Chicago (album)

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Chicago II
Studio album by Chicago
Released January 26, 1970
Recorded August 1969, Columbia Recording Studios, New York and Hollywood
Genre Jazz fusion, rock
Length 67:21
Label Columbia
Producer James William Guercio
Chicago chronology
The Chicago Transit Authority
(1969)
Chicago
(1970)
Chicago III
(1971)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]

Chicago II is the second studio album by Chicago-based American rock band Chicago. It was released in 1970 after the band had shortened its name from The Chicago Transit Authority following the release of their same-titled debut album the previous year.

History[edit]

Although the official title of the album is Chicago, it came to be retroactively known as Chicago II, keeping it in line with the succession of Roman numeral-titled albums that officially began with Chicago III in 1971.

While The Chicago Transit Authority was a success, Chicago is considered by many to be Chicago's breakthrough album, yielding a number of Top 40 hits, including "Make Me Smile" (#9), "Colour My World" (#7), and "25 or 6 to 4" (#4). The centerpiece of the album was the thirteen-minute song cycle "Ballet for a Girl in Buchannon". Guitarist Terry Kath also participated in an extended classically styled cycle of four pieces, three of which were co-written by the well-known, arranger, composer, and pianist Peter Matz. The politically outspoken Robert Lamm also tackles his qualms with "It Better End Soon", another modular piece. Peter Cetera, later to play a crucial role in the band's music, contributed his first song to Chicago and this album, "Where Do We Go From Here".

Released in January 1970 on Columbia Records, Chicago was an instant hit, reaching #4 in the US and #6 in the UK.

Columbia Records was very active in promoting its quadraphonic four-channel surround sound format in the mid-1970s, and nine of Chicago's first ten albums were made available in quad. The quad mix features elements not heard in the standard stereo mix, including additional guitar work from Kath in "25 Or 6 To 4" and a different vocal take from Lamm in "Wake Up Sunshine," the latter of which reveals a different lyric in the song's last line.

In 2002, Chicago was remastered and reissued on one CD by Rhino Records with the single versions of "Make Me Smile" and "25 or 6 to 4" as bonus tracks.

Rhino released a DVD-Audio version of the album in 2003, featuring both Advanced Resolution Stereo and 5.1 surround sound mixes.

Track listing[edit]

Side One
No. Title Writer(s) Vocals Length
1. "Movin' In"   Pankow Kath 4:06
2. "The Road"   Kath Cetera 3:10
3. "Poem for the People"   Lamm Lamm 5:31
4. "In the Country"   Kath Kath/Cetera 6:34
Side Two
No. Title Writer(s) Vocals Length
5. "Wake Up Sunshine"   Lamm Lamm/Cetera 2:29
6. "Ballet for a Girl in Buchannon"
  1. "Make Me Smile" (3:32)
  2. "So Much to Say, So Much to Give" (1:04)
  3. "Anxiety's Moment" (1:00)
  4. "West Virginia Fantasies" (1:34)
  5. "Colour My World" (2:58)
  6. "To Be Free" (1:21)
  7. "Now More Than Ever (1:27) [2]"  
Pankow Kath/Lamm 12:55
Side Three
No. Title Writer(s) Vocals Length
7. "Fancy Colours"   Lamm Cetera 5:10
8. "25 or 6 to 4"   Lamm Cetera 4:50
9. "Memories of Love"
  1. "Prelude" (1:18)
  2. "A.M. Mourning" (2:05)
  3. "P.M. Mourning" (1:59)
  4. "Memories of Love (4:01) [3]"  
Kath/Matz Kath 9:12
Side Four
No. Title Writer(s) Vocals Length
10. "It Better End Soon"
  1. "1st Movement" (2:30)
  2. "2nd Movement" (3:47)
  3. "3rd Movement" (3:19)
  4. "4th Movement (1:15) [4]"  
Lamm/Kath/Parazaider Kath 10:24
11. "Where Do We Go from Here"   Cetera Cetera 2:53

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Album

Year Chart Position
1970 Billboard Pop Albums 4

Single

Year Single Chart Position
1970 "25 or 6 to 4" Billboard Pop Singles 4
1970 "Make Me Smile" Billboard Pop Singles 9
1971 "Colour My World" Billboard Pop Singles 7

Certifications[edit]

Organization Level Date
RIAA – USA Gold April 13, 1970
RIAA – USA Platinum August 9, 1991

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/r3844
  2. ^ individual times for Ballet taken from original LP KGP 24 CS 9962 XSM 151735
  3. ^ individual times for Memories of Love taken from original LP KGP 24 CS 9977 XSM 151852
  4. ^ individual times for It Better End Soon taken from original LP KGP 24 CS 9977 XSM 151853