Mar 262017
 

from HARD TO SAY I’M SORRY (single)

written by David Foster & Peter Cetera

Chicago’s “Hard To Say I’m Sorry” was one of the turning points in David Foster’s career. The super-producer had already co-written big hits including “After The Love Is Gone” for Earth, Wind & Fire, “Got To Be Real” for Cheryl Lynn and Boz Scaggs’ “Love, Look What You’ve Done To Me.” Foster really hit the jackpot on this heaven-sent collaboration with former Chicago front-man Peter Cetera in May 1982. The blonde tenor was in his prime as a singer/songwriter and instantly clicked with Foster.

Cetera and Foster delivered a series of great tunes for the legendary band’s Chicago16 album. “Hard To Say I’m Sorry” was a last minute addition to that project and became a global smash, reached the Top Ten in several countries including #1 in the US for two weeks and #4 in the UK. The elegant ballad had a melting melody and romantic atmosphere that set the standard for the pop/adult contemporary genre of the decade. Foster’s classic keyboard-driven sounds and top-notch craft for arranging mixed perfectly with Cetera’s blossoming talent as a pop songwriter and his superior vocal prowess. Their musical relationship really started with a bang and eventually delivered more top hits including “You’re The Inspiration” and “Stay The Night” for Chicago and Cetera’s solo #1, “Glory Of Love.” On “Hard To Say I’m Sorry,” the revered singer/bassist handled the song and its many variations with total confidence. Cetera gave a killer vocal performance from the smooth intro to the powerful crescendo and the commanding climax. The backing track was a showcase of Foster at his best. Here’s a note that the Hitman sent describing the genesis of the song:

 “Chicago 16 was completed. Peter came over to my house and told me that Irving Azoff [ Chicago ’s manager] suggested that we should try and write a song for the up-coming movie, Summer Lovers. We wrote “Hard To Say I’m Sorry” in one afternoon as I quickly came up with the music and Peter with the words. We went back into the studio to record it and added it to the already finished album. On that session, I played piano, keyboards and synth bass and Cetera did all the amazing vocals. Jeremy Lubbock wrote the beautiful string arrangement, Danny Seraphine put his stamp on drums while Steve Lukather added his fantastic guitars.”

 “Hard To Say I’m Sorry” and its giant success breathed new life into Chicago ’s declining career. It provided a new phase for the veteran group that resulted in platinum albums and a string of top singles. This coming June 15th in New York City , Cetera, along with former band mates James Pankow and Robert Lamm, will join his old pal Foster into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame. Congratulations!


Listen

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Lead & Backing Vocals: Peter Cetera
Piano, Keyboards & Synthesizer Bass: David Foster
Guitars: Steve Lukather
Drums: Danny Seraphine

Strings Arranged by Jeremy Lubbock
Produced & Arranged by David Foster


Lyrics

Everybody needs a little time away
I heard her say
From each other
Even lovers need a holiday
Far away
From each other

Hold me now
It’s hard for me to say I’m sorry
I just want you to stay
After all that we’ve been through
I will make it up to you
I promise to
And after all that’s been said and done
You’re just the part of me I can’t let go

Couldn’t stand to be kept away
Just for the day
From your body
Wouldn’t want to be swept away
Far away
From the one that I love

Hold me now
It’s hard for me to say I’m sorry
I just want you to know
Hold me now
I really want to tell you I’m sorry
I could never let you go
After all that we’ve been through
I will make it up to you
I promise to
And after all that’s been said and done
You’re just the part of me I can’t let go

After all that we’ve been through
I will make it up to you
I promise to

You’re gonna be the lucky one
When we get there gonna jump in the air
No one’ll see us ’cause there’s nobody there
After all, you know we really don’t care
Hold on, I’m gonna take you there