from CHICAGO 16
written by David Foster & James Pankow
David Foster had an extremely successful collaboration with Chicago in the first half of the eighties. During their time together, they delivered an impressive number of punchy, pop/rock songs that were overshadowed by the chart triumph of timeless ballads like “Hard To Say I’m Sorry,” “You’re The Inspiration” and “Will You Still Love Me.”
Chicago 16, for example, offers a variety of horn-driven rockers that never made it to radio, yet are amazing in terms of songwriting, production and performances.
“Follow Me,” a James Pankow/David Foster composition, is one of these goodies. This rock tune showcases the band’s classic sound and superior musicianship perfectly balanced by the super-producer with key elements of the most refined quality pop atmospheres. “Follow Me” was also the perfect vehicle to introduce Bill Champlin’s outstanding vocal talent to Chicago fans. The Oakland-born singer/songwriter owns the song with his soulful and muscular baritone delivering a fantastic performance. He was supported by a tight rhythm section, “in your face” horns and great guitar work courtesy of Toto’s axe-man, Steve Lukather. The instrumental track is also reminiscent of Toto’s slick pop/rock, but the up-front horns, key changes and overall mood are strongly connected to Chicago’s jazz/rock roots.
Again, Foster kindly sent us a brief comment about this composition:
“I remember driving to Malibu to write this song with Jimmy (Pankow). I pushed him and the other horn players to sound like the trademark Chicago that I loved so much. Champlin was really at the top of his game on this one. He and Cetera really clicked and their vocal harmonies are terrific on the whole album. Lukather’s amazing guitar solo was the icing on the cake.”
Take a listen and you’ll surely wonder why musicians of this caliber aren’t yet in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall Of Fame.
Lead Vocals: Bill Champlin
Keyboards: David Foster
Bass: Peter Cetera
Drums: Danny Seraphine
Trombone: James Pankow
Trumpet: Lee Loughnane
Saxophone: Walter Parazaider
Guitars: Chris Pinnick, Steve Lukather & Michael Landau
Guitar Solo: Steve Lukather
Backing Vocals: Bill Champlin & Peter Cetera
Horns Arranged by James Pankow
Background Vocals Arranged by Bill Champlin & Peter Cetera
Produced & Arranged by David Foster
One shoe on; one shoe off.
Nothin’ in life is decideable; wouldn’t you know.
Nothing’s supposed to be easy.
Take one day at a time. Ain’t no need to hurry.
Realize where you are, and where you’re going to.
Follow me, ain’t no need to go on all by yourself.
Follow me; don’t need nobody else.
Follow me; and together we’ll build a better life.
One more time; toe the line;
Nothing in life is impossible. Both of us know
Life is as good as we make it.
Dark reflections of the past
Drown in our tomorrows.
Time to laugh; time to love;
Time to live again.
Time to laugh; time to live again.