UPDATED 3/1/22: As one of the seven members of Chicago as featured on their 1969 debut album Chicago Transit Authority, bassist-singer Peter Cetera's soaring tenor became an integral component of the band's sound on such hits as "25 or 6 to 4," "Feelin' Stronger Every Day," "Just You 'n' Me," and "(I've Been) Searching So Long." When his own composition "If You Leave Me Now" became Chicago's first-ever No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 - not to mention in international territories such as Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia - Cetera was recast as a highly romantic balladeer. This fact wasn't lost on producer David Foster when he took the reins of the group for Chicago 16. With Cetera as lead or co-lead vocalist on all but one song, Chicago 16 reinvented the band for the soft rock-minded 1980s. Its runaway success also led to his departure from his longtime band and the reactivation of a solo career for Cetera which had begun inauspiciously in 1981.
After a monthslong delay, Cherry Red's Cherry Pop imprint has marked the first and most celebrated chapter of Cetera's solo career with an all-encompassing new 6-CD box set. Love, Glory, Honor, and Heart: The Complete Full Moon and Warner Bros. Recordings 1981-1992 has recently arrived, bringing together Cetera's four solo albums released during that period along with two bonus discs packed with rare and previously unreleased single mixes and versions.
The set opens with 1981's Peter Cetera, his only solo LP released while he was still a member of Chicago. Significantly more rock-oriented than his subsequent work with David Foster, it arrived in an off-year for the band in which only a second volume of Greatest Hits was released. Peter Cetera found the singer experimenting with the full breadth of his vocal range and was a rather personal musical statement. The LP was entirely self-penned by the artist with the exception of the driving "I Can Feel It," co-written with The Beach Boys' Carl Wilson and Ricky Fataar (both of whom also played on the track). Earlier in 1981, Wilson had released his first solo album and clearly both artists were engaged in finding new directions. Cetera played bass on every song but the power ballad "On the Line" and also added guitar and percussion throughout. In a clear move from the Chicago sound, horns were used sparingly, with Gary Herbig's saxophone standing out on the swaggering "Mona, Mona" and a brass section on the vocoder-flecked "Practical Man." The edgy "Livin' in the Limelight," featuring typically searing guitar from Toto's Steve Lukather, ascended to No. 6 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart but failed to register on the Pop side. The box set's presentation of Peter Cetera has one new-to-CD bonus track: the single version of "On the Line."
Cetera sensed that his label felt the solo album came at the expense of his work with Chicago, and indeed, the next year brought the band's hoped-for "comeback" with Chicago 16 (the band's first album to feature Bill Champlin) and the chart-topping success of "Hard to Say I'm Sorry/Get Away" featuring Cetera on lead vocals. He didn't return to the studio as a solo artist yet.
An even bigger success was to come: 1984's Chicago 17 yielded four top 20 singles, all of which were primarily sung by Cetera, and earned a 6x Platinum certification as well as three Grammy Awards. It remains Chicago's biggest-selling LP. But its success led to Cetera's desire to resume his solo career, a position which (somewhat understandably) was met with frustration by those in the band's orbit. The result was that Cetera departed the group in 1985 with some acrimony. Jason Scheff was tapped to replace him for Chicago 18, and Cetera teamed with hitmaking producer Michael Omartian to record his sophomore LP, Solitude/Solitaire.
The timing couldn't have been better. The public couldn't get enough of Cetera's voice; the LP spun off two No. 1 singles on the Hot 100: the soaring Karate Kid II theme "Glory of Love" (co-written by David Foster) and the lush Amy Grant duet "Next Time I Fall." Solitude/Solitaire became a Platinum seller, and even outsold Chicago 18 despite the strong chart showing of its single "Will You Still Love Me." But Solitude/Solitaire was more diverse than the presence of those two familiar ballads might indicate. Cetera welcomed a host of co-writers including his then-wife Diane Nini, Michael Omartian, Mark Goldenberg, David "Hawk" Wolinski, Amos Galpin, and Erich Bulling as well as top-tier musicians such as Dann Huff, Ray Parker Jr., Randy Waldman, and Jeff Porcaro; the LP's subsequent singles - the pulsating "Big Mistake" and the rueful power ballad "Only Love Knows Why" - fared less well than those anthemic love songs.
