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Chicago II (Remastered)

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Editors’ Notes

After deleting “Transit Authority” from their name at the request of home town officials, Chicago released their second album in 1970 to a warm critical reception. Chicago II tightened up the sometimes sprawling jams of the group’s debut without losing the their experimental essence. Those with a casual knowledge of the album have doubtlessly heard the wistful “Colour My World” and the galloping “25 Or 6 To 4.” Beyond these enduring hits, the music here is an ambitious tapestry of interrelated pieces, traversing a range of moods within cogently-arranged structures. “Ballet For A Girl In Buchannon,” a six-song suite, adds classical tones to the band’s jazz/rock/blues palette. Tracks like “Fancy Colours” and “The Road” radiate a sunny optimism. Contrasting with the lighter fare is the politically-charged suite “It Better End Soon,” a defiant response to the Vietnam War. Singers Robert Lamm, Peter Cetera and Terry Kath combine voices to sterling effect, while the horn section is by turns brash and lyrical. Eclectic yet focused, Chicago II is alive with the energy of a band approaching its creative peak.

Customer Reviews

... but until you can "join tracks" ...

I'll also buy the physical album. I certainly hope that Apple creates a method to allow tracks purchased on iTunes to be joined. Whether its these Chicago tunes, or many other bands/orchestras/etc. separate tracks that are actually intended to be listened to as (and recorded as) a single song, it ruins the flow of the piece NOT to allow them to be joined. Right now, you can join tracks in iTunes, but NOT for tracks downloaded through the Music Store. When I first began downloading songs from the Music Store, I thought this was a short-term bug that would quickly be rectified. Not yet. Hurry Up Apple! Otherwise, this is one of Chicago's two truly outstanding albums. They produced a lot of pop later (some of this is pop too), and after a listen or two you were done with it. I've heard lots of theories about why they moved away from the jazz and blues inspired directions you hear in these first two albums, but I figure it was just the fact that they wanted to write and play the pop stuff. They certainly had huge hits later on, and it seemed they could do no wrong in terms of selling albums. However, the first two albums remain their best work. They were still feeling around for their sound, and were trying different sounds, rhythms, and lyrics. They featured the strong and earthy vocals of Terry Kath more effectively, along with his wonderful guitar work. Just listen to his phrasing, the beautiful solos and the perfect fill work. And the way he used the incredible sustain of his Gibson SG to underlie some of the most memorable passages on this and the first album surely caused budding guitarists to add the SG to their stable of guitars. Great music, enjoy!

Chicago II

As a long-time Chicago fan, I consider this their best. Terry Kath's vocals on "In the Country", "Make Me Smile", and several others are so soulful, and his guitar soloing is incredible. For those unfamiliar with older Chicago music, this CD includes 4 hits (tracks 5-10-14-24). There are many good horn parts, and the "song suites" (tracks 6-12, and 15-18) show things I never heard on any other Chicago LP. The only negative is the iTunes packaging: iTunes should create single (longer) continuous tracks for tracks 6-12, 15-18, & 19-22, so a listener who purchases the album from iTunes can hear these "suites" in uninterrupted fashion, as on the original LP. A nit: the words "Ballet for a Girl in Buchannon" are not part of the titles for tracks 16-18.

Greatest Chicago Album!

This album is awesome! It shows how great of musicians they are, from the awesome horns to the gutiar solos, Chicago has it all and this in my opinion is there greatest work. There are four songs in here that were big hits, and plenty others that are unknown treasures. Buy this album!


Formed: February 15, 1967 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

According to Billboard chart statistics, Chicago is second only to the Beach Boys as the most successful American rock band of all time, in terms of both albums and singles. Judged by album sales alone, as certified by the R.I.A.A., the band does not rank quite so high, but it is still among the Top Ten best-selling U.S. groups ever. If such statements of fact surprise, that's because Chicago has been singularly underrated since the beginning of its long career, both because of its musical ambitions...
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