On Jan. 13, 1979, “I Go to Rio” by Pablo Cruise entered the Billboard Hot 100 at #88. Although the song had the perfect January sentiment of escaping winter and thinking about Carnival, it would only get to #46.
The song was Pablo Cruise’s third single from their Worlds Away LP and followed the success of “Love Will Find a Way,” which went to #6.
Formed in 1973, Pablo Cruise was a mellow, San Francisco pop band that wove intricate and sophisticated instrumentation into what appeared to be the simplest songs. The original lineup was keyboardist and vocalist Corey Lenos, guitarist and vocalist David Jenkins, and drummer Steve Price (all from the band Stoneground) and bassist Bud Cockrell (from It’s A Beautiful Day). In 1977, Cockrell left the group and was replaced by former Santana bassist Bruce Day.
“I Go to Rio” is most often associated with Peter Allen. The flamboyant performer co-wrote the song with Adrienne Andersen. Allen’s version was a #1 hit in Australia. Allen also hit the top of the charts internationally with Olivia Newton-John’s “I Honestly Love You,” which he co-wrote with Jeff Barry (one of the Brill Building songwriters who’s responsible for too many popular songs to mention here).