We Belong Together

Album: Pirates (1981)
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Songfacts®:

  • This song starts out making references to scenes from the James Dean movie Rebel Without A Cause. The opening line, "I say this was no game of chicken," refers to the "chicken run" scene in the film where Dean and his nemesis each race their cars to a cliff, agreeing that whoever jumps out first is the chicken. Dean's co-star, Natalie Wood, gets a mention in the line, "How could a Natalie Wood not get sucked into a scene so custom tucked?"
  • Rickie Lee Jones dated Tom Waits in the late '70s - she appears on the cover of his album Blue Valentine. Traces of their relationship show up on this song, which describes an untamed couple trying to convince themselves that they are right for each other.
  • Pirates was Jones' second album. She brought Lenny Waronker and Russ Titelman back to produce, but this time the session were much more difficult. "We Belong Together" was especially challenging because she couldn't get the drums to her liking. It took three different sessions, all with different sets of musicians, to get it right. "I just could not find the right drum patterns," she told Uncut. "I was referencing Jackson Browne and Steely Dan, neither of which was leading us to the right feel. Then Steve Gadd asked me to play it for him again, and he sat and watched my body as I played, looking at where I stamped my foot in the last verse. He did this genius thing of playing what sounded like a shuffle or a 3/4. He found this other time and it pulled the whole song together, and it was majestic."

Comments: 6

  • Greg Chick from Tehachapi Ca.Ricki and Tom followed their split with master pieces.. they are co writers of each in my mind...We belong together is the best ballad I know...
  • Birdman_euston from London, UkFrom Rickie's 1981 album *Pirates*, which features at least two other gorgeous songs: "Living It Up" and the aforementioned "A Lucky Guy". An album described in The Word magazine and elsewhere as one of the most underrated of all time.
  • Jim from Boston, MaYes, this song is about Tom Waits, as is "A Lucky Guy" from the same album. Waits' one mistake.
  • Alita from Spokane, Wacandice, you are obviously very young. Mariah Carey ain't got nothing on ricky lee jones, and it is almost an abomiation to compare the two. Mariah Carey should think of original song titles
  • Kate from New York, NyIs this song about Tom Waits?
  • Candice from Vancouver, CanadaMariah Carey has a #1 hit song with the same title but sounds completly different to this one.
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