Nate Ruess was inspired by his hero Van Morrison when recording his vocals for this song. He told Rolling Stone: "Jeff (Bhasker, producer) just did an amazing string arrangement, and to me it had a Van Morrison vibe to it. That part where I say, 'I just wanted you so bad' was supposed to be much shorter and was a bridge in the original 'Grand Romantic,' and then Jeff had stretched it out and turned it into this beautiful piece of music so I just freestyled over it with my best Van Morrison impression."
Asked by Digital Spy why he titled the album after this song, Ruess replied: "I just thought that it encompassed the album. I think it feels like myself or maybe how you always see the best version of yourself - so I see myself as a grand romantic in my relationships or even just the way that I want to have a positive outlook about the world."
Ruess explained the inspiration for the album artwork during a Reddit AMA. "I always thought it'd be cool to do a portrait," he said. "So I google-searched just the word 'portrait.'"
"And I was blown away by the paintings of an artist named Teresa Oaxaca," Ruess continued. "So I reached out and by the end of the week, was on a plane to DC so that she could put me into her weird magical world. And paint me."
"Crank That (Soulja Boy)" was the most successful digital track of 2007 in the US with 2,909,000 downloads. On January 6, 2008 it became the first song ever to sell 3 million digital copies in the States.
The Prince-penned "Manic Monday" was the first song The Bangles heard coming from a car radio, but "Eternal Flame" is closest to Susanna's heart, perhaps because she sang it in "various states of undress."