Charlie's 80s Blog

This Day In Music, December 6th

On this day in 1986: Peter Cetera went to #1 on the U.S. singles chart with “The Next Time I Fall”, a duet with Amy Grant.

The song was written by Bobby Caldwell and Paul Gordon. It was recorded by Cetera and Grant for Peter Cetera’s 1986 album ‘Solitude/Solitaire.’  It reached #1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and the Adult Contemporary Chart. It was also nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.

Songwriter Paul Gordon recalled working on the project with Bobby Caldwell. “Bobby had just moved into a new apartment, and all he had was a drum machine and a chair. We spent a couple of inspired days knocking out that song. It was a lot of fun working with Bobby.” The feeling was mutual for Caldwell: “Yes, writing with Paul was a great experience. Sometimes these collaborations click and sometimes not, but this was a smooth and painless venture.”

Gordon explained that Caldwell did the vocals on the demo and that they wrote the song for Cetera to sing. “And even when he was no longer in the band Chicago we decided to stick with him.” Caldwell confirmed, “We did indeed write the song for Chicago and their lead vocalist Peter Cetera. We had his voice in mind, but Paul and I were unaware that he was leaving Chicago at that time, and when we heard the news our hopes were dashed. However, a short time later, I got a call at home from Cetera himself who stumbled upon our demo cassette tape of the song in producer and arranger David Foster’s office. He loved the tune and wanted to record it as a duet. It was simply meant to be—the song landed with the singer we wanted.” Gordon also felt the project had a happy ending. “It was an accidental duet, meaning it was never intended to be a duet—but the producers found ways to make it a duet, which ended up working out pretty well.”

Now it was a matter of Cetera deciding who would be his singing partner. “‘I was looking for somebody who wasn’t that logical a choice,’ he explained. ‘Actually, I was going to use an “unknown” singer until someone at my record company suggested Amy Grant,'”[who had thus far only been known for Contemporary Christian music. “I thought she was a great choice because she was looking to make a pop crossover, and I like what she stands for. She was real excited about the idea, too.” That’s not to say that Grant was without reservations. Caldwell noted, “Cetera really wanted her to record the duet with him, but she was so devoutly religious that she wanted to vet the songwriters before she would commit to recording the song. I had to go to A&M Records to meet with her. Obviously, I was on my very best behavior that day [he laughs]. I’m sure Paul had to go through the same process.”

After the song was recorded, a music video was filmed at the Park Plaza Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, California, under the direction of Dominic Sena. The clip consists of shots of Cetera and Grant’s lip-syncing that are interwoven with footage of the movements of a large group of dancers.

Here’s a look at the complete Top 20 on the U.S. singles chart from this day back in 1986:

1 4 THE NEXT TIME I FALL –•– Peter Cetera & Amy Grant (Full Moon / Warner Brothers)-12 (1 Week at #1) (1)
2 1 YOU GIVE LOVE A BAD NAME –•– Bon Jovi (Mercury)-14 (1)
3 5 HIP TO BE SQUARE –•– Huey Lewis & The News (Chrysalis)-8 (3)
4 8 THE WAY IT IS –•– Bruce Hornsby & The Range (RCA)-12 (4)
5 10 WALK LIKE AN EGYPTIAN –•– The Bangles (Columbia)-11 (5)
6 6 WORD UP –•– Cameo (Atlanta Artists)-13 (6)
7 11 EVERYBODY HAVE FUN TONIGHT –•– Wang Chung (Geffen)-10 (7)
8 2 HUMAN –•– The Human League (A&M)-13 (1)
9 9 LOVE WILL CONQUER ALL –•– Lionel Richie (Motown)-10 (9)
10 12 TO BE A LOVER –•– Billy Idol (Chrysalis)-10 (10)

11 16 NOTORIOUS –•– Duran Duran (Capitol)-6 (11)
12 3 TRUE BLUE –•– Madonna (Sire)-10 (3)
13 15 STAND BY ME –•– Ben E. King (Atlantic)-24 (4)
14 7 AMANDA –•– Boston (MCA)-11 (1)
15 17 SHAKE YOU DOWN –•– Gregory Abbott (Columbia)-8 (15)
16 19 DON’T GET ME WRONG –•– The Pretenders (Sire)-9 (16)
17 21 C’EST LA VIE –•– Robbie Nevil (Manhattan)-9 (17)
18 13 TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT –•– Eddie Money (Columbia)-17 (4)
19 22 (Forever) LIVE AND DIE –•– Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark (A&M)-11 (19)
20 33 WAR –•– Bruce Springsteen (Columbia)-3 (20)

On this day in 1988: American singer songwriter Roy Orbison died of a heart attack at age 52. He scored the 1964 U.K. & U.S. #1 single ‘Pretty Woman’, plus over 20 U.S. & 30 U.K. Top 40 singles including ‘Only the Lonely’ and ‘Crying’. He formed his first band The Wink Westerners in 1949, and was a member of The Traveling Wilburys (known as Lefty Wilbury) with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, and Tom Petty in 1988. Orbison endured a great deal of tragedy in his life. His first wife, Claudette died in a motorcycle accident in 1966 and two of his three sons, died in a house fire.

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