Jump to content

Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

When Chicago was hot.

mate stubb

Recommended Posts

  • Replies 75
  • Created
  • Last Reply

My favorite band for much of the '70s.


There was a time when I thought that band was the best damn jazz/rock group in the whole wide world.


I was 13. :cool:

There was a time when that was true, Tom. Then in 1976, Chicago started heading towards the Peter Cetera ballad era...and "The Royal Scam" arrived and changed the rules.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember seeing them in Central Park on a double bill with Santana around that time, maybe 79? They kicked ass then.
Instrumentation is meaningless - a song either stands on its own merit, or it requires bells and whistles to cover its lack of adequacy, much less quality. - kanker
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Still one of my favourite bands of all time, and a HUGE influence on my own writing and arranging.


Don't write them off yet -- they have recently returned to their roots and switched to a label that supports artists, just like many other older bands have done the past few years.


Chicago is the group that busted my chops and brought me into my own as a bass player. We had a one-off cover band project and did much of their first five albums. Boy did I learn a lot! Say what you will about Cetera's later move to make the band more pop-oriented, but he's one of the greatest bassist of all time.


This video was a joy to watch, as I have never before seen Chicago from that era, and that song has one of my favourite horn charts, as well as showing off Bobby Lamm as a great B3 player and not "just" a pianist.

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chicago were definitely a hit-making machine in the 70s. Those tunes have traveled well.


They are also a good example of how time and technology reshapes a winning formula.


While Foster is a talented cat, the way he neutered Chicago should be investigated. :laugh:


Still, the hits are cemented in history. Looking over their body of work, they have no reason to be ashamed. Great band. :cool:



"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gotta say I always loved them too, sans the latter stuff... :rolleyes:


Great video - thanks!

Yamaha C2, Yamaha MODX7, Hammond SK1, Hammond XK-5 Heritage Pro System, Korg Kronos 2 61, Yamaha CP4, Kurzweil PC4-7, Nord Stage 3 73, Nord Wave 2, QSC 8.2, Motion Sound KP 210S,  Key Largo, etc…yeah I have too much…

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of my bands ~1971-73 did a lot of Chicago tunes. Make Me Smile (great job dB :thu:), Questions 67 & 68, Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is, Beginnings, 25 or 6 to 4, Saturday in the Park, and the mandatory Colour My World. I'm just guessing that tune earned enough money to influence their future direction some. There's gold in those sappy love songs.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will never forget their first album was one that my parents had in their collection. When I was 12ish I discovered them thru my parents album collection.


Kick ass video!!!


Motif XS8, MOXF8, Hammond XK1c, Vent

Rhodes Mark II 88 suitcase, Yamaha P255

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for posting that great video. While there was some creative editing in there (Parazaider would not have had any reason to play a soprano sax at any point for that song), the video captured a lot of real playing which was a joy to see.


Ironically, this hot song was from Chicago VI, which I see as the first album from their hit-or-miss era which extended thru Chicago XI (the last Terry Kath played on). There are some good songs on VI through XI, but IMO the really great albums are I II and V, with III just a little behind those three. Chicago VI came out in 1973, and I remember being mostly disappointed with it when I bought it at the ripe old age of 12.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My favorite band of the 70s. Funny you posted this I just watched their live DVD with EWF the other night......Thanks for posting.
Montage 7, Mojo 61, PC-3, XK-3c Pro, Kronos 88, Hammond SK-1, Motif XF- 7, Hammond SK-2, Roland FR-1, FR-18, Hammond B3 - Blond, Hammond BV -Cherry
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Big Chicago fan here. Was glad to get the official Stone of Sisyphus album download some years ago after Warner refused to release it.


I am a big fan of Toto's album "Falling In Between" An absolute masterpiece. Then I heard "Stone of Sisyphus" I can hear where a lot of Toto's ideas came from. Many of the songs by Chicago are a definate precursor to the Toto offering.


Stone of Sisyphus was recorded during their totally commercial period, indicating that it was record company pressure causing this period, not the wishes of the band.


A couple years ago I got this DVD set for my wife with her two favorite bands, Chicago, and Earth, Wind, and Fire. Both bands were on top of their game, and when they combined it was an OMG moment. Recommended viewing.


"In the beginning, Adam had the blues, 'cause he was lonesome.

So God helped him and created woman.


Now everybody's got the blues."


Willie Dixon






Link to comment
Share on other sites

...There are some good songs on VI through XI, but IMO the really great albums are I II and V, with III just a little behind those three. Chicago VI came out in 1973, and I remember being mostly disappointed with it when I bought it at the ripe old age of 12.



Chicago was a huge part of my music listening from albums I through X; tons o' memories from my middle school/high school years connected to songs from those records. Chicago VIII was the high point: Picked that album up in the summer of '75, between my Junior/Senior HS years. The Cardinal/Chicago Logo iron-on that came with the LP was on the back of my stone-wash denim shirt in no time; wore that shirt for years...


After Chicago X, the magic faded a bit: New artists/bands, expanding musical interests, etc. Still one of my favorite all time acts, though. Looking forward to hearing what results from their label switch; hopefully something great for long times fans and new listeners.

'Someday, we'll look back on these days and laugh; likely a maniacal laugh from our padded cells, but a laugh nonetheless' - Mr. Boffo.


We need a barfing cat emoticon!








Link to comment
Share on other sites

David Foster was the best thing to happen to this band. :D:whistle:





I love the first Album "Chicago Transit Authority". The first song Introduction, is a real showcase of the players and the sound of the band. They're cover of Spencer Davis's I'm a Man is also phenomenal.


Chicago II has the incredible suite Ballet for Girl from Buchanon. This is the suite which contains the full version of Make Me Smile, with the reprise at the end, as well as Colour My World. As tired and cliche Colour My World has become, as part as this larger piece it becomes much more enjoyable and listenable.


One of my favorite tracks is on VII, Call On Me. The changes are sublime, even though the song borders on disco (what's wrong with that).

Ian Benhamou



[url:https://www.facebook.com/OfficialTheMusicalBox/]The Musical Box[/url]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Early Chicago was great, insanely great, but you have to also respect the obvious achievement of the goal to be exactly what they became... a tremendously successful saccharine-sweet pop band. Even their '80s pop crap was better written and performed than much of the other shite on the charts at the time.


But the early stuff was musically adventurous and just great on all fronts. :thu:

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...