Tag Archives: Chicago

Remember That Song: 10/2/17

Can you name the artist and song:

Our so called leaders speak
With words they try to jail you
They subjugate the meek
But it’s the rhetoric of failure


Last Song: “Love Me Tomorrow” by Chicago from the album Chicago 16 (1982)

Great job Drew (@ChristiedDrew)!!!

You know it’s always cold at night
It’s always lonely until the dawn

If you’d like to purchase this song from Amazon, click on the album cover below:

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Remember That Song: 1/13/17

Can you name the artist and song:

Sister’s sighing in her sleep
Brother’s got a date to keep
He can’t hang around


Last Song: “Look Away” by Chicago from the album Chicago 19 (1988)

Great job Todd (@ToddShriver) and Andy (@andytorah)!!!

When we both agreed as lovers
We were better off as friends
That’s how it had to be

Top 40 Songs This Week – November 10, 1984: Songs 10-1

Welcome back as we wrap up this week’s countdown. If you missed the previous songs, you can go back and check out songs 40-31, 30-21, and 20-11. If you are in the U.S., I hope this countdown has provided a little escape from the election day craziness. This has been a great week of music. For those of us who grew up around the time of this countdown, we were so lucky to enjoy some great music. Now let’s Return to the week ending November 10, 1984, and wrap up this countdown.


10. “Desert Moon” by Dennis DeYoung

Earlier in the countdown, we had a song by Tommy Shaw in the wake of the band Styx falling apart. Now we have the former Styx frontman, Dennis DeYoung with his solo effort. This is an outstanding song, that would peak right here at #10.

9. “Hard Habit to Break” by Chicago

Thanks to producer, David Foster, we were right in the middle of Chicago’s renaissance. I do get slightly annoyed that most people only know of Chicago from their power ballads, even though they have some incredible rock songs. But, with a song like this, I can totally see why. This is one of my favorites by them. I love that both Peter Cetera and Bill Champlin sing on this. I love both of their voices. Great combination!

8. “Blue Jean” by David Bowie

David Bowie (still can’t believe he is gone) was still making an impact on the music world at this point. This song was off of his Tonight album, which was his follow-up to the mega-successful Let’s Dance album. This song was launched with a 21-minute short film, Jazzin’ for Blue Jean. The film won the 1985 Grammy Award for “Best Video, Short form” (Later renamed “Best Music Video”), which would be Bowie’s only competitive Grammy Award during his career. He was nominated for several, but this was his only win, in addition to his Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.

7. “Better Be Good to Me” by Tina Turner

This song is from Tina Turner’s huge comeback album, Private Dancer. This song was originally recorded and released in 1981 by Spider, a band from New York City with one of the co-writers, Holly Knight, as a member. Of course Tina had the most successful version. The song won Tina Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female, one of four Grammys awarded to Turner in that ceremony.

6. “Out of Touch” by Daryl Hall & John Oates

There weren’t too many acts as big in the ’80s as Hall & Oates.This was their lead single from their 1984 album Big Bam Boom. It would be their last #1 hit. The song was also their 14th straight top 40 hit since 1980.


Before we continue, let’s see what was topping some of the other charts this week in 1984:

The number one country song was “I’ve Been Around Enough to Know” by John Schneider (Yes, that John Schneider from The Dukes of Hazzard)

Topping the Rock charts was “I Can’t Hold Back” by Survivor

Number one on the Adult Contemporary charts was “What About Me?” by Kenny Rogers, Kim Carnes and James Ingram

The Number 1 album was Purple Rain by Prince and the Revolution

And topping both the R&B and the Dance charts is our #5 song on the Hot 100 this week:

5. “I Feel For You” by Chaka Kahn

While Prince was a megastar performer himself, he also wrote music covered by other artists. This was one of them. Prince wrote this song, and it was on his debut album. It was also covered by The Pointer Sisters on their 1982 album, So Excited!.
Then Chaka Kahn took over, and this song would start a big comeback for her. Melle Mel (from Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five) did the rapping. And Stevie Wonder is on the harmonica.

