Tuesday, May 11, 2021

"I Wasn't the One (Who Said Goodbye)" by Agnetha Fältskog and Peter Cetera

Song#:  3490
Date:  04/23/1988
Debut:  96
Peak:  93
Weeks:  3
Genre:  Pop, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  After the breakup of ABBA in 1982, Agnetha Fältskog opted for a solo career and released her first English language album, Wrap Your Arms Around Me, in 1983. It did well in Europe and was a huge #1 seller in her home country of Sweden. In the US, it only got to #102. It spawned the #29 single "Can't Shake Loose." Two years later, she released Eyes of a Woman, which got to #2 in Sweden, but didn't do as well elsewhere and failed to chart in the US. In the fall of '86, Fältskog performed at a UN charity event in Sweden. Also there and performing was Peter Cetera, whose post-Chicago solo career had recently taken off. They met and talked about how they admired each other's work and it wasn't long before the subject of working together came up. In '87, Fältskog flew to L.A. and began to work on an album with Peter Cetera and Bruce Gaitch producing. Cetera and Gaitsch would also write what would be the title track to the album "I Stand Alone," and Cetera would be a duet partner for Fältskog on this track that was issued out as a single. The song would do well at AC reaching #19, but it couldn't get a break on the Pop chart where it spent a short three weeks near the bottom. It wasn't enough to make the album sell and it failed to reach the chart. However, back home in Sweden the LP was a massive success spending eight weeks at #1 and becoming the best selling album of 1988.

ReduxReview:  This ballad is right out of the Cetera playbook. Had he not recorded it with Fältskog, he probably would have put it on his own album with another female vocalist. Written by Mark Mueller and Aaron Zigman, it was a solid AC ballad that certainly fit both vocalists well. What might have possibly held it back from doing better was the lack of promotion. Apparently, Fältskog had a severe fear of flying, so even getting her to L.A. was a challenge. After she returned home, she didn't do anything to promote the song in the US. Cetera perhaps could have, but it really wasn't his single and he was also on the verge of releasing his third solo album. A brooding AC ballad like this was going to be a hard sell at the time so it needed all the help it could get, which apparently wasn't really there. While it is not a lost gem, it was a good track that should have done better.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  After I Stand Alone, Fältskog decided to step away from recording for a while and pursue other interests. After seventeen years, she decided to finally record a new album. Her 2004 LP My Colouring Book, consisted of Fältskog covering songs that she enjoyed when growing up in the 60s. The LP's first single, "If I Thought You'd Change Your Mind," originally a 1969 UK #20 by Cilla Black, hit #2 in Sweden and became her biggest solo UK hit reaching #11. The album would get to #1 in Sweden and #12 UK. It would be another nine years before she would record a follow-up. In 2013, she released A, her first LP of original material since I Stand Alone. It was well-received and went Top 10 in several countries including Sweden (#2) and the UK (#6). Surprisingly, the LP also made a brief appearance on the US chart at #186.


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