All You Wanted

Album: The Spirit Room (2001)
Charted: 33 6
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Songfacts®:

  • The songs on Michelle Branch's major-label debut album The Spirit Room deal with different stages of love and heartbreak. In "All You Wanted," she's dealing with a guy who shuts her out when he really needs someone to care for him. In a Songfacts interview with Branch, she said: "I feel like everybody wants to find someone who you feel understood by and will be there to catch you when you fall, and that's what 'All You Wanted' is about."

    Branch says it's her favorite song on the album.
  • Branch was just 18 when the album was released; judging by her songs, you would think she had made the romantic rounds, but she hadn't - from the time she was 15 she was laser-focused on her music and was home schooled. But she did have an innate sense for songwriting and could really connect with a love lyric based on how she thought it would feel. When she did fall in love, she went all-in, marrying her bass player, Teddy Landau, in 2004 when she was just 20.
  • "All You Wanted" was Branch's second single, following "Everywhere." It climbed to #6 in the US and helped The Spirit Room sell over 2 million copies.

    Branch's producer on the album was John Shanks, who had worked with Melissa Etheridge and Rod Stewart. He and Branch worked very well together; when Michelle played him "All You Wanted" in demo form, he knew it was already a great song and he just had to frame it. The final product ended up being very similar to the demo.
  • Branch was big on MTV, which put her "Everywhere" video in hot rotation and made her a regular on their live countdown show TRL. The "All You Wanted" video got a lot of airplay on the network. Like the "Everywhere" video, it was directed by Liz Friedlander and shows Branch on various sets interacting with a hot guy. "All You Wanted" uses a freeze framing, motion-control effect that was popular at the time.

    As for the guy in the video, Branch picked him from a choice of head shots. She remembers him being named Josh.
  • This song resonated with another young woman with a guitar: Taylor Swift, who is a big Michelle Branch fan and learned The Spirit Room songs when she was starting out as a songwriter. In 2011, Swift played "All You Wanted" on her Speak Now tour.

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