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.