"Della Brown" was co-written by Geoff Tate
and Scott Rockenfield; the 4th
track on the 1990 Empire
album, it runs to a full 7 minutes 4 seconds. In a 1990 interview with Hit Parader
, frontman Tate said of this lachrymose electric ballad:
It's "one of the more interesting tracks on the record, and one I enjoyed singing. It's a look into the life of a woman who had it all - beauty, brains and success. But things didn't work out for her, and it all slipped away. She ended up homeless - living on the street. It's a very moody song that gets into a groove and stays there all the way through.
That song also means a lot to Chris and me because we see the homeless people all the time in Seattle. Most of the time you just fly by them in your car, but I remember once when we were caught in traffic and just watched them. How sad it was. They were just living in doorways with cardboard boxes for covering. It really moved us."