Back in 2003 I had a songwriting contest which was won by UK worship leader Tim Light. I eventually had the chance to visit England and meet him and his talented friend and fellow worship leader Phil LeCheminant.
Tim has been over here several times to lead worship and do some songwriting. In 2004 I told him we ought to write a Christmas worship song since at that time there weren’t many. Contemporary worship sort of stalls out in December as people expect to hear carols in church and most of them talk ABOUT God (like traditional hymns) not TO God (like praise and worship songs.)
That afternoon Tim and I wrote I Adore You in about an hour if I remember correctly. It was an immediate “hit” – downloaded that Christmas season by over 20,000 churches.
Then as years went by the song grew in popularity – G3 Worship recorded a version, WorshipFilms.com made a video for it and the 700 Club did a feature story on it.
This is also a great lesson for aspiring Christian songwriters – do you really need a record label these days?)
Arranging and recording:
Here are a few tidbits for those interested in recording and arranging. The free version of I Adore You also marks the first time I took the plunge and started mixing my own music.
Up until then I figured I’d just be a songwriter and arranger. A decent home project studio could cost in the tens of thousands of dollars and I didn’t know much about EQ, reverb and compression anyway.
I laid down some synth tracks for I Adore You in Sonar, made a quick demo and emailed it to an engineer I knew and had worked with in the late 90’s in Nashville.
The mix he sent back just did not work. I let Adam Fisher hear it. He said “it’s a good mix… if it were 1995.”
This was 2006 and the whole Chris Sligh American Idol frenzy was underway. Adam had just mixed the Half Past Forever CD (Chris Sligh’s band) and mastered it in my spare bedroom using Ozone (a mastering plugin for your computer.) I said to Adam “Am I crazy or does my demo sound better than the mix from this Nashville engineer?!” So we took the plunge, and Adam mixed and mastered I Adore You. I realized the studio that would have cost a fortune in 1997 was sitting in my desktop computer in 2006 – a full recording, mixing and mastering platform with all the EQs, delays and reverb I could ever want – all within Sonar… (or Pro Tools or whatever your choice of DAWs i.e. Digital Audio Workstations.)
And that’s why your local recording studio just went bankrupt.
My previous 2003 version of I Adore You was a bit “churchy” and I wanted to pop this one up. Rule #1: add a drum loop to anything to make it sound more current. I use software called Stylus to create my loops on my computer within Sonar. Dimension Pro is one of my favorite software synths and that’s what created those percolation sounds you hear in the first verse.
And if you’re old enough, do you remember those crazy cool orchestral endings Chicago (or rather, producer David Foster) would throw on the end of their songs? Hard Habit to Break, Love Me Tomorrow… I guess that’s why I love mixing strings with pop music. So I admit I got a little carried away and threw an orchestrated ending on I Adore You – don’t feel you have to try and replicate that in a live setting LOL!
And by 2006 Tim had been getting lots of studio experience in the UK and his voice had that awesome “I sing a lot in the studio” edge to it. Tim recorded the vocals at Phil’s studio in Romsey, UK and emailed them to me. My friend Ingrid DuMosch added background vocals in Seattle. It was quite the international undertaking.
Using I Adore You in worship:
I Adore You is simple enough for your congregation to learn when they first hear it – they’ll be singing along by the final chorus. Try adding it to the end of your praise set this holiday season – it especially goes well after O Come All Ye Faithful.
We recorded this version in A major as it fit Tim’s voice a bit better. As I preached last week, please feel free to sing it in any key that works best for your ministry – I suggest G for your congregation.