Hard to Say I'm Sorry

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"Hard to Say I'm Sorry"
Hard To Say I´m Sorry Single cover.jpg
Artwork for Italian release
Single by Chicago
from the album Chicago 16
B-side "Sonny Think Twice"
Released May 17, 1982 (1982-05-17)
Format 7" single
Recorded 1982
Genre Soft rock[1][2]
Length 5:06 (Album Version, with "Get Away")
3:51 (Alternate Edit)
3:40 (Single Version)
Label Full Moon/Warner Bros.
Writer(s) Peter Cetera and David Foster
Producer(s) David Foster
Chicago singles chronology
"Song for You"
(1980)
"Hard to Say I'm Sorry"
(1982)
"Love Me Tomorrow"
(1982)

"Hard to Say I'm Sorry" is a song by American rock group Chicago. It was written by lead singer Peter Cetera and producer David Foster, and released on May 17, 1982 as the lead single from the album Chicago 16. The song hit number one for two weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on September 11 of that year.[3][4] It was their first top 50 hit since "No Tell Lover" in 1978 and spent twelve weeks in the top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart [5].

History[edit]

The song, as well as the album on which it is featured, was a marked departure from Chicago's traditional soft rock, horns-driven sound, taking on a polished and modern feel. There were minimal horns on the track, instead featuring more layered synthesizers and heavier distorted electric guitars in a contemporary 1980s styling. This was done to revitalize the band that was considered by some to be past its commercial prime at the time.[citation needed]

The album version of "Hard to Say I'm Sorry" segued into a second song written by Robert Lamm titled "Get Away," which was closer to the older horn-driven Chicago sound. Most adult contemporary radio stations at the time did not play the entire album track, however, choosing to cut it off just before "Hard to Say I'm Sorry" segued into "Get Away." About half the Top 40 radio stations played the longer version with "Get Away".[citation needed]

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: Steve Lukather on guitar, while David Paich and Steve Porcaro both contributed 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. Foster took over playing the bass from Cetera on the song when, after messing up on a take, a frustrated Cetera told Foster he didn't want to play the bass for the song.

The song was also featured in the movie and soundtrack for Summer Lovers,[6] 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[edit]

The band appears in a black colored room with diamonds on the wall. Danny Seraphine magically appears from his drum kit.

Personnel[edit]

Chart performance[edit]

Preceded by
"Even the Nights Are Better" by Air Supply
Billboard Adult Contemporary (chart) number-one single
August 21, 1982 – September 4, 1982
Succeeded by
"Blue Eyes" by Elton John
Preceded by
"Abracadabra" by Steve Miller Band
Billboard Hot 100 number one single
September 11, 1982 – September 18, 1982
Succeeded by
"Abracadabra" by Steve Miller Band
Preceded by
"Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor
Canadian Singles Chart
September 11, 1982 – September 18, 1982
Succeeded by
"Jack & Diane" by John Mellencamp
Preceded by
"Abracadabra" by Steve Miller Band
Swiss number-one single
September 26, 1982 – October 3, 1982
Succeeded by
"I Know There's Something Going On" by Frida

Az Yet version[edit]

"Hard to Say I'm Sorry"
Hard to Say I'm Sorry by Az Yet.jpg
Single by Az Yet featuring Peter Cetera
from the album Az Yet
Released February 3, 1997 (1997-02-03)
Format CD
Recorded 1996
Genre R&B, adult contemporary
Length 3:17
Label LaFace Records
Writer(s) Peter Cetera and David Foster
Producer(s) Babyface
Az Yet featuring Peter Cetera singles chronology
"Last Night"
(1996)
"Hard to Say I'm Sorry"
(1997)
"You're the Inspiration"
(1997)

In 1996, the R&B band Az Yet included a cover version on their self-titled debut album. The single, which featured cameo vocals by Peter Cetera,[19] was produced by legendary songwriter Babyface[20] and reached the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100.[21] The single reached platinum status[22] and was nominated for a Grammy Award (Best Performance by an R&B Group or Duo).[23]

