Wishing You Were Here
|"Wishing You Were Here"|
|Single by Chicago ft. The Beach Boys|
|from the album Chicago VII|
|Length||4:37 (Album Version)|
3:00 (Single Version)
|Producer(s)||James William Guercio|
|Chicago ft. The Beach Boys singles chronology|
"Wishing You Were Here" is a song written by Peter Cetera for the group Chicago and recorded for their album Chicago VII (1974), with lead vocals by Terry Kath (uncredited on the original album package), while Cetera sang the song's bridge. The third single released from that album, it reached No. 11 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, No. 9 on the Cash Box Top 100, and hit No. 1 on the Easy Listening chart.
Kath and Cetera swap their usual instruments, with Kath on bass and Cetera on guitar. James William Guercio, Chicago's producer at the time, played guitar on the recording as well. Guercio appeared on stage with the band, playing acoustic guitar, when they performed the song on Chicago's New Year's Rockin' Eve 1975 to ring in 1975.
The instrumental track for the song had been recorded before Cetera realized it was too low for him to sing, so Kath performed the lead vocal instead.
The Beach Boys' contribution
The Beach Boys were at Caribou Ranch when "Wishing You Were Here" was recorded, and three members of that band — Al Jardine, Carl Wilson, and Dennis Wilson — joined Cetera in singing the harmonies.
The Beach Boys' collaboration with Chicago continued into 1975, when the two bands teamed up for the "Beachago" tour. "Wishing You Were Here," as well as other Chicago songs such as "Feelin' Stronger Every Day," were performed by the two bands together. The bands revived their collaboration for a second "Beachago" tour in 1989, during which they also played this song. For the encore of one June 1989 performance, with Kath and Cetera no longer in the band, Beach Boys Mike Love and Carl sang Kath and Cetera's lead vocals, respectively.
"Wishing You Were Here" was included in Chicago's 1991 four-CD compilation of music from the group's first twelve years, Group Portrait. In a review published by the Chicago Reader, rock music critic Bill Wyman was generally dismissive of Group Portrait, calling it "an altogether fitting testament to Chicago's hippie self-absorption and dopey excesses." He did single out "Wishing You Were Here", however, saying it "stood out creatively from the band's usual unsubtle approach", that it was "to [his] mind Chicago's most notable performance", and that its songwriter, Cetera, "stands out as the most interesting person in the group."
- Terry Kath – lead vocals, bass
- Peter Cetera – lead and backing vocals, classical acoustic guitar
- Robert Lamm – acoustic piano
- Danny Seraphine – drums
- Lee Loughnane – trumpet
- James Pankow – trombone
- Walter Parazaider – tenor saxophone
- Additional Personnel
- Laudir de Oliveira – percussion
- James William Guercio – electric guitar
- David J. Wolinski – ARP synthesizer
- Al Jardine, Carl Wilson, and Dennis Wilson – backing vocals
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