4. “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” by Wham!

This was Wham!’s big breakthrough hit. It became their first American and UK number-one hit. To be honest, I really hated this song when it first came out. I like it now because of its nostalgic value. It should also be noted that while it was at the top of the charts for two weeks, it prevented the next song from becoming a #1 hit…

3. “Purple Rain” by Prince

Yes, perhaps Prince’s signature song, this never hit #1 (still can’t believe he is gone). That doesn’t change anything though. This is an iconic song of the decade. For a lot of people, when you mention the ’80s, one of the first images that come to mind is the cover of the Purple Rain soundtrack and movie poster. And if you listened to our Prince episode of the Return to the ’80s podcast, you would know that there is a Journey connection here. After recording the song, Prince phoned Jonathan Cain from Journey asking him to hear it, worried it might be too similar to “Faithfully“, a Journey single composed by Cain which had recently been in the charts. Cain reassured Prince telling him the songs only shared the same four chords. Prince was extremely sensitive to Copyright infringement. It’s good to see he put his money where his mouth was, and was careful himself.

2. “I Just Called to Say I Love You” by Stevie Wonder

This was one of Stevie Wonder’s most commercially successful hits. It was featured in the Gene Wilder (still can’t believe he’s gone) movie The Woman in Red. The ballad won both a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for Best Original Song. It was also nominated for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, Song of the Year and Best Pop Instrumental Performance at the Grammy Awards.

1. “Caribbean Queen (No More Love On The Run)” by Billy Ocean

I always loved Billy Ocean’s voice. This is a good one. It won Ocean the 1985 Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance, making him the first British artist to win in that category.


Well that wraps up this week’s Countdown. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I have. Did you have any favorites or least favorites? Let’s do another one of these in the coming weeks. In the meantime, Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.

Remember That Song: 11/2/16

Can you name the artist and song:

Turn around
Look at what you see
In her face
The mirror of your dreams


Last Song: “Hard to Say I’m Sorry” by Chicago from the album Chicago 16 (1982)

Great job Robert (@mishouenglish), Scooter (@sneely71), Rachael (@HELPER32), southernhon (@peacesong464), Jim (@JimVilk), and Andy (@andytorah)!!!

Wouldn’t want to be swept away
Far away from the one that I love

Remember That Song: 7/15/16

Today, we are headed into 1991.
Can you name the artist and song:

And you think you’re so strong
But there ain’t no stopping no there’s nothin’
You can do about it


Last Song: “You’re the Inspiration” by Chicago from Chicago 17 (1984)

Great job Andy (@andytorah)!!!

And I know, yes I know that it’s plain to see
We’re so in love when we’re together

Remember That Song: 10/15/15

Can you name the artist and song:

Tonight I’m crawling out from in it
And though we’re livin’ on the brink
Second by second by minute by minute


Last Song: “If She Would Have Been Faithful… ” by Chicago from Chicago 18 (1986)

Great job Robert (@mishouenglish)!!!

I watch you sleeping – your body touchin’ me
There’s no doubt about it
This is where I want to be

1990-1991 Music Wrap Up

MI0001626022As this week comes to a close, I’d like to thank you for allowing me to indulge myself, and step over to the ’90s for a bit. We’ll wrap up with some of my favorites from this time period. There are some deep tracks that I really loved. So I hope you enjoy some of these songs. As usual, you can click on the song title to get to the video. These songs are in no particular order.

My Side of the Bed” by Susanna Hoffs

After The Bangles’ hot run throughout the ’80s, Susanna Hoffs embarked on a solo career. I bought her album, When You’re a Boy. I was expecting it to be better than it was. She is much better with her bandmates. However, there were a few good songs on it, including this Billboard Top 40 single “My Side of the Bed”. I had forgotten about this, but was reminded of it by my friend, and loyal reader, Andy.