Track listing[edit]

CD-Single

  1. "Hard To Say I'm Sorry" (David Foster Remix) 3:18
  2. "Hard To Say I'm Sorry" (Album Version) 3:17

Charts[edit]

Chart (1997) Peak
position
Australian Singles Chart[24] 5
Canadian Singles Chart[25] 26
Dutch Singles Chart[26] 3
German Singles Chart[27] 72
New Zealand Singles Chart[28] 1
Swedish Singles Chart[29] 59
UK Singles Chart[30] 7
US Billboard Hot 100[21][31] 8
US Rhythmic Top 40[31] 9

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[32] Platinum 70,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[33] Platinum 0*
United States (RIAA)[34] Platinum 1,100,000[35]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Preceded by
"I Shot the Sheriff" by Warren G
New Zealand Singles Chart
April 27, 1997 – May 4, 1997
Succeeded by
"Don't Leave Me" by Blackstreet

Other cover versions[edit]

  • In 1983, a Czech cover of the song, titled "Černý páv" (The Black Peacock), was recorded by Hana Zagorová feat. Stanislav Hložek and Petr Kotvald
  • In 1999, a Eurodance remix of the song, titled "Hold Me Now", was recorded by DJ Kaos for Dancemania SPEED 3.
  • In 2003, the Canadian boy band b4-4 recorded a cover version included as a bonus track on the "limited edition" of their second album In Your Face.
  • In 2005, Idol 2005 contestant Jonah Hallberg covered the song on the compilation released by the show featuring a song covered by each finalist.
  • In 2007, Irish boy band Westlife covered the song on the B-side to their single "Home", the first single from the album Back Home.
  • In 2008, Barry Manilow covered the song on his album The Greatest Songs of the Eighties.
  • Keith Harkin, of the successful Irish musical production Celtic Thunder, covered the song as part of the CD/DVD combo It's Entertainment in 2009, being release in early 2010.
  • In 2010, Yuna Ito recorded a cover version of the song as part of her project Yuna Ito ~ Respects, the third cover of the project, released on September 29.
  • In 2015, X Factor Indonesia contestant Ramli Nurhappi covered the song competition week 6 theme Love Song.
  • In 2015, country music star Tim McGraw released a “behind-the-scenes” video of him and his band performing “Hard to Say I’m Sorry” as a warm-up for his show in Chicago. At the end of the song he turns to the camera and says, “Hello, Chicago.”[36]
  • In 2016, The Voice Kids Indonesia contestant Fahira Rizani covered the song at Blind Audition.
  • In January 2017, Roger Federer tweeted a video of him singing the song with fellow professional tennis players, Tommy Haas and Grigor Dimitrov, with David Foster at the piano, while at the Australian Open. Haas is the son-in-law of Foster.[37]

Sampling[edit]

