The original version, performed by Patti Austin and James Ingram (with Michael McDonald contributing background vocals), and produced by Quincy Jones, appears on Austin's 1981 album, Every Home Should Have One. When first released as a single, it had minor chart success in the spring 1982, spending one month on the pop singles chart and peaking at No. 73 on the Billboard Hot 100. It did, however, reach number 11 in the UK.
Later that year, it gained new exposure as the romantic theme song for Luke Spencer, a leading character on the ABC soap opera General Hospital. ABC received so many inquiries about the song that Warner Brothers decided to re-release "Baby, Come to Me" as a single in October. It then spent seven more months on the chart, reaching number one on the Hot 100 for two weeks, and also hit number one Adult Contemporary charts in early 1983.