Explain It to My Heart” and “Chasin’ the Wind” by Chicago

On the way back from the Gulf, our ship stopped at Singapore for a couple of days. I loved it there! There was a huge mall there, and of course I had to go in a record store there. I bought Chicago Twenty 1, and the next album coming up on this list. I fell in love with this album. Every single song, on this underrated album, is incredible. These two songs are great ballads. “Explain It to My Heart” is the first song on the album, and “Chasin’ the Wind” is the first song on the second side.

Fading Like a Flower (Every Time You Leave)” by Roxette

This song was off of Roxette’s album, Joyride, which I bought along with Chicago Twenty 1, in Singapore. This is another album I loved, and this is my favorite song from the album. It is also one of my favorite songs by Roxette.

Thunderstruck” and “Moneytalks” by AC/DC

These are a couple of my favorite AC/DC songs, and they were both on the same album – The Razor’s Edge. “Thunderstruck” has got to have one of the best openings of any song, ever. Talk about getting you pumped up! And “Moneytalks” is just a flat-out fun, rockin’ song.

As Long As I’m Alive” by The Little River Band

While in the Middle East, we stopped by Bahrain quite a few times. We would load up on supplies, and it was easier to refuel. So, we would be able to get off the ship. I would always to to the Souq, which was a marketplace. There were several music stores there. They would have 90 minute tapes, often with the greatest hits of anybody you could think of – for the price of 3 dollars, which was extremely cheap (even back then). While most people from the ship loaded up on gold and clothing, I loaded up on tapes. My locker was lined with tapes, from top to bottom (in alphabetical order, of course). One tape I bought had about 40 songs on it. There were some great songs on there, so I had to buy it. There were so many songs on there because they were only samples. A Middle Eastern DJ would introduce a song, then the song would fade out after the first chorus. One of the songs was this great one from The Little River Band. I fell in love with this song, and had to find where it came from. Pre-Google, I somehow found out it was on their new album, Get Lucky. The whole album was really good, but this still remains my favorite song by them.

[not available on iTunes]

Miles Away” by Winger

This incredible power ballad by Winger was so appropriate at the time. As I was miles away from family and friends, this song really meant a lot to me.

I Am Your Radio” by the McAuley Shenker Group

Just before I went on the ship for the last time before we left for the Gulf War, I was in the Navy Exchange (store), and came across the music section (go figure). I was browsing, trying to find something good that I didn’t already own. A girl came up to me, and said that I should get McAuley Shenker Group’s Save Yourself. I had neveThat album just blew me away heard of them, but decided to give it a shot. Best.Advice.Ever! There are so many great songs on that album, but this was my favorite.

[not available on iTunes]

Save Our Love” by Yngwie Malmsteen

This song was on another mix tape that I bought in Bahrain. However, this time the full songs were on the tape. I believe the tape was titled Right Here Waiting – Homesick Love Songs. Before this song, I had never heard of Yngwie Malmsteen. I had no idea if it was a group or a person. Well, he is a legendary guitarist from Sweden. He is beyond incredible. And this song is an outstanding power ballad that I still play a lot.

Blind Faith” by Warrant

Unfortunately, Warrant is now best known for “Cherry Pie“. Although I love that song, they had so many other great songs. And “Blind Faith” is my favorite among them. It is such a great, underrated ballad.

Coming of Age” by Damn Yankees

This supergroup just blew me away when I first heard them. How can you go wrong with Tommy Shaw of Styx, Jack Blades of Night Ranger, and Ted Nugent. The drummer, Michael Cartellone, was unknown, but outstanding. He would eventually join Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Their power ballad, “High Enough“, always seems to get the airplay. But this lead single is still one of my favorites by them. And there is not a weak song on their self-titled debut album.


Well, I could just keep going on and on with songs that I love from this time period. But, I’ll have to cut this short now. Maybe I’ll do an ’80s in the ’90s series. Do any of you have any songs that you love from 1990 through 1991?

Remember That Song: 6/17/15

Can you name the artist and song:

We dreamers have our ways
Of facin’ rainy days
And somehow we survive


Last Song: “Stay the Night” by Chicago from Chicago 17 (1984)

Great job Jim (@JimVilk)!!!

