Back to the Future (Part I)

Album: Black Messiah (2014)

Songfacts®:

  • D'Angelo took his time making the Black Messiah album - it came 14 years after his previous release, Voodoo. On this track, he explains how things have changed in that time, and explains that he'd like to return to an earlier era, to "go back to the way it was."

    The singer says there were a number of factors that contributed to his hiatus, including personal problems and turnover at his record company. He became disenfranchised with the industry and lost his motivation to make another album.
  • The lines, "So if you're wondering about the shape I'm in, I hope it ain't my abdomen that you're referring to" is a reference to his video for "Untitled (How Does It Feel)," where he appeared naked and extremely buff.
  • Musically, The Beatles were a big influence on this song, especially their later tracks that featured string sections. Another musical influence was the Funkadelic album America Eats Its Young, which is one of the more string-heavy albums in the group's canon.
  • This song is reprised later in the album on the track "Back to the Future (Part II)." This is something The Beatles did with the title track of their Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Who Did It First?

Who Did It First?Music Quiz

Do you know who recorded the original versions of these ten hit songs?

Taylor Dayne

Taylor DayneSongwriter Interviews

Taylor talks about "The Machine" - the hits, the videos and Clive Davis.

The Real Nick Drake

The Real Nick DrakeSong Writing

The head of Drake's estate shares his insights on the late folk singer's life and music.

Judas Priest

Judas PriestSongwriter Interviews

Rob Halford, Richie Faulkner and Glenn Tipton talk twin guitar harmonies and explain how they create songs in Judas Priest.

Graduation Songs

Graduation SongsFact or Fiction

Have you got the smarts to know which of these graduation song stories are real?

Divided Souls: Musical Alter Egos

Divided Souls: Musical Alter EgosSong Writing

Long before Eminem, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj created alternate personas, David Bowie, Bono, Joni Mitchell and even Hank Williams took on characters.