Jackson Browne wrote this song with Danny Kortchmar and Russ Kunkel, whose names are familiar to anyone who has looked over the credits to albums by Don Henley (I Can't Stand Still
), Carole King (Tapestry
), Linda Ronstadt (Mad Love
, Get Closer
) and many others. Kortchmar and Kunkel - a guitarist and drummer, respectively - played on the Lawyers In Love
album and also Browne's previous LP Running On Empty
In our interview with Danny Kortchmar
, he explained how the song came together:
"That started with me and Russ Kunkel sitting in my living room and just throwing some ideas around. I liked the idea that we say 'tender is the night,' which is a literary reference, and then combine that with 'when you hold your baby tight,' which is a doo-wop sort of reference. So you had highbrow and lowbrow going in the same chorus. That's what we liked about it."
When the pair came came up with the song, they brought it to Browne knowing that he could turn it into something special.