Just to have you near me
Here by my side
Just to have you near
And when I get next to your body

Going Solo: Peter Cetera

Hi Everybody! Here is the latest entry of the “Going Solo” series, presented by Robert. The first entry was Phil Collins. Now, we have Peter Cetera of Chicago fame. While Chicago had been around for a while, and I’m sure I heard their music in the ’70s and early ’80s, my formal introduction to Peter Cetera and Chicago was seeing Cetera clinging on the hood of a red convertable, trying to get the girl in the music video for “Stay the Night“. Chicago would go on to be one of my all time favorite groups. They were actually my first rock concert. But, that was long after Peter Cetera was gone from the band. Well, that’s all I have to say for now, but I’m sure Robert has at least “One More Story” on the subject. Take it away, Robert!

The Voice of Chicago Flies Solo

One advantage of growing up in Germany and attending Frankfurt American Junior High School and Frankfurt American High school was that our field trip was to Strasbourg, France. On the 1984 trip I actually ended up with some extra money before the train was to bring us home. Not wanting to bring my parents change, I quickly ducked into a music store and purchased two albums that would go on to be two of my favorites. One of those albums was Chicago 17. I owned a few albums by Chicago and was excited to listen to their latest. This album was Chicago’s most successful release and I was absolutely drawn to the lead singer’s voice. At the ripe old age of 14, I was very into reading liner notes – I wanted to know who wrote the songs, who sang, who played, and who produced. I especially loved the albums that included lyrics. I developed the habit of reading the liner notes for a few days before I even listened to the music. In my opinion, this is the major piece missing from downloading digital music. I discovered that the singer’s name was Peter Cetera and he also played bass – that sets up the focus for the second installment of ‘80s solo artists who started with a band, but broke away to create their own music.

When I bought Chicago 17, I had no idea that Peter Cetera was about to re-launch his solo career. In 1981 Peter Cetera released a self titled solo album. There were many complications with the record company so the album received no promotion, and subsequently failed. In 1986 Cetera gave a song to the soundtrack of The Karate Kid, Part II – now he had a solo career! This excellent song, “The Glory of Love”, reached #1 on the Billboard charts. This huge hit was included on Cetera’s first solo album Solitude/Solitaire. This album clearly marked Cetera’s break from Chicago. He wanted to continue with the band in addition to recording his solo music (much like Phil Collins and Genesis), but the band refused the offer, and Cetera was now a true solo artist.

All told, Cetera released seven solo albums in addition to that first effort. These albums spawned only four Top 40 hits – clearly the early success of his solo work could not be sustained, but that first album- wow, what an album.

What a perfect time to take a look at this great album,  Solitude/Solitaire.

Big Mistake

The album opens with a somewhat surprising track. As the vocalist for Chicago, Cetera was best known as the voice of some great ballads (You’re the Inspiration, for example). Despite this, the opening song for this album is an upbeat, catchy tune that, honestly, rocks a little bit. The song is about the desirable for Mr. Right who, in the morning, turns out to be Mr. Wrong. The song does not come off as a warning, though, rather, it has a clear tone of being of pleading – ‘Hey, he is the wrong guy for you – I’m the right one, if you could only realize this.’ Listen closely for the bridge because a guitar solo follows it – wait, there is a second solo at the end of the song, too. I think Cetera is trying to make a clear distinction between his solo work and his work with Chicago. This song is a great way to start the album.

They Don’t Make Them Like They Used To

The second track takes on the difficult task of using cars as an analogy to women. Many say that older cars were built better and were more dependable – not the same with modern women. Cetera turns this into an homage to the modern woman who can think for herself and has more depth than just the obvious physical attributes. He sums this up best with, “I’m so tired of hearing some people say / Everything is moving much too fast / Things were better in the good old days / Let them have their opinions, never gonna change their mind / They lived a long time ago when times were tough / And a real good woman was hard to find.” This is a bold statement; better yet, this is a great song.