Solitude/Solitaire is presented here as a 2-CD expanded edition here with an entire disc of eleven related tracks including the new-to-CD Spanish language version of the Agnetha Faltskog duet "I Wasn't the One (Who Said Goodbye" and a previously unreleased edit of "Glory of Love." Among the other rare cuts are the single and soundtrack versions of the Cetera/Bobby Caldwell co-production "Stay with Me" (the latter from the Japanese film Princess of the Moon) and two additional versions of the shimmering Agnetha Fältskog duet "I Wasn't the One (Who Said Goodbye)" from the ABBA member's Cetera-produced album I Stand Alone.
The box set continues with a 2-CD edition of 1988's underrated One More Story featuring the original album and an accompanying disc of six single versions. Co-produced and largely co-written by Cetera and Patrick Leonard, it welcomed Bonnie Raitt, The Oak Ridge Boys' Richard Sterban, David Gilmour, Siedah Garrett, and one "Lulu Smith," a.k.a. Madonna (with whom Leonard was working at the time) as special guests. Even Chicago percussionist Tris Imboden dropped by to add his hi-hat to "Scheherazade" (which also boasted Madonna and Garrett's vocals). Baywatch theme "Save Me," with Sterban and Raitt among the background vocalists, conjured the television show's escapist mood. Lead single "One Good Woman" showed that listeners still couldn't get enough of Cetera when it reached No. 4 on the Hot 100; despite its romantic themes, it also was a rare uptempo solo outing (contrasting ballad verses and an upbeat rock chorus) to score heavily. Yet the album itself stalled on the Billboard 200 at No. 58. Second single "Best of Times," an urgent, electronic ode to optimism, reached the Pop top 60 and AC top 25. The sleek and sensual "Body Language (Alone in the Dark)," boasting David Gilmour's solo guitar, is heard in four different versions on the bonus disc, three of which are previously unissued dance remixes by Shep Pettibone. The Pink Floyd frontman also played on "You Never Listen to Me."
Surprisingly, Peter didn't quickly follow up his chart-topping 1989 Cher duet "After All" (sadly not included on this set due to licensing restrictions) with a solo album. (The box set was originally planned to include Paul Anka's 1983 "Hold Me 'Til the Mornin' Comes" featuring Cetera, but that, too, had to be dropped from the final release.)
His fourth solo set and final one for Warner Bros., World Falling Down, didn't arrive until 1992. Adorned with a reflective cover and titled after one of its most wistful cuts, the album was recorded over a lengthy period of time in various studios with guests such as Bill Champlin (then still an integral part of Chicago) and Chaka Khan. Cetera and Andy Hill produced most of the album, with two cuts helmed by Cetera and his old friend David Foster. Tellingly, it had fewer songs written by the artist, with outside material coming from the likes of Bernie Taupin, Franne Golde, and Paul Fox ("Dip Your Wings") and another Elton John collaborator, Gary Osborne, with Richard Kerr ("The Last Place God Made," one of Foster's two co-productions). Despite strong material including the melodic No. 3 AC hit "Even a Fool Can See" - the other Foster track - World Falling Down fell victim to the passage of time. By the time of its release, Cetera's brand of AC rock had lost favor on radio although the persuasive "Restless Heart," with its big hook, made it to the top spot of the AC survey. (The Cetera/Andy Hill composition was also the album's lone top 40 Pop entry.) Just a few short years earlier, "Even a Fool Can See" would have likely been a major Pop hit, and even today, it's aged quite well. Two bonus tracks are included: the edit of "Man in Me" co-written by Toto's Joseph Williams, and the fade version of the No. 5 AC Chaka Khan duet "Feels Like Heaven." World Falling Down remains Peter Cetera's final major label release to date. Three solo LPs have followed, with the most recent being 2004's You Just Gotta Love Christmas, as well as the new/old hybrid You're the Inspiration: A Collection (1997) and a live album.
