Smokey Robinson is an eminent songwriter, but he didn't write this one. Robinson was in a terrible funk - his last Top 10 hit was in 1981 ("Being With You
") and he was reeling from addiction and depression. Robinson was good friends with Marvin Gaye, and when Gaye was shot to death in 1984, Robinson sunk into an abyss, delving deeper into a cocaine addiction.
In May 1986, a friend took him to church, which marked a turning point in his life. "There was a female minister who told me God had told her I was coming," Smokey told Rolling Stone. "She knew everything that was going on, stuff I had never told anybody before about the afflictions in my body and heart. I was addicted, but when I came out, I was free."
A short time later Robinson, who was recording for Motown Records, was approached by an executive at the label who brought him the demo of this song, which became a comeback hit for the singer.