Glory of Love

This is the single that got most people to notice Peter Cetera and buy this album; I, honestly, cannot blame them – what a perfect ballad! I can only imagine how many times this song was played at high school dances, proms, or put on a mixtape (I will happily admit to putting this song first on a mixtape I made for my girlfriend). Karate Kid II may have been the vehicle for this song, buy it definitely holds it’s own. There are so many great ballads from the ‘80s, but there are only a few that I would put in the category of being flawless. In fact, three come to mind right away: Journey’s “Faithfully“, REO Speedwagon’s “I Can’t Fight This Feeling“, and Cetera’s #1 hit here. Besides, what girl would not want to hear, “I am a man who will fight for your honor / I’ll be the hero you’ve been dreaming of.”?

Queen of the Masquerade Ball

This song strikes me as a sort of part 2 of of the second song. Yes, modern women are tough and strive for what they want, “Cracking that whip / Making her own decisions / Taking no lip / Living with no conditions.” The strength is clear, but it may come with a price: “She cries when she’s alone.” This is a solid song that adds to what is shaping up to be a great solo album that is a clear departure from Chicago (notice, you have not heard a horn yet).

Daddy’s Girl

This next song was also on a soundtrack to a film that was released in 1987. The movie was the very successful Three Men and a Baby and, despite not being written specifically for the film, the song fits perfectly. I liked this song when I was in high school and, now that I have two daughters myself, this song pacts an incredibly emotional punch. I am sure this song has been played at countless weddings. My younger daughter discovered it herself one day as she was going through my albums – I think she played it for three days straight! It does an excellent job of capturing the special bond between a father and a daughter; unfortunately, it ends with the daughter leaving with her husband, replacing the father – cycle of life.

Next Time I Fall

This is the second #1 hit from this album. It is a duet with Amy Grant
(before her huge pop crossover). It is a simple song about recognizing past mistakes while holding out hope for the future. This is a really good ballad that, while it doesn’t have the punch of “Glory of Love”, still holds a place on this album.

Wake up to Love

This next track is a good upbeat song driven by keyboards and Cetera’s bass. Lyrically, the song is about a man who is making a hard charge in wooing a woman. There is even the requisite disparaging of the competition, “I don’t understand why you want to be with that man.”

Solitude/Solitaire

In the title track, Cetera captures a feeling that we all have at times: the need to get away from it all. This may be the most personal song on this album. Musically, it builds well and has a simple, yet effective drum beat that holds the listener’s interest.

Only Love Knows Why

The album ends with a heartfelt ballad that represents what Cetera is best known for – powerful love songs. This one is a sad one where the singer is reflecting on a strong relationship that has ended and has no real hope for being rekindled. The singer’s pain and uncertainty can be seen with, “It’s gonna be a long, hard road without you / And there’s one thing you should know / Tell me who will I turn to / When I get in trouble / I really don’t want you to go.” Acceptance and sadness all rolled into one.

Cetera followed the success of Solitude/Solitaire with another album in 1988 – One More Story. The single “One Good Woman” reached #4 on the pop charts. In 1989, Cetera teamed up with Cher to record “After All” for the film Chances Are. This song, like “Glory of Love”, was nominated for an Academy Award for best song from a film.

The voice is unforgettable. Peter Cetera has provided the vocals for so many great songs – most remember the ballads, and that is fine, but do not forget the high quality of the other, more upbeat tunes. Cetera differs from Phil Collins in that his most famous work is with the band Chicago, and not his solo recordings. Do not let this take away from his body of solo work.

Cetera’s 1986 album deserves a spot alongside other classics from this decade. If you have not given Solitude/Solitaire a listen, do yourself a favor and get a hold of it right now – you will not be sorry.

Top 40 Songs This Week – March 25, 1989: Songs 10-1

Hi Everybody! Welcome back to this week’s countdown! If you missed the previous posts, you can check out songs 40-31, 30-21, and 20-11. Well, there are no more hair bands the rest of the way. But, we do have some of the best ballads of the year right here in this top 10. Now, let’s Return to the week ending March 25, 1989, and wrap up the countdown.

