All I Wanna Do Is Make Love to You

Album: Brigade (1990)
Charted: 8 2

Songfacts®:

  • This song was written by Mutt Lange, the superproducer who worked on some of the biggest albums of the '80s: AC/DC's Back in Black, Def Leppard's Hysteria, and Foreigner's 4. Lange is also a songwriter, typically collaborating with the artists he works with, but in this case the song is all him.

    Lange wrote the song in the '70s and wanted Don Henley to record it. It ended up going to Dobie Gray ("Drift Away"), who released it in 1979 on his self-titled album. This version went unnoticed, but when Heart recorded the song for their 1990 album Brigade, it was a huge hit, reaching #2 in the US.
  • This is a very strange song, with Ann Wilson singing about picking up a hitchhiker and having sex with him in a motel, apparently with the intention of getting pregnant. Before daybreak, she leaves, but leaves him a note:

    I told him
    I am the flower you are the seed
    We walked in the garden
    We planted a tree


    In the third verse, she encounters him again, and he sees the child they made. It sounds like Ann told another guy (possibly her husband) that the child was his, and she doesn't want the secret to get out:

    You can imagine his surprise
    When he saw his own eyes
    I said please, please understand
    I'm in love with another man
    And what he couldn't give me
    Was the one little thing that you can
  • The original Dobie Gray version of this song is more upbeat and skips the hitchhiker/love child storyline. Gray simply sings about being smitten and filled with desire:

    All I wanna do is make love to you
    There's a million things that we could do
    And darling, I, just wanna do them with you


    Mutt Lange is the only credited writer on both versions of the song, so it appears that he re-wrote the lyric at some point.
  • In the '70s, Heart became a top rock band with songs they wrote themselves - Ann and Nancy Wilson were the primary songwriters. With their career flagging in the early '80s, they turned to outside writers and had huge hits with songs like "These Dreams" and "Alone." They turned out to be outstanding song interpreters, but it meant giving up some creative freedom. Ann Wilson, understandably, didn't like the lyric to "All I Wanna Do Is Make Love to You" but felt pressured to do it, since it was clear the song had hit potential.
  • The music video is very literal, as we see the couple get together, make love in the motel, then reconnect years later when she shows up with the child. These scenes are intercut with foggy footage of the band performing the song in a studio setting.

    There doesn't seem to be a director associated with it - seems most people involved with this song prefer to remain anonymous.
  • In an interview with Dan Rather on AXS TV, Ann and Nancy Wilson discussed this song.

    Nancy: "All I Wanna Do" is a song that was written by a really famous producer-songwriter, Mutt Lange, who went on to do country music. And you could hear in that song the formulaic thing that was going to become country music, that he was up to already at the time. It has a great hook, it has a great sound, but for Ann, not her favorite song to sing. It's about the lyrics.

    Ann: Once again, it's about the problematic lead singer. Has to be authentic, has to believe in the words she's singing.

    Nancy: Even though we changed the gender of the song around, which became so shocking that they banned it in Ireland because it was song about a girl, a wanton lassie, who picks up a hitchhiker guy.

    Ann: Like, you're a hitchhiker, I don't know you so let's get in the car and exchange fluids and now, get out. I mean, that's hideous.

    Nancy: It's an interesting thing about songs like that, though, because unless you're Ann Wilson and you have to stand there and deliver this message that's in the words, you know, most people when they hear something that they love they're not thinking into all the corners of the song. They're just feeling good and listening to it.
  • Halestorm released a popular cover of this song on their 2012 album The Strange Case Of...

Comments: 7

  • Slopedogg5150 from Sunnyslope IdahoI absolutely love this song especially because of the lyrics. It evokes a random range of emotions that so many songs do not and yes it may be uncomfortable to hear and imagine but best believe it IS someone’s truth. Like it or not this song made someone feel better knowing they were not alone. I appreciate uniqueness and this song covers that for me.
  • Tom from UsaI always heard the line after "All night long" as "We made a life." That's sort of the whole point of the song. Lots of sites show it as "We made love," but no matter how many times I listen to it, and knowing the story line, I can't hear that.
  • Neil Gonsalves from Melbourne AustraliaThe couple in the video who are they
  • Ady Tees from London, On. It's pretty unsettling and creepy. She is apparently in love with another man, but picks up a stranger and has him pump her hard, which they obviously enjoy massively, several times. Good for her, but the husband should throw her and the kid out. They can find a motel they know well, so she can pick up another hitcher and have him bring her off repeatedly too, so she can squirt out another one!
  • Doriima from Melbourne, AustraliaIt's nice to know the singer also finds the lyrics to this uncomfortable. I keep thinking about that hitch-hiker, taken to some motel he doesn't know and just abandoned there. Never mind the whole not-telling-about-a-child business!
  • Tania from Brisbane, AustraliaI loved this song when it first came out, but it was soooo over played on the radio at the time, that I soon tired of it! I recently heard a live version by Heart where they REALLY stripped it bare, and was totally blown away by the interpretation!
  • The Flow State from Cia Test Site Since 1955How hasn't this song been commented on? Am I on some back alley site?

    Random User: Umm the reason the song hasn't been commented on is because it was a pop hit from almost 30 yrs ago

    Flow: yeah but if I were to check out a Floyd or a Doors comment section I'm sure ppl would have comments. And that's FIFTY yrs

    Soap box user: Umm you're talking about ALL TIME bands. Besides, this conversation is squed. It's not even me who's responding. It's u ASSUMING what I'd say

    Flow: C'mon man. You're all the same. This IS what you'd either say or think. As far as legendary bands I get it. But if this site has a massive amount of traffic EVERY genere would be covered. The comments on utube door this song are crazy. It's FUNNY also. That's what these sites are FOR FUN !!

    Soap Box: You're not an intellectual. It was a silly song with silly lyrics. Get educated !!

    Flow: Then why'd u check it out ? I'll search a FUTURE song or something right now and I'm positive there will be comments. Matter fact I'm going to search all time bands now. Then I'm going to search what's HOT now. If I find nothing then it turns out this site simply BACK ALLEY and all I do is mod the community.

    Zombie to the system: Clearly you don't read the times. We're mentioned countless times for our ............
    Flow: SILENCE SLUT !!
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