This album and song were inspired by the ranch near Boise, Idaho where Carole King moved with her third husband Rick Evers in the summer of 1977. After moving to the ranch with various family and friends, King and Evers left for a tour, and when they returned, a sign painted by King's daughter Sherry Goffin greeted them with the words "Welcome Home," and they started referring to the place as "The Welcome Home Ranch." King wrote, "Welcome Home is home now to a group of good people, and it's a state of mind I hope everyone can experience."
The idyllic mountain life didn't last long, as when King and Evers went to Los Angeles to record the album with the band Navarro, Evers became volatile, and he died of a drug overdose in May 1978. The album was released two months later and dedicated to Evers. King wrote, "He didn't always do 'sensible' things. He often got angry and frustrated about things that many of us couldn't see. He had more love to give than anyone I've ever known."