natalie Hemby. The Nashville songwriter also contributed background vocals and played the piano. The other musicians are:

    Bass guitar: Adam Blackstone
    Electric guitar: Tim Stewart
    Drums: Steve Wolf
  • The New York singer recorded "Old Memories" for her double album Keys. She split the record into two parts:

    1. The "Original" songs that are throwbacks to Alicia Keys' more traditional and melodic material.

    2. The "Unlocked" section, where producer Mike WiLL Made-It takes the "Original" tracks and reconfigures them into bigger sounds.

    "Old Memories (Unlocked)" transforms the speakeasy feel of the original track into a '80s dance tune with a lively beat and a pulsing rhythm. London musician Jacob Collier supplies background vocals and plays the piano on the new version.

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