This song was written by Narada Michael Walden and Jeffrey Cohen. Walden is the guy you call when you need to produce a diva: he has written and produced hits for Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, and Diana Ross. When we asked him about the one song that had the greatest impact on his career, he told us it was "Freeway of Love" by Aretha Franklin.
Walden played drums for John McLachlan and the Mahavishnu Orchestra and also released albums as a solo artist. He wrote this song for one of those solo albums, but didn't release it. Two years later, Clive Davis at Arista Records tapped Walden to produce Aretha's Who's Zoomin' Who?
album. After recording the title track
and "Until You Say You Love Me," he decided that "Freeway" could work for Franklin, so he recorded a new demo of the song with a singer named Kitty Beethoven so Aretha could hear how it might sound. In a Songfacts interview with Walden
he said, "By that time we were working well together and it was all good and she sang the hell out of it. In fact, she had the whole thing memorized, even down to all the ad libs on the ending. Everything about the song was memorized. So I went, 'Damn, now I know why they call you the Queen of Soul.' When she comes in she's really well prepared."