Michael Masser, who worked as a producer on the album, wrote this with Will Jennings, a lyricist from East Texas who around this time was also writing for Steve Winwood, B.B. King, The Crusaders and Randy Crawford. Jennings told us: "'Didn't We Almost Have It All' is a song about wishing for reunion with someone, and making the case for it by recalling past good times."
This was the fifth of seven consecutive US #1 hits for Houston, whose career was being guided by Clive Davis at Arista Records. Davis had quite a knack for finding songs that would be successful for Houston, and enlisted Masser to write for her. He had written the hit ballads "Touch Me In The Morning" (for Diana Ross) and "Tonight, I Celebrate My Love" (for Roberta Flack and Peabo Bryson) and also wrote Houston's hits "The Greatest Love Of All" and "Saving All My Love For You."
Jennings: "I think that probably took longer than any other song. Michael was traveling and he was in the studio and doing this and that, so I think it was about a year or two after we started it that it was finished. And I sort of lost track of the whole thing. It was one of those never-to-be-repeated experiences, because he was producing the record and he wanted to really nail it down. He kept feeling it wasn't finished and so he'd put it away, and I was off working on something. I'd lost track of what went on with it." (Check out our interview with Will Jennings.)