Love, Glory, Honor, and Heart: The Complete Full Moon and Warner Bros. Recordings 1981-1992 has been produced by Vinny Vero with his customary attention to detail and remastered from the original Warner Bros. tapes by Andy Pearce. It's housed in a large clamshell box and includes a thick 48-page booklet with complete credits, a Cetera albums and singles discography covering the period, and numerous picture sleeve images. Atypically, no liner notes are included to place the albums within the context of Cetera's impressive career inside and outside out of Chicago. (Perhaps this, too, was dictated by the license agreement here.). Each album is housed in a gatefold sleeve replicating the original album cover artwork and featuring other elements from the LPs.
Despite the lack of liner notes and the necessary omission of the Cher duet (another top ten Pop hit and AC No. 1 for Cetera) as well as a handful of other released cuts during this period such as the Pretty Woman soundtrack tune "No Explanation," Love, Glory, Honor, and Heart is an enjoyable and long-overdue tribute to one of rock and pop's most timeless voices. The glory of love, indeed, is on full display. It's available now at the links below.
Peter Cetera, Love, Glory, Honor, and Heart: The Complete Full Moon and Warner Bros. Recordings 1981-1992 (Cherry Red/Cherry Pop, 2021) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
CD 1: Peter Cetera (Full Moon/Warner Bros. LP FMH 3624, 1981)
- LIVIN' IN THE LIMELIGHT
- I CAN FEEL IT
- HOW MANY TIMES
- HOLY MOLY
- MONA MONA
- ON THE LINE
- NOT AFRAID TO CRY
- EVIL EYE
- PRACTICAL MAN
- IVY COVERED WALLS
Bonus Tracks (Singles)
- ON THE LINE (Single Version) (Full Moon/Warner Bros. single 9 28662-7, 1986)
CD 2: Solitude/Solitaire (Warner Bros./Full Moon CD 9 25474-2, 1986)
- BIG MISTAKE
- THEY DON'T MAKE 'EM LIKE THEY USED TO
- GLORY OF LOVE (THEME FROM THE KARATE KID, PART II)
- QUEEN OF THE MASQUERADE BALL
- DADDY'S GIRL
- THE NEXT TIME I FALL - Peter Cetera with Amy Grant
- WAKE UP TO LOVE
- ONLY LOVE KNOWS WHY
CD 3: Bonus Tracks
- GLORY OF LOVE (THEME FROM THE KARATE KID, PART II) (Edit) †
- THE NEXT TIME I FALL (Remix) - Peter Cetera with Amy Grant (Warner Bros. (U.K.) 12-inch single W 8597T, 1986)
- BIG MISTAKE (Remix/Edit)
- ONLY LOVE KNOWS WHY (Single Version) (Full Moon/Warner Bros. single 7-28383, 1987)
- STAY WITH ME (Single Version) (Warner Bros. (Germany) single 928 236-7, 1987)
- I WASN'T THE ONE (WHO SAID GOODBYE) (Single Version) * - Agnetha Fältskog with Peter Cetera (Atlantic single 7-89145, 1987)
Remixes and Alternate Versions
- GLORY OF LOVE (Extended Version) (Warner Bros. (Germany) 12-inch single 920 506-0, 1986)
- THE NEXT TIME I FALL (Extended Remix) - Peter Cetera with Amy Grant (Warner Bros. (U.K.) 12-inch single W 8597T, 1986)
- I WASN'T THE ONE (WHO SAID GOODBYE) (Extended Version) - Agnetha Fältskog with Peter Cetera (WEA 12-inch single 247 930-0, 1988)
- STAY WITH ME (Soundtrack Version) (from Princess from the Moon: Original Soundtrack, Warner-Pioneer (Japan) CD 32XD-827, 1987)
- YO NO FUI (QUIEN DIJO ADIOS) (Spanish Version) - Agnetha Fältskog with Peter Cetera (WEA 12-inch single 247 930-0, 1988)
CD 4: One More Story (Full Moon/Warner Bros. CD 9 25704-2, 1988)
- BEST OF TIMES
- ONE GOOD WOMAN
- PEACE OF MIND
- HEAVEN HELP THIS LONELY MAN
