Wishing You Were Here

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"Wishing You Were Here"
Wishing You Were Here cover.jpg
Single by Chicago ft. The Beach Boys
from the album Chicago VII
B-side"Life Saver"
ReleasedOctober 1974
Format7" single
GenreSoft rock
Length4:37 (Album Version)
3:00 (Single Version)
Songwriter(s)Peter Cetera
Producer(s)James William Guercio
Chicago ft. The Beach Boys singles chronology
"Call on Me"
"Wishing You Were Here"
"Harry Truman"

"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.[1]

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.[2] 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.[3][4][5]

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.[6]

The Beach Boys' contribution[edit]

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[2][6] — 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.[7] "Wishing You Were Here," as well as other Chicago songs such as "Feelin' Stronger Every Day," were performed by the two bands together.[8][9] The bands revived their collaboration for a second "Beachago" tour in 1989, during which they also played this song.[10] 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.[citation needed]

Critical reception[edit]

"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."[11]


Additional Personnel

Chart performance[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 55.
  2. ^ a b Chicago Group Portrait (Box Set) (CD booklet archived online) (Media notes). New York City, NY: Columbia Records. 1991. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  3. ^ Chicago's New Year's Rockin' Eve 1975 (television show). USA: ABC. December 31, 1974.
  4. ^ EDELSTEIN, ANDY (December 22, 2011). "Take 5: All about New Year's Eve". Newsday. Retrieved 2017-02-24.
  5. ^ McAlister, Nancy (December 31, 2001). "'New Year's Rockin' Eve'". jacksonville.com. Archived from the original on February 25, 2017. Retrieved 2017-02-24.
  6. ^ a b Ruhlmann, William James (1991). Chicago Group Portrait (Box Set) (CD booklet archived online) (Media notes). New York City, NY: Columbia Records. p. 7. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  7. ^ "Wishing You Were Here". Song Facts.
  8. ^ Hetland, Bill (June 3, 1975). "Chicago, Beach Boys concert a 'real blast'". The Daily Sentinel. Woodstock, Illinois: Woodstock Publishing Company. p. 1 – via Newspapers.com.Free to read
  9. ^ Marchese, Joe (May 25, 2011). "Review: Chicago, "Live in '75"". The Second Disc. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  10. ^ Sortal, Nick (October 9, 1989). "Chicago, Beach Boys Mix It Up in Miami". Sun-Sentinel.com. Retrieved March 23, 2019.
  11. ^ Wyman, Bill (November 14, 1991). "The best and the tritest: Chicago's claims to rock 'n' roll fame". Chicago Reader. Retrieved March 23, 2019.
  12. ^ Hung, Steffen. "Forum - 1970 (ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts)". Australian-charts.com. Archived from the original on 2016-06-02. Retrieved 2016-10-10.
  13. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2016-10-10.
  14. ^ "Adult Contemporary Music Chart". Billboard. 1974-12-21. Retrieved 2016-10-10.
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-05-18. Retrieved 2016-01-19.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Bac-lac.gc.ca. Retrieved 2016-10-10.
  17. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1999). Pop Annual. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. ISBN 0-89820-142-X.

External links[edit]