You're the Inspiration

Album: Chicago 17 (1984)
Charted: 14 3
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Songfacts®:

  • From the band's last album with Peter Cetera, this song celebrates someone who has finally found the person who inspires him.
  • David Foster, who became one of the biggest hitmakers of the '80s and '90s, wrote this song with Peter Cetera and also produced the album. In working with Foster, the band made some adjustments to their sound in the interest of achieving more hits. Three members of the band were primarily horn players, and they had little to do on most of the Foster/Cetera songs.

    The upside was huge, however, as the band found a new audience and was able to continue unabated for three more decades.

    Bill Champlin, who joined the band in 1981, told Songfacts how the horn section felt about this new direction: "They were unhappy with it because a lot of these tunes just didn't call for horns. So, they were very unhappy with it, because they always saw themselves as the star of Chicago. And, at one point, when they first came out, they probably were. But, suddenly, the listeners and the fans of Chicago all listened to the singers and the guitar playing."
  • Cetera recorded an updated version in 1996 with the group Az Yet. David Foster recorded a carousel style version on his 1991 Rechordings album. Cetera and AZ Yet also did a new version of "Hard to Say I'm Sorry," which was their first big hit with David Foster. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Sara - Silver Spring, MD, for above 3
  • Cetera and Foster wrote this song for Kenny Rogers. When Rogers didn't record it, they rewrote it a bit and recorded it for Chicago.
  • Leslie Libman, who also worked on the clip for "Hard Habit To Break," directed the video. It shows the band members earnestly playing their instruments in some scenes, while a storyline plays out between a couple that looks a lot like Madonna and Billy Idol. Libman would later work on a variety of TV projects, directing episodes of Homicide: Life on the Street, The Wire and Gideon's Crossing.
  • David Foster brought in studio musician Carlos Vega to play drums on this track, much to the dismay of the band's drummer, Danny Seraphine. Foster also used a different drummer on "Stay The Night."

Comments: 4

  • Bigbob from CtDefinite change from 25 or 6 to 4, or Colour my world, or Does anyone really know what time it is. Lot less brass!
  • Christina from Wolcott, CtThis is a great love song. One of my favorites!
  • Michelle from Thunder Bay, OnThis is going to be the song that my new husband and I are going to be dancing to at our wedding. This song describes us perfectly and is such a romantic song. We are tired of going to weddings and hearing the same old first dance songs that we wanted something different. We figured since we are both 80's music lovers, why not choose a song from that era!
  • George from Calumet City, IlAbsolute classic.
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