"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 17, 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.
|US Billboard Hot 100
Az Yet version
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
- Year-end charts
|New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)
Other cover versions
- In 1983, a Czech cover of the song, titled "?erný páv" (The Black Peacock), was recorded by Hana Zagorová feat. Stanislav Hlo?ek 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.
- 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
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This album was first issued as Full Moon/Warner Bros. #23689 (5/26/82)
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- ^ Katzowitz, Josh (2017-01-21). "Roger Federer tweets video that proves maybe he shouldn't start a boy band". The Daily Dot. Retrieved .
- ^ Aquagen - Hard To Say I'm Sorry (CD). Discogs.com.
- ^ TV Promos (YouTube)