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Chicago II (a.k.a Chicago)

Discussion in 'Music to Your Ears' started by TeleAndSG, Sep 26, 2017.

  1. TeleAndSG

    TeleAndSG Tele-Holic

    Age:
    48
    815
    Mar 9, 2017
    The Peach State
    If, like me, you got your first radio in the late 70's, chances are you've heard Chicago's soft rock big hits (sung by Peter Cetera) too frequeltly. I heard their earlier material because my older siblings were fans, but I didn't connect the songs with the band until much later, one Saturday afternoon, when I heard their "Ballet for a girl in Buchannon" suite on classic radio. So I finally bought a copy of this album: it's a very different band from the more radio friendly unit from the late 70's and 80's. They still had huge hits (25 or 6 to 4, Colour my love, Make me smile), but it's a very daring combo that throws pop, funk, jazz, progressive rock, even classical music, into the mix. Even the hits are much warmer, and (at least for me) way better, than their later material. Not everything in the album works. The orchestral instrumentals on side 3 are ... well they add variety to the set. But the rest of this double album is terrific. I will soon buy a copy of their debut, The Chicago Transit Authority, since some critics prefer the first album to Chicago II.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2017
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  2. crossroader

    crossroader Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    60
    Sep 24, 2004
    Endicott, NY
    The secret to that bold, innovative sound is really pretty simple.

    Terry Kath.

    He was the soul of that band and one of it's early guiding voices.....and we lost him much, much too soon.
     

  3. fendrguitplayr

    fendrguitplayr Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    66
    Oct 11, 2006
    Greater Boston
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  4. tjnies

    tjnies Tele-Meister

    460
    Dec 14, 2009
    Latrobe PA
    Very true; although music in general was changing to disco and softer rock during the late 70s. On top of that some "indulgences" left one of their most prolific songwriters (Robt Lamm) with a dry well.

    I tried to listen to post-Kath Chicago, but only infrequently. The rock band I knew and admired was gone. Basically a cover band at this point.
     
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  5. MrCairo46

    MrCairo46 Tele-Afflicted

    Ahhh Terry, my hero. I hope his daughter gets the film she made of him released soon. That old stuff really rocks.
    In the Country.
    wait till you get into Chicago III and I dont what your money and Free.
     
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  6. TeleAndSG

    TeleAndSG Tele-Holic

    Age:
    48
    815
    Mar 9, 2017
    The Peach State
    A vastly underrated guitarist and vocalist. Before their CTA album was released, they opened for Jimi Handrix at the Whisky a Go Go. Hendrix was blown away by them, he praised their horn section and stated that Kath was a better guitarist than him.
     

  7. TeleAndSG

    TeleAndSG Tele-Holic

    Age:
    48
    815
    Mar 9, 2017
    The Peach State
    Oh, the music from 1976 onwards ... as you stated, disco and soft rock were ubiquitous, while Led Zeppelin's Dazed and Confused became a 27 minute performance :eek:. The "answer", back then, was new wave and punk (and they sounded fine in context, since they had an energy largely missing in the more popular styles). Their enthusiasts even claim that these generes "saved" music, but judging from the current state of affairs, they saved nothing. IMO, they even left a dubious legacy for future generations: they made questionable musicianship (and sometimes questionable taste) "hip". Even the so called "godfather" of punk, Iggy Pop, has stated very clearly that he doesn't like Punk. Ok, enough ranting. Long live the 60's and the early 70's :D
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2017

  8. crossroader

    crossroader Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    60
    Sep 24, 2004
    Endicott, NY
    True (to a degree), but I'm thinking that had he lived, Terry would not have gone down that path.
     
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  9. tooloud

    tooloud Tele-Meister

    Age:
    56
    128
    Mar 5, 2009
    Richmond, TX
    I was to much of a rocker and liked the harder stuff when I was young and didn't get into Chicago then, but I love it now and the horns are awesome.
     
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  10. Frank'n'censed

    Frank'n'censed Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 27, 2011
    Parts Unknown
    I finally saw Chicago this summer...like many older fans, I prefer their early, Kath era stuff, (I bought their first 3 albums). Unfortunately, I had to suffer through the immensely popular, Cetera era ballads, including cell phones & delirious, arm waving, (like The Voice & all those canned tv audiences), fans. Utter, hellish torture, for sure!
     
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  11. TeleAndSG

    TeleAndSG Tele-Holic

    Age:
    48
    815
    Mar 9, 2017
    The Peach State
    According to surviving members, it's very likely that he would have gone on his own as a solo artist.
     

  12. TeleAndSG

    TeleAndSG Tele-Holic

    Age:
    48
    815
    Mar 9, 2017
    The Peach State
    I grew up in the late 70's and early 80's, and even then I felt there was something missing. Never mind that all my friends considered the 70's outdated. In 1983 I started collecting classic albums by Sabbath, Zeppelin, Genesis and Rush. In 1988 I discovered the 60's, and that's it. It was THE golden era for me.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2017
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  13. joealso

    joealso TDPRI Member

    90
    Dec 25, 2012
    East Haddam, CT
    With Terry Kath on board, Chicago was an incredible band. I highly recommend the Carnegie Hall box set. Just amazing. I don't know how or why, but that band turned to mush when Kath died.
     
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  14. crossroader

    crossroader Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    60
    Sep 24, 2004
    Endicott, NY
    I could see that.

    They all balanced each other really well in those early days, but who knows how long that could have lasted.
     
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  15. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 23, 2014
    Woodstock
    Another one here who liked Chicago early on, but totally NOT by the time the mid 70's came around. That's a musical decade I'd just as soon forget, at least as far as Pop music goes. I never became a big punk or new wave fan, but distinctly remember the first time I heard The Cars on the car radio. I remember it as a breath of fresh air, at last!
     
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  16. TeleAndSG

    TeleAndSG Tele-Holic

    Age:
    48
    815
    Mar 9, 2017
    The Peach State
    It was a breath of fresh air, or, in the case of punk rock, a punch in the face. But the novelty wore out pretty soon, with the exception of Talking Heads, who were a terrific and very versatile band. Their first four albums (Fear of Music being my favorite) still sound fresh and original.
     
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  17. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Tele-Holic

    Age:
    65
    542
    Feb 3, 2017
    Foat Wuth, Texas
    Interesting idea.....obviously any speculation as to what Kath would have done is just that....speculation. He might have stayed in Chicago and kept them on track and true to the original spirit of the band. He might have gone solo, and had a revolving and evolving roster of players , ala Santana or Clapton. Or, he might have joined forces with other "star" musicians and formed a "super group" like Stephen Stills or others. All I know is, when I saw them in the early 70's, with Kath, they were amazing.....he was playing a Les Paul Recording (which weighed, like 50lbs.??) and he wielded it like it weighed nothing. And the whole band ROCKED.....I've seen videos of the recent Chicago, and they're like a second rate, lounge act version of the old band......sorry guys.
     

  18. TeleAndSG

    TeleAndSG Tele-Holic

    Age:
    48
    815
    Mar 9, 2017
    The Peach State
    In the final days of his career he played a Tele modified to fit a Gibson Humbucker in the neck.
     

  19. tjnies

    tjnies Tele-Meister

    460
    Dec 14, 2009
    Latrobe PA
    Yep, as in my avatar!:) But he played that guitar from about 73-78, so it was more than just his final days.
     
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  20. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    60
    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
    Great band, glad they happened!
    Ultra musical!
     
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