Thursday, March 6, 2014

Chicago - If You Leave Me Now (1976)

 If You Leave Me Now
b/w Together Again

Released: July, 1976 (Columbia)
Written by: Peter Cetera
Produced by: James William Guercio
Album: Chicago X

 U. S. Billboard Charts:
 Hot 100 1
 Adult Contemporary 1

Getting dumped never sounded so good.  Man, this thing is the "poster song" for soft rock: strings, French horns, light rhythm section with acoustic guitar, and Peter Cetera's overdubbed falsetto floating on top of it all, singing his sappy, pleading lyrics.  That's the stuff, immediately relaxing.
A love like ours is love that's hard to find
How could we let it slip away
We've come too far to leave it all behind
How could we end it all this way
When tomorrow comes and we'll both regret
The things we said today
We've all been there, buddy.  But forget the fact that this is a break-up song, it's a great make out song. So smooth and romantic, I would imagine this song helped many a 1976 teenage boy on his quest to get what he wanted from a girl (hint: romance was not what he was after).

The band wasn't wild about including this on the Chicago X album, but they were overruled by producer Guercio.  You can't blame them, there isn't much band on it - it could easily be a Peter Cetera solo release. The band's sax player, Walter Parazaider, has said he heard the song on the radio and initially thought "it sounded like McCartney," not realizing it was his own band's work. I'm guessing their attitude changed somewhat when it shot to #1 in both the US and the UK and put some cash in their pockets (the album was 2x platinum in the US).  The song also won a couple of Grammy awards.  It changed the musical direction of the band toward down-tempo ballads, much to the delight of this soft rock kid.

1 comment :

  1. Nailed it. There's no grade higher than A+ on your scale, is there? While I would come to detest the band's later works this was their pinnacle piece of plastic for me. Still own the 45!

    No SRK seal of approval though? Is the stamper out of ink? Get thee to a Staples, pronto.