Monday, August 14, 2017

"You're the Inspiration" by Chicago

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  2131
Date:  11/17/1984
Debut:  61
Peak:  3
Weeks:  22
Genre:  Pop, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  The band's Chicago 17 LP started out slow, but gained momentum when its second single, "Hard Habit to Break" took off and reached #3 at both Pop and AC. Keeping along those same big-ballad lines, this track was selected as the follow-up single. It did even better at AC reaching the top of the chart. It also did well at Pop hitting the same #3 position as "Habit" did, both for two weeks at that spot. Chart-wise at Pop, "Habit" ended up finishing slightly better hanging around on the chart for three more weeks.

ReduxReview:  This was one of those songs that I got sick of because it was so overplayed. After awhile, it just became annoying. However, it really is a well-done tune and a solid follow-up to the superior "Hard Habit." Unfortunately (or fortunately?) the two hits got the band tagged as a supplier of big pop ballads and that dogged them for years after. In fact, all of the band's future Top 10's (there would be five of them ahead) were all in this exact same vein. It worked for them, so I guess they just went with it for as long as they could. Their days of being a horn-led rock/jazz-rock band were certainly over. I remember seeing them the summer of '83 and folks in the audience held up signs asking them to play stuff like "Colour My World." I'm not sure if it was Peter Cetera or one of the other guys who saw the signs and said "yeah, we don't play that stuff anymore." I thought that was a crappy thing to say. It just seemed the whole band didn't want to be there and had an attitude about it. They played fine, but in the end it was not a good show. I still rank it as the worst concert I have ever seen.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Lead singer Peter Cetera wrote this song with producer David Foster. Originally, the tune was intended for Kenny Rogers. Apparently, Foster was working with Rogers and Rogers had asked if Cetera could write something for him. It had to be done quickly as Rogers was already in the studio recording an album. Foster met with Cetera and the two plotted out the basics of a song. Cetera later finished it off with lyrics and got it over to Rogers, who ended up passing on the song. When Cetera and Foster later got together to do the new Chicago album, Cetera dusted off the song, made a few changes, and got it recorded. It ended up being one of Chicago's biggest hits.


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