Category Archives: 1982

Albums of the ’80s: Chicago 16

From 1969 to 1978, Chicago was one of the most successful bands in the world. Their fusion of rock and roll with a horn section gave the band a unique sound, and they had some incredible hits like —”Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?”, “Beginnings”, “25 or 6 to 4”, and “Colour My World”.

In 1978, legendary lead guitarist Terry Kath, who was the heart and soul of the band, died from an accidental, self-inflicted gunshot wound. Chicago almost broke up after that, but decided to carry on. In the process, they began to change their sound from rock/jazz to pop and ballads. Their first album after Kath’s death, 1978’s Hot Streets, was pretty successful. However, the band went on a dry spell after that.

Then in 1981, Chicago brought in new producer, David Foster. They also changed record labels from Columbia to Warner Brothers. Keyboardist/guitarist/singer Bill Champlin also joined the band. So the band caught a second wind as David Foster radically changed the band’s sound for the ’80s. The first album of this era was 1982’s Chicago 16.
For this album, David Foster also brought in studio musicians, including core members of Toto. The album was a big hit, especially as “Hard to Say I’m Sorry” became the band’s second #1 US single. The album went platinum, and reach #9 on the U.S. Billboard charts.

Let’s listen to this great album.

What You’re Missing

Not a bad way to start the album. The keyboards are strong, the horn section is featured, and you can’t go wrong with Peter Cetera on vocals.

Waiting for You to Decide

Peter Cetera starts with the lead vocals. We are then introduced to Bill Champlin. They sound great together.

Bad Advice

This song has a Blues/Funk sound with the horns and heavy bass, until Cetera comes in with the chorus, and the song has the classic ’80s Chicago sound. Another great combined effort of Cetera and Champlin.

Chains

This Peter Cetera song is one that can get stuck in your head.

Hard to Say I’m Sorry/Get Away

This is the song that put Chicago back on the map. It was a #1 hit for 2 weeks. It was their first top 50 hit since “No Tell Lover” in 1978. This is a great ballad. My favorite part of the song is the “Get Away” portion. The horn section just explodes. However, when this song got played on the radio, the stations would fade out the song at the end of the ballad section, and leave out the rockin’ part of the song. I can understand that happening at a dance. It would be kind of awkward slow dancing to a beautiful ballad, and then jumping right into fast paced music. But, there’s no excuse for radio! C’Mon now!! Are you guys with me?! Um, I better get off the soapbox for now before I really go off on a tangent, and talk about how annoyed I used to get when the DJ’s would talk over the music for the whole beginning of a song until the singer started singing, and then start yapping again at the end of the song after the singer finished singing, and the instruments would still be playing. So let’s get back to the music. After all, this is still one of my all-time favorite Chicago songs. First, here is the bastardized version, without the horn section, and then the real version, which is even better live:

Follow Me

The first song on side 2 was pretty good too. I love the horns and guitar in this, and Bill Champlin is great.

Sonny Think Twice

Another Bill Champlin song. I didn’t appreciate it too much in my younger days, but it has grown on me over the years.

What Can I Say

This is another song that I didn’t care for when I was younger. But, this Peter Cetera song has also grown on me. Back in the day, though, I used to skip over “Sonny Think Twice” and this song to get to the next 2 songs.

Rescue You

This was my favorite non-ballad song of the album. It’s a really good rock song with Peter Cetera on vocals.

Love Me Tomorrow

Another great Chicago ballad. It was the second song from this album released as a single and it reached #22 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. This is the last song on the album. It gave us much to look forward to from this legendary band throughout the ’80s and beyond.

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Albums of the ’80s: Asia by Asia

It may be hard to believe for some of us, but this year marks the 30th anniversary of Asia’s self-titled debut album. This prog-rock supergroup was formed in 1981. The orginal lineup consists of bassist/vocalist John Wetton (formerly in Mogul Thrash, Family, King Crimson, Roxy Music, Uriah Heep, U.K. and Wishbone Ash), guitarist Steve Howe (formerly, and subsequently in Yes), keyboardist Geoff Downes (of Yes and The Buggles) and drummer Carl Palmer (formerly in The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Atomic Rooster and Emerson, Lake & Palmer).

The album Asia was released in March 1982, and was very successful. It spent nine weeks at number one in the U.S. album chart and selling over 4 million copies in the U.S. alone. The album sold over 10 million worldwide.

The band has gone through several lineup changes through the years. Although their debut was the most successful of all their albums, they have remained consistently good.

With that, let’s Return to 1982, and listen to Asia’s classic debut album:

1. Heat of the Moment

“Heat of the Moment” is the first single released from the album. It got tons of airplay on MTV, and I loved this song. It would go on to become the most popular song on the album, peaking at #1 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart and #4 on the Billboard Top Singles chart.

2. Only Time Will Tell

“Only Time Will Tell” is my favorite song on the album. While “Heat of the Moment” got me interested in this new band, “Only Time Will Tell” blew me away. I listened to the song over and over, and never got sick of it. This was the band’s second top ten hit on the U.S. Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, peaking at number 8. It also peaked at number 17 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 pop chart. It reached number 54 On the U.K. Top 100 Singles chart.

3. Sole Survivor

Yet another hit song for Asia! “Sole Survivor” was the third single that reached the Top Ten on the U.S Mainstream Rock Charts. The single also peaked at #75 in Germany and #91 in the UK.

4. One Step Closer

This is a pretty good song that you may not have heard if you don’t own the album. I like the chorus.

5. Time Again

Pretty good fusion here. The guitar is awesome in this song. And there are a couple of small parts that almost sound like Jazz.

6. Wildest Dreams

Another hit song for Asia. It only peaked at #28 on the U.S. charts, which isn’t high compared to their other songs from this album. But it’s still a very good song.

7. Without You

8. Cutting It Fine

I like this song. It actually sounds like it could be a Styx song.

9. Here Comes the Feeling

Great song to close out the album. This song has the classic Asia sound.

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