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Chicago - Hard To Say I'm Sorry (1982)

  • Video Views 78,028,525
  • 80's Score80's Score 80's score: 1.98
  • Find this song on: Music Stack

“Hard to Say I’m Sorry” is a song written by bassist Peter Cetera, who also sang lead on the track, and ...

“Hard to Say I’m Sorry” is a song written by bassist Peter Cetera, who also sang lead on the track, and producer David Foster, for the group Chicago. It was released on May 16, 1982, as the lead single from the album Chicago 16. The song reached No. 1 for two weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on September 11 of that year. It was the group’s second No. 1 single. It was their first top 50 hit since “No Tell Lover” in 1978 and it spent twelve weeks in the top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The single was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, and was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in September of the same year. Songwriter Cetera, a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), won an ASCAP Pop Music Award for the song in the category, Most Performed Songs.

History

The song, as well as the album on which it is featured, was a marked departure from Chicago’s traditional soft rock, horn-driven sound, taking on a polished and modern feel. With minimal horns, the track instead featured more layered synthesizers and heavier distorted guitar in a contemporary 1980s styling. A second movement of the song, “Get Away”, does prominently feature the Chicago horns, and it was co-written by Robert Lamm.

Deviating from Chicago’s practice of having mostly band members playing on their albums, “Hard to Say I’m Sorry” featured several session musicians. The song featured producer David Foster on the piano, as well as three members of the American rock band Toto, including Steve Lukather on guitar and David Paich and Steve Porcaro both contributing synthesizers. The song’s vocals were performed by Peter Cetera. The only other member of Chicago besides Cetera that played on the track was drummer Danny Seraphine.

The song was also featured as the ending theme in the movie and soundtrack for Summer Lovers, a 1982 film written and directed by Randal Kleiser, starring Peter Gallagher, Daryl Hannah and Valerie Quennessen, and filmed on location on the island of Santorini, Greece.

Music video

Chicago made a music video for the song. According to Cetera, the videos for “Hard to Say I’m Sorry” and “Love Me Tomorrow” were shot on the same day. The band appears in a black colored room with diamonds on the wall.

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