  • German eurodance group Aquagen sampled the verses of the song (omitting the chorus) on the 2002 album Weekender.[38] The song was also remixed in 2009 as "Hard to Say I'm Sorry 2K9" on Aquagen's 2009 album So Far So Good (The Very Best Of).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Chicago – The Collection". AllMusic. Retrieved January 26, 2016. 
  2. ^ Go, Justin (February 1, 2012). "Jazz-rock-fusion group Chicago reflects on a 45-year career". National Post. Retrieved January 26, 2016. 
  3. ^ "The Hot 100 - 1982 Archive | Billboard Charts Archive". Billboard. Retrieved 2017-02-08. 
  4. ^ a b "Chicago – Awards". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved August 17, 2012. 
  5. ^ http://www.billboard.com/charts/hot-100/1982-08-07 thru http://www.billboard.com/charts/hot-100/1982-10-16
  6. ^ DeKNOCK, JAN (1986-08-01). "Cetera At No. 1 With `Glory Of Love`". tribunedigital-sunsentinel. Retrieved 2017-02-16. 
  7. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  8. ^ "Chicago – Hard to Say I'm Sorry – Austriancharts.at". Austriancharts.at (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved January 15, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Ultratop.be – Chicago – Hard to Say I'm Sorry". Ultratop (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved January 15, 2013. 
  10. ^ "50 Singles". RPM. 36 (4). September 11, 1982. ISSN 0033-7064. Retrieved January 15, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Top 100 Single". Charts.de (in German). Media Control. Retrieved January 15, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Chicago – Hard to Say I'm Sorry". Charts.org.nz. Hung Medien. Retrieved January 15, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Chicago – Hard to Say I'm Sorry – Hitparade.ch". Hitparade.ch (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved January 15, 2013. 
  14. ^ "1982-10-09 Top 40 Official UK Singles Archive | Official Charts". Official Charts Company. Retrieved January 15, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Chicago – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Chicago.
  16. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – 1982". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 April 2017. 
  17. ^ "Top 100 1982 - UK Music Charts". Uk-charts.top-source.info. Retrieved 2016-10-31. 
  18. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1982/Top 100 Songs of 1982". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 2016-10-31. 
  19. ^ Bronson, Fred (1997-10-25). "Chart Beat: Jackson Lassoes No. 1 With 'Rope'". Billboard. 109 (43). p. 102. 
  20. ^ Bronson, Fred (1997-03-08). "Az Yet Not Sorry It Redid Chicago Hit". Billboard. 109 (10). p. 78. 
  21. ^ a b "The Hot 100 for May 3, 1997". Billboard. Billboard. Retrieved 2017-02-07. 
  22. ^ "Gold & Platinum - RIAA Artist: Az Yet Label: LaFace". RIAA. Retrieved 2017-02-07. 
  23. ^ "Babyface leads nominees for 40th annual Grammy Awards". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Associated Press. 1998-01-07. p. E6 – via Newspapers.com. 
  24. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Az Yet feat. Peter Cetera – Hard to Say I'm Sorry". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved January 15, 2013. 
  25. ^ "100 Hit Tracks". RPM. 65 (18). July 7, 1997. ISSN 0033-7064. Retrieved January 15, 2013. 
  26. ^ "Dutchchart.nl – Az Yet feat. Peter Cetera – Hard to Say I'm Sorry". GfK Dutch Charts (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved January 15, 2013. 
  27. ^ "Single – Az Yet feat. Peter Cetera, Hard to Say I'm Sorry". Chart.de (in German). Media Control. Retrieved January 15, 2013. 
  28. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Az Yet feat. Peter Cetera – Hard to Say I'm Sorry". Charts.org.nz. Hung Medien. Retrieved January 15, 2013. 
  29. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Az Yet feat. Peter Cetera – Hard to Say I'm Sorry". Swedishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved January 15, 2013. 
  30. ^ "1997-06-21 Top 40 Official UK Singles Archive | Official Charts". Official Charts Company. Retrieved January 15, 2013. 
  31. ^ a b "Az Yet – Awards". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved January 15, 2013. 
  32. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1997 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. 
  33. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – Az Yet – Hard to Say I'm Sorry". Recorded Music NZ. 
  34. ^ "American single certifications – Az Yet – Hard to Say I". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  35. ^ "Best-Selling Records of 1997". Billboard. BPI Communications Inc. 110 (5): 76. January 31, 1998. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved May 29, 2015. 
  36. ^ Parton, Chris (2015-08-10). "See Tim McGraw's Backstage Jam of Classic Chicago Hit". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2017-02-08. 
  37. ^ Katzowitz, Josh (2017-01-21). "Roger Federer tweets video that proves maybe he shouldn't start a boy band". The Daily Dot. Retrieved 2017-02-08. 
  38. ^ Aquagen - Hard To Say I'm Sorry (CD). Discogs.com.

External links[edit]