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  • Soundbite Bio

Peter Cetera Top 5 Songs

Updated: Jun 26

Peter Cetera is best known as the longtime front man of the band Chicago, but he has also enjoyed success as a solo artist. Cetera was a bass player for a band called the Exceptions when, in late 1967, he was recruited by another group called Chicago Transit Authority to play bass. Chicago became one of America's most popular acts in the early '70s, with hits such as "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is, and Saturday In The Park. When Chicago wrote "If You Leave Me Now" in 1976, it hit number one, and most of Chicago's subsequent work followed in the same soft rock style. The band's fortunes dwindled over the remainder of the decade, but in 1982 Chicago returned to the top of the charts with "Hard to Say I'm Sorry." The band had several more hits, including "Hard Habit to Break" and "You're the Inspiration."

#5 The Next Time I fall in Love

Bobby Caldwell penned this song with songwriting partner Paul Gordon. Caldwell best known for the song "What You Won't Do For Love" in 1979. Caldwell's song hit #9 on the American charts. Since then, it has been covered by over 70 artists. A sample from Go West's 1993 version peaked at #15 in UK and #55 in US. A cover by Tupac Shakur peaked at #30 in the US.

The songwriting duo originally pitched The Next Time I fall in Love to Chicago, unaware that Peter Cetera had left the group. Fortunately, Cetera was recording a solo album and looking for songs to record.

Amy Grant was relatively unknown outside of the Christian music scene where she was nicknamed the "Queen of Christian Pop." The collaboration gave Grant an opportunity to enter the secular pop scene.

#4 Hard to Say Sorry

The band used the same formula that produced their first #1 hit, "If You Leave Me Now": a ballad featuring lead vocals by Peter Cetera.

Chicago was dropped from Columbia Records and picked up by the Full Moon Label, distributed by Warner Bro. This song constituted a resurgence for the band. David Foster, who plays piano on the track, wrote this with Chicago vocalist Peter Cetera.

In the song, Cetera is trying to hold on to a relationship after it has fizzled out. He promises to make up for his indiscretions and plays the "we've been through so much" card. A few years earlier, Foster composed a similarly themed song for Earth, Wind & Fire titled "After The Love Has Gone."

Hard to Say Sorry became a chart-topping hit for Chicago when it reached #1 in America and even became a UK hit, reaching #4 (it also debuted at #1 on the US Adult Contemporary chart).

#3 You're the Inspiration

As one of the biggest hitmakers of the '80s and '90s, David Foster composed this song with Peter Cetera and also produced the album.

The song was written by Cetera and Foster for Kenny Rogers. Rogers didn't record it, so they rewrote a few lines and recorded it for Chicago.

In collaborating with Foster, the band made some adjustments to their sound in an endeavor to become more successful. The horn section was disappointed with the new direction because many of these songs didn't call for horns. They were also concerned that they saw themselves as the stars of the band. And, for a while, they probably were. But, as time passed, the listeners and the media turned against them. Despite this, the band found a new audience and was able to continue for three more decades.

#2 Hard Habit To Break

This song is about a man who takes his wife for granted until she can't take it anymore and walks out. He is now unable to cope with her rejection.

At the time Chicago's songs were typically written by the band, but two outside writers contributed to this one: Steve Kipner and Jon Parker. Kipner also wrote "Physical" and "Genie in a Bottle." Parker contributed music for several TV shows, including Family Feud.

Peter Cetera released this ballad as his first solo single after leaving Chicago. In the film The Karate Kid: Part II, the theme song fits in perfectly. In no time, the song became a popular choice at weddings and proms across the country.

David Foster, who produced Chicago's highly successful albums Chicago 16 (1982) and Chicago 17 (1984), wrote this song with Peter Cetera and his wife (at the time) Diane Nini.

Glory of Love is a rather enduring love song with some bold promises:

I am a man who will fight for your honor I'll be the hero you're dreamin' of

Certainly, Cetera is putting it all on the line, willing to do whatever it takes for the glory of love.

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