Tuesday, May 17, 2022

"After All" by Cher & Peter Cetera

Top 10 Alert!
Gold Record Alert!
Song#:  3832
Date:  03/11/1989
Debut:  59
Peak:  6
Weeks:  20
Genre:  Pop, Adult Contemporary, Soundtrack

Pop Bits:  In '88, songwriter Dean Pitchford (of Footloose fame) was tasked to write a theme song for an upcoming rom-com film titled Chances Are. Taking cues from the film's plot, Pitchford came up with a concept for a song and then took it over to his sometimes co-writer Tom Snow. The pair finished the new tune "After All" and work began on finding artists to record it as a duet. Cher was in the process of recording the follow up to her successful '87 self-titled comeback album and the tune made it over to her camp. For a duet partner, Peter Cetera was approached and came on board. The track was completed and just prior to the film's opening, it was issued out as a single. It would find its way to the Pop Top 10 while hitting #1 at AC. In doing so, the song became Cher's first effort as a solo artist to top that chart. There were no plans to issue out a soundtrack album to the film, so the only way to get the song upon release was the single and that helped it reach gold level sales. It would later be included on Cher's '89 album Heart of Stone. The tune would go on to receive an Oscar nod for Best Original Song.

ReduxReview:  Celebrity duet - check. Big ballad - check. Sounds like a movie theme - check. Memorable chorus - check. Film music composer pedigree - check. The song checked every box needed in order to make it a hit and it indeed became a gold record. It really was a terrific AC ballad that played well on the radio, which was a good thing because in the age of MTV, no video for this tune was made to promote it or the movie, which was highly unusual. Yet despite that lack of exposure, the song became a hit anyway and deservedly so. While I wasn't a Peter Cetera fan, his voice ended up meshing well with Cher's. Each had a distinctive and easily recognizable voice so putting them together was a no-brainer. The song was a boost for Cher since her new album was imminent, but it didn't do much for Cetera whose next album wouldn't come out until '92.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  The rom-com Chances Are  starred Cybill Shepherd, Robert Downey, Jr., and Ryan O'Neal. Shepherd at the time was riding high on the success of her TV show with Bruce Willis Moonlighting. The movie was an opportunity for her to get back on the big screen. It was filmed while Moonlighting was on a seasonal hiatus. Shepherd hadn't been in a theatrical film since the 1980 b-movie sci-fi flick The Return and hadn't been in a successful film since 1976's Taxi Driver. Her success with Moonlighting reignited her star and Chances Are was a vehicle to get her back into movies. The film was greeted with generally positive reviews, but for whatever reason, the public didn't show up and it fell short at the box office. Shepherd would do more films over the years, but none would be hits. She had better luck on the smaller screen with Moonlighting and her sitcom show Cybill, which lasted four seasons. Both shows would earn Shepherd Golden Globe awards and Emmy nominations.


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