June 1986: Peter Cetera Officially Goes Solo

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Warner Records

On June 23, 1986, Peter Cetera released his second solo album. Unlike his self-titled debut LP in 1981, this was his first to emerge in the wake of his departure from Chicago, making its chart success far more crucial. How fortunate, then, that Solitude/Solitaire found the success necessary to cement Cetera’s status as a solo artist.

Produced by Michael Omartian, Solitude/Solitaire was released a year after Cetera said farewell to Chicago, and its popularity was aided in no small part by a little single called “Glory of Love.” Penned by Cetera, David Foster, and Diane Nine (Cetera’s wife at the time), the song found fame on the soundtrack to The Karate Kid Part II, although - true story - it was actually written with the intent of being utilized for Rocky IV. “Glory of Love” preceded the release of Solitude/Solitaire by about a month, which certainly helped drive sales for the album once it arrived, and when all was said and done, “Glory of Love” had topped the Billboard Hot 100.

READ MORE: August 1986: Peter Cetera Cracks No. 1 with "Glory of Love"

But Cetera wasn’t done kicking butt with his solo debut: the album also included “The Next Time I Fall,” penned by Bobby Caldwell and Paul Gordon, which found Cetera duetting with Amy Grant, at the time known almost entirely for her work within the Christian music community. The song was written for Cetera, although at the time Caldwell and Gordon wrote it, Cetera was still in Chicago. When they found out that he’d left the band, they thought their chance of getting him to sing it was ruined...until Cetera himself called Caldwell at home, having stumbled upon the demo at David Foster’s office.

Although the song hadn’t originally been planned as a duet, that’s how Cetera saw it, so that’s how he moved forward with it. He’d intended to go with someone who wasn’t necessarily considered to be a logical choice, and when Warner Bros. suggested Grant, Cetera was on board. "I thought she was a great choice because she was looking to make a pop crossover, and I like what she stands for,” he told the Chicago Tribune at the time. “She was real excited about the idea, too."

READ MORE: New Peter Cetera Box Set Collects His Biggest Hits and More

As well she should’ve been: the song gave Cetera his second solo No. 1 hit.

Solitude/Soltaire also had two further minor hits: “Big Mistake,” which climbed to No. 61 on the Billboard Hot 100, and “Only Love Knows Why,” which was a Top 30 hit on the U.S. Adult Contemporary chart but never crossed over to find any pop success. In the end, the album itself made it to No. 23 on the Billboard 200 and went platinum. Not a bad start for Cetera as a true solo artist.

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(Ebet Roberts/Redferns)
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