In a Songfacts interview with Jon Carroll
, he told the story behind this song. It started with the riff, which he came up with during a session at Bias Recording in Washington, DC. "There's all these different types of songs that come to you, but sometimes the nugget of them just comes from somewhere," he said. "In my head, I was hearing a kind of Leiber and Stoller shout, a call-and-response type of thing. I'm sure other songwriters do this as well, especially in R&B, but when you're grooving on something and you know where you want the vocal to be, you just start chiming and hollering phonetical things that aren't words. I was hollering and I started recording it the next day on a hand-held.
'You want love,' that was the dog-bark of the tune, and then 'Get Closer' was just because it felt good phonetically. It started from there."
He added: "The riff was something I didn't want to depart from because it felt so good, so I figured I'd depart by just changing the key and having the verses in a different melodic rhythm but have the bass stay the same rhythm. It brings it down to another key - it goes to the key of C from F, so that way it brings the melody out from that upper wheelhouse into more of a narrative.
It's got that thing that good party records have, which is starting with a chorus and then departing to the verse - the second act kind of starts with the first verse when you start with the chorus like that."