(Debuted September 24, 1988, Peaked #1, 24 Weeks on the Chart)
I began writing this blog over six months ago, and have actively avoided gravitating to the bigger hits on purpose. In some cases, I've found that there are sometimes more interesting songs when you dig down a lot deeper than the Top 10, while there's also an unwillingness on my part to feature the biggest hits right away because it gives an incentive for readers to return and keep checking out what may be on here. Today, I feature the first #1 single for my review. It's not the best song of the year, and it isn't even my favorite Chicago song by a long shot. However, there's a personal story behind the song.
My high school sweetheart was named Gina. We were that couple that kept splitting up, only to reconcile our differences later. I lost count of the number of times we called it off; it was usually over some small issue but neither of us was willing to change our identity for the other. Anyway, "Look Away" came out during one of our numerous times apart. Immediately thinking of me because the lyrics were about ending a relationship, Gina got back in touch and we were soon a couple again.
She wanted it to be "our song," even though I was opposed (as I am now) to the idea of only one song that can express everything. Actually, in her case it wasn't even the correct Chicago song that summed our relationship up (that would have been "If She Would Have Been Faithful..." but that's a topic for another entry). Whenever I hear "Look Away" today, I immediately remember that short time of my teenage years.
Today, I find it both ironic and appropriate that what she called "our song" was about the aftermath of a breakup. After all, it was something we were both good at doing. While it's a reminder of some dark times, there were lessons that I was able to carry with me as I continued down Life's Highway. Those bad memories are as important as the good ones, which is why "Look Away" would be on my own personal soundtrack of 1988-'89 even though I wasn't exactly fond of it at the time.