Monday, September 18, 2006

Peter Cetera - One More Story (1988)

After 18 consecutive years on the road with Chicago and the success of his Solitude/Solitaire album, Peter took some time off to spend time with his wife and young daughter and to produce former Abba vocalist, Agnetha Faltskog's I Stand Alone album (incidentally he also contributed his vocals on the duet I Wasn't the One Who Said Goodbye and co-wrote the title track)

His batteries re-charged, he re-entered the studio for what is possibly Peter's best, and if not best, certainly his most polished solo effort. Trading in the over-synthesized power-pop production of Michael Omartian on his sophomore Solitude/Solitaire Peter switched gears and changed directions for One More Story, this time teaming with Patrick Leonard who was still riding the success of Madonna's Like a Prayer album. Leonard even paid Peter the courtesy of bringing Madonna along for the ride (she went by the pseudonym of "Lulu Smith" for her very noticeable background vocal contributions on Cetera's Scheherezade).

Opening with the uptempo and upbeat Best of Times, which shows hints of Omartian's stylings from the previous album the album then shifts to One Good Woman which had been considered for use in the Tom Hanks hit movie, Big Hints of the Big influence are still evident in the opening lyrics: (although it was pulled before the film was released)

You can read me like a book
Just like a fortune-teller
Everybody needs a fortune-teller
Telling you the very truth

While One Good Woman was released as a single, it was unable to match the success of Glory of Love from Solitude/Solitaire, which had been a huge hit for Cetera. Who knows if the song might have been more successful had it actually been used in Big?

One of the other notable guest contributions is the beautiful and haunting guitar work by Pink Floyd's David Gilmour on You Never Listen to Me. But on the whole it's not Madonna's vocal contributions nor is it Gilmour's stirring guitar work; One More Story benefits the most from Patrick Leonard's production and keyboards.

Peter also continued his practice of writing/dedicating at least one track per album to one or the other of his daughters. On Solitude/Solitaire it was Daddy's Girl (which was featured quite prominently in the 1987 hit film Three Men and a Baby) this time around it was the stark and beautiful One More Story which featured only Cetera's vocals and Pat Leonard's keyboard the end result is possibly one of the most beautiful tracks Peter has ever recorded.

Other notable tracks include Save Me (which was the theme song for the first season of Baywatch), Body Language (There In the Dark), and Heaven Help This Lonely Man. Truth be told though, there's not a clunker on this album. While it doesn't have the hits that its predecessor had, it's far more consistent and the quality of both the music and lyrics on this gem surpass those on Cetera's previous effort.

Related Links
One Good Woman video

Peter Cetera artist overview
Peter Cetera s/t debut (1981)
Chicago Transit Authority (1969)
Chicago Tranist Authority (1969)
Chicago II (1970)
Chicago XI (1977)
Chicago Hot Streets (1978)
Chicago What You're Missing (1982)
Chicago Live at Park West (1982)


Layla said...

I will have to check this out!
It sounds really good and I'm not sure if I've heard all of the songs.

It's hard to believe Chicago has been around that long...time flies.

I've read some books by Michael Omartian's wife...not that its releveant to this post...but I thought I'd tell you that :)

David Amulet said...

Not my favorite stuff, as you know, but what a voice.

-- david

Rob Aboudi said...

I couldn't agree with you more on your review of Peter Cetera's 'One More Story', absolutely one of my favorite albums in my collection.

Thank you for the that blaringly obvious Madonna credit, that added a new layer to something that has been a part of my life since it's release and I completely overlooked or releazed it, though always felt something about it was "so familiar to me for some reason!"

Scott Parker said...

Good review (got here in 2009 after you visited my site and my review of Champlin's latest CD). One More Story is and has been my favorite Cetera album. There were glorious months in the summer of 1988 when this CD and Chicago 19 were released close together. Cetera has never been as varied in his influences as he was here. Starting with 1992's World Falling Down, he never again (to date) steered far from the MOR adult contemporary style. Too bad, too. One More Story showed he could change up his sound and do it well. (Now, onto your review of Dream Theater.)