Della Brown

Album: Empire (1990)
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  • "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."
  • In June 1991, Chris DeGarmo told Music Express this was "A song about a woman who bought the advertisement that looks are what's most important and never really worked to develop the inner character."
  • Had the song been recorded 10 years later it could have become a murder ballad, because coincidentally there was at this time living a real Della Brown who would suffer an even sadder fate. In 2000, a psychopath named Joshua Wade battered the Alaska native to death then boasted about it to two acquaintances. Incredibly he was cleared of her murder though convicted of a lesser charge. Seven years later he murdered another woman. To avoid the death penalty in federal court, he confessed to the Della Brown murder as well. Later, he would confess to murdering three men, one when he was just 14 years old. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for all above


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