Thursday, March 19, 2015

Songoftheday 3/19/15 - Take me as I am put your hand in mine now and forever...

"Will You Still Love Me?" - Chicago
from the album Chicago 18 (1986)
Billboard Hot 100 peak; #3 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 13

Today's Song of the Day comes from the veteran jazz-rock band Chicago, who by the 80s transformed themselves into a soft /pop hitmaking machine with the help of producer David Foster. Their 17th album had spun off two top-3 pop hits with "Hard Habit To Break" and "You're The Inspiration" and another two top-20 singles in "Stay The Night" and "Along Comes A Woman".  However, in doing so, lead singer Peter Cetera decided to leave the band after that in 1985 for a solo career. The group hired Jason Scheff to replace Cetera as bassist and co-lead singer with existing member Bill Chaplin, and they released Chicago 18 in 1986. With a remade version of their classic 70s hit "25 or 6 to 4"  (which I quite liked) as the first single that somewhat underperformed at pop radio (it peaked at #48 on the Hot 100), Chicago rebounded with their current "wheelhouse" ballad, "Will You Still Love Me?". Written by Foster along with Tom Keane and Richard Baskin (who produced Barbra Streisand's Broadway Album), it mirrored the dual-lead vocal trick with Champlin and Scheff trading off like he did with Cetera on "Hard Habit To Break", and Scheff's young and pinchable cheeks certainly didn't hurt...

"Will You Still Love Me?" brought Chicago (and Scheff) back to the top-10 on the pop chart in February of 1987, while going a notch higher on the adult contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart in Billboard magazine. It gave them a needed hit to continue their career through the rest of the decade.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)

..and here's the band live on their tour behind the album in 1987...

and another rehearsal take in the studio that features more horns..

Up tomorrow: a soul family group's brother gets in on the hitmaking act by wanting to converse.

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