5.0 out of 5 stars I think Peter Cetera is one of the greatest balladeers ever.,
Listening to Glory of Love transports me to another place of joyful, love-filled bliss. Its one of the greatest pieces of musical artistry I’ve ever seen and I could go on and on about this great song. Its unbeatable for reaching the heart of a desired one. Next time I fall in Love is also great, as are other songs in this album rendered in that sonorus, inimitable voice that’s uniquely Peter Cetera’s. All I need to know is, why is this guy no longer producing smash hits as before?
Personnel: Peter Cetera (vocals, bass); Amy Grant (vocals); Dann Huff from Giant, Ray Parker Jr. (guitar); Michael Omartian (keyboards); Paul Leim, Chester Thompson (drums); Kenny Cetera (percussion, background vocals); Jeff Porcaro from Toto(percussion)
The 1984 movie The Karate Kid is a product of its time, and nobody would ever mistake it for anything other than an extremely 1984 movie. But it’s also a film that persistently refuses to get old. The Karate Kid is an expertly-told variation on the Rocky fairy tale — a scrawny little kid, displaced from New Jersey to California, falls for a bully’s girlfriend and gets beat up for it. The old Japanese man who works as super in the kid’s building takes him under his wing, slowly teaching him discipline and self-respect. The kid comes out of nowhere to beat the bully and the bully’s entire sociopathic dojo at a regional karate tournament, and his final triumph feels as mythic as it is unlikely.
John G. Avidsen, director of the original Rocky, made The Karate Kid, and it went on to become a huge hit, one of the biggest movies of 1984. The Karate Kid‘s first sequel did even better. Coming out in the summer of 1986, The Karate Kid, Part II earned $115 million at the domestic box office — $25 million more than the first movie had made. On the year-end 1986 box-office chart, The Karate Kid, Part II comes in at #4, just below Platoon and just above Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. (Weird year.)
Unfortunately, The Karate Kid, Part II pretty much sucked. Avidsen moved the action from California to Japan, half-assedly coming up with narrative reasons for Ralph Macchio’s young Daniel to cross the ocean with Pat Morita’s Mr. Miyagi. In Japan, they pretty much replay the first movie’s narrative, adding in some orientalist touches that have aged badly and somehow making Daniel into a way-more-irritating character. Cobra Kai, the extremely entertaining Netflix hit that serves as a decades-later Karate Kid sequel, has wisely avoided really acknowledging the existence of The Karate Kit, Part II, focusing instead on the still-fun central conflict of the original movie. Nobody needs to remember Part II.
Part II was a bigger movie with a bigger soundtrack, but it was shittier in every way, soundtrack included. The song that everyone associates with The Karate Kid is “You’re The Best,” the howling anthem sung by former Brooklyn Dreams member and Donna Summer collaborator Joe Esposito. (Esposito later admitted that “You’re The Best” had been rejected from the soundtracks of both Rocky III and Flashdance.) But “You’re The Best” wasn’t a hit in its time. Instead, the hit from The Karate Kid was Bananarama’s immortal new wave classic “Cruel Summer.” (“Cruel Summer” peaked at #9. It’s a 10.)
The Karate Kid, Part II didn’t have anything on the level of “Cruel Summer.” Instead, the big theme from Part II was “Glory Of Love,” the screaming ballad that the former Chicago member Peter Cetera recorded immediately after leaving the band. In grand Karate Kid tradition, “Glory Of Love” was another Rocky-franchise reject. Cetera had submitted “Glory Of Love” for the soundtrack of the 1985 smash Rocky IV, and the producers had rejected it. A few weeks later, “Glory Of Love” found its way to the Karate Kid people and found its home.
Before he made “Glory Of Love,” Cetera had spent 18 years in Chicago, a band that wasn’t supposed to have a frontman. A 23-year-old Cetera had joined the Chicago Transit Authority as singer and bassist in 1967. This was a group where lead-vocal and songwriting duties floated around and where nobody posed for album-cover photos. They were a brand as much as a band, and they were fantastically successful at it, selling tons of records. But eventually, Cetera, with his toothy smile and yowly voice and propensity for power ballads, started to emerge from the mass of the band. When Chicago first hit #1, they did it with “If You Leave Me Now,” a slow-dance song that Cetera wrote and sang. Pretty soon, it became obvious that most of the band’s biggest hits were the Cetera ballads. That didn’t sit too well with the rest of the band.