- SAVE ME - featuring Bonnie Raitt
- HOLDING OUT
- BODY LANGUAGE (THERE IN THE DARK)
- YOU NEVER LISTEN TO ME - featuring David Gilmour
- SCHEHERAZADE - featuring Madonna
- ONE MORE STORY
CD 5: Bonus Tracks
- ONE GOOD WOMAN (Single Edit) (Full Moon/Warner Bros. single 7-27824, 1988)
- HOLDING OUT (Edit) (Full Moon/Warner Bros. single 7-27563, 1988)
- BODY LANGUAGE (THERE IN THE DARK) (7″ Mix) †
Bonus Tracks - Remixes & Alternate Versions
- BODY LANGUAGE (THERE IN THE DARK) (7″ Remix) †
- BODY LANGUAGE (THERE IN THE DARK) (12″ Remix) †
- BODY LANGUAGE (THERE IN THE DARK) (Bonus Beats) †
CD 6: World Falling Down (Warner Bros. CD 9 26894-2, 1992)
- RESTLESS HEART
- EVEN A FOOL CAN SEE
- FEELS LIKE HEAVEN - Peter Cetera with Chaka Khan
- WILD WAYS
- WORLD FALLING DOWN
- MAN IN ME
- WHERE THERE'S NO TOMORROW
- THE LAST PLACE GOD MADE
- DIP YOUR WINGS
- HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN LOVE
- FEELS LIKE HEAVEN (Fade) - Peter Cetera with Chaka Khan (Warner Bros. single 9 18651-4, 1992)
- MAN IN ME (Edit) (Warner Bros. (Germany) single 9362-40688-2, 1992)
(*) denotes new-to-CD track
(†) denotes previously unreleased track
Larry Davis says
I got the box despite its shortcomings...it's nicely put together, enjoy the eyepopping pink/black colour scheme & thick booklet with full credits & photos, wish there was an essay putting PC's solo career in proper perspective...personally, based on what VV said in regards to the licensing, that contract's terms were stupidly heavyhanded if you ask me...I also think that radio's branding of PC as a balladeer did not do him any favours...if Chicago's IYLMN was not as widespread, if radio did not embrace their ballads primarily, 1976-on, if his 1981 solo album & LITLL was a huge crossover hit, if Chicago's discofunk 12/13 period & punk/new wave influenced thumbprint 14 were successes & David Foster did not enter the picture at all, things would be way different & better if you ask me...PC's solo career would have neither not happened or it would have been more rock or he would have never left Chicago at all...but that's all hypothetical...of his solo records here, the rocky debut & prog-tinged/Toy Matinee-tinged OMS are the best, WFD is highly underrated with quality singer songwriter pop with a dash of country that really works but stylistically was out of step with trends...as for SS, it's kinda schizo, too all over the place, the hits are too ballady with more than a hint of horrible Christian pop per Amy Grant & Michael Omartian producing...it's OK but my least fave of the four...happy I got the box but will it be getting big play?? No, it's a guilty pleasure basically...it barely crosses the line into keeper territory from get-rid-of-it country...just being honest...
Hey Larry I'll take it off your hands & promise to give the CD box set plenty of air/play!
pete in the early days of chicago 69 /71 was a killer bass player. his vocals were spot on but when the saturday in the park, harry truman 45s were issued the band had DIED. middle of the road they had become. the early hip audience had left them behind. chicago at carnigie showed the end of a GREAT band,. this box set is useless.
Hey Joe where you going w/that P. C. Box in you hand?...As usual you gave your review the pro & con on new
music = we appreciate your good work!