10. “You’re Not Alone” by Chicago


This is one of my favorite songs on the great album that is Chicago 19. I love Bill Champlin’s vocals in every song he does.

“You’re Not Alone” on Amazon

9. “Roni” by Bobby Brown

Bobby Brown was white hot at this time. This ballad was the third single released from his incredible Don’t Be Cruel album. This hit, written by Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, would peak at #3 on the Hot 100.

“Roni” on Amazon

8. “Walk the Dinosaur” by Was (Not Was)


Boom boom acka-lacka lacka boom
Boom boom acka-lacka boom boom
Oh man, I feel like I shouldn’t like this song, but I think it’s so much fun. I do like a lot of funk songs though. And this song does stay with you. Now, Open the door, get on the floor /
Everybody walk the dinosaur

“Walk the Dinosaur” on Amazon

Now is the part of the countdown where we see what was topping some of the other charts this week:

The #1 Country song was “New Fool at an Old Game” by Reba McEntire.

Topping the R&B chart was “Closer Than Friends” by Surface.

“I’ll Be You” by The Replacements topped the Rock charts (not to be confused with “I’ll Be There For You” by The Rembrandts).

The top Adult Contemporary tune was our #16 hit on the Hot 100 – “You Got It” by Roy Orbison.

The best album in the country this week was Electric Youth by Debbie Gibson.

Finally, the #1 Dance song is our #7 song on the Hot 100 this week…

7. “She Drives Me Crazy” by The Fine Young Cannibals

I never cared for this song. It got so much airplay that it drove me crazy. But, if given the choice to listen to this either song, or most current songs on the radio today, I would pick this one.

“She Drives Me Crazy” on Amazon

6. “Lost In Your Eyes” by Debbie Gibson

Even though my music taste leans heavily towards rock, I have never hidden my love for Debbie Gibson on this site. This is her signature hit. Even people, who look down on her, do like this song. This had been a #1 hit for three straight weeks.

Lost In Your Eyes on Amazon

5. “My Heart Can’t Tell You No” by Rod Stewart

Since it seems like all Rod Stewart has done for well over a decade was release his Great American Songbook series, I always forget how good he really is. His 1988 album, Out of Order, is outstanding. This song, from that album, is a nice ballad and was the highest charting song from that album. It peaked at #4.

“My Heart Can’t Tell You No” on Amazon

4. “The Look” by Roxette

I love this Swedish duo so much!! This song was their global breakthrough hit. It would hit number 1 in several countries, including the U.S. This is a really good rock song from Roxette’s awesome Look Sharp! album.

“The Look” on Amazon

3. “Girl You Know It’s True” by Milli Vanilli


This was a huge pop hit at the time. I didn’t hate it, but it’s not something I would be able to listen to on a regular basis. This was the song that exposed Milli Vanilli as lip synchers. While “performing” this song at a concert in Connecticut, the album began skipping and repeating on the same lyric. This was a huge scandal at the time, which destroyed Milli Vanilli. If this happened today, it would be called just another Friday.

“Girl You Know It’s True” on Amazon

2. “Eternal Flame” by The Bangles


This classic love ballad is one of The Bangles’ signature songs. With this song and “Walk Like an Egyptian“, the Bangles became only the third girl group to score multiple number-ones in the United States, after the Supremes and the Shirelles.

“Eternal Flame” on Amazon

1. “The Living Years” by Mike + The Mechanics

What a way to finish the countdown! This is easily my favorite song by Mike + The Mechanics, and one of my favorite songs of the decade. Paul Carrack sings lead vocals on the song. This is an emotional song about a tumultuous father/son relationship and the son’s regret of the unresolved issues after his father died. After all, It’s too late when we die / To admit we don’t see eye to eye

The lyrics are great and the music is great.

“The Living Years” on Amazon


Well, that wraps up this week’s countdown. I hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane. The next countdown will be earlier in the decade to more of the classic ’80s music we all know and love. Until then, Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.