Hard to Say I'm Sorry
|"Hard to Say I'm Sorry"|
Artwork for Italian release
|Single by Chicago|
|from the album Chicago 16|
|B-side||"Sonny Think Twice"|
|Released||May 16, 1982|
5:06 (Album Version, with "Get Away")|
3:42 (Single Version)
|Label||Full Moon/Warner Bros.|
|Chicago singles chronology|
"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, and 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 their first top 50 hit since "No Tell Lover" in 1978, spent twelve weeks in the top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. The single was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in September of the same year.
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. This was done to revitalize the band's commercial success
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.
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.
- Peter Cetera - lead vocals
- David Foster - acoustic piano, Minimoog synth-bass
- Steve Lukather - guitar
- David Paich - synthesizers
- Steve Porcaro - synthesizers, synthesizers programming
- Danny Seraphine - drums
- Strings arranged by Peter Cetera, David Foster and Jeremy Lubbock
Az Yet version
|"Hard to Say I'm Sorry"|
|Single by Az Yet featuring Peter Cetera|
|from the album Az Yet|
|Released||February 3, 1997|
|Genre||R&B, adult contemporary|
|Songwriter(s)||Peter Cetera and David Foster|
|Az Yet featuring Peter Cetera singles chronology|
In 1996, the R&B group Az Yet included a cover version on their self-titled debut album. The song, later released as a single, was produced by Babyface, remixed by David Foster, featured vocals from Peter Cetera, and peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100. The single reached platinum status and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Performance by an R&B Group or Duo with Vocal.
- "Hard To Say I'm Sorry" (David Foster Remix Featuring Peter Cetera) 3:18
- "Hard To Say I'm Sorry" (Album Version) 3:14
- "Hard To Say I'm Sorry" (Acappella) 3:14
- "Hard To Say I'm Sorry" (Chase Extended Mix) 5:14
- Weekly charts
|Australian Singles Chart||5|
|Canadian Singles Chart||26|
|Dutch Singles Chart||3|
|German Singles Chart||72|
|New Zealand Singles Chart||1|
|Swedish Singles Chart||59|
|UK Singles Chart||7|
|US Billboard Hot 100||8|
|US Rhythmic Top 40||9|
- Year-end charts
|New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)||13|
|New Zealand (RMNZ)||Platinum||10,000*|
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||1,100,000|
*sales figures based on certification alone
Other cover versions
- 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" from the band's seventh UK #1 album Back Home. The song charted itself without being properly released as a single.
|UK Singles (Official Charts Company)||135|
- 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.”
- In 2016, The Voice Kids Indonesia contestant Fahira Rizani covered the song at Blind Audition.
- After interviewing Peter Cetera while he was in Lucerne, Switzerland to perform at the Retro Festival in 2016, Swiss interviewer and musician, Phil Dankner, performed the song for Cetera.
- 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.
- German eurodance group Aquagen sampled the verses of the song (omitting the chorus) on the 2002 album Weekender. 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).
In popular culture
- List of RPM number-one singles of 1982
- List of number-one hits of 1982 (Switzerland)
- List of Hot 100 number-one singles of 1982 (U.S.)
- List of number-one adult contemporary singles of 1982 (U.S.)
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- Chicago 16 (audio CD liner notes). Rhino Entertainment Company. 2006. R2 74090.
This album was first issued as Full Moon/Warner Bros. #23689 (5/26/82)
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- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
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- Bronson, Fred (1997-10-25). "Chart Beat: Jackson Lassoes No. 1 With 'Rope'". Billboard. 109 (43). p. 102 – via Google Books.
- "The Hot 100 for May 3, 1997". Billboard. Billboard. Retrieved 2017-02-07.
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- "Az Yet". GRAMMY.com. 2017-05-14. Retrieved 2017-08-16.
- "Babyface leads nominees for 40th annual Grammy Awards". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Associated Press. January 7, 1998. p. E6. Retrieved 2017-08-16 – via Newspapers.com.
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- "Dutchchart.nl – Az Yet feat. Peter Cetera – Hard to Say I'm Sorry". GfK Dutch Charts (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2013-01-15.
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- "Swedishcharts.com – Az Yet feat. Peter Cetera – Hard to Say I'm Sorry". Swedishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2013-01-15.
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- "Best-Selling Records of 1997". Billboard. BPI Communications Inc. 110 (5): 76. January 31, 1998. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 2015-05-29.
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- "Peter Cetera - My Musical Journey". YouTube. Dankner Music and Talk. June 9, 2016. Retrieved November 28, 2017.
- 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.
- Aquagen - Hard To Say I'm Sorry (CD). Discogs.com.
- TV Promos (YouTube)