Beginnings (Chicago song)

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Chicago-beginnings s.jpg
Single by Chicago Transit Authority
from the album Chicago Transit Authority
ReleasedOctober 1969
June 1971 (re-released)
RecordedJanuary 27/30, 1969
GenreJazz rock, folk rock, progressive rock
Length7:54 (Album version)
2:47 (Single version)
6:26 (Only the Beginning edit)
Songwriter(s)Robert Lamm
Producer(s)James William Guercio
Chicago Transit Authority singles chronology
"Questions 67 and 68"
"Make Me Smile"


Beginnings/Colour My World

Questions 67 and 68/I'm a Man

"Beginnings" is a song written by Robert Lamm for the rock band Chicago Transit Authority and recorded for their debut album Chicago Transit Authority, released in 1969. Lamm also provided lead vocals. The song was the band's second single (after "Questions 67 and 68"), but failed to chart on its initial release.

After the band's success with subsequent singles, "Beginnings" was re-released in June 1971, backed with "Colour My World". Both sides became U.S. radio hits, and the combined single climbed to number seven on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. "Beginnings" reached number one on the U.S. Easy Listening chart.[1]

The distinctive acoustic guitar was originally played by Chicago's guitarist Terry Kath. In concert, Lamm has played guitar for the song, though he is primarily known as the group's keyboard player.

The uncut album version clocked in at 7:54. The original single version was cut to just under three minutes, leaving only a fraction of the climactic second half. A later edit of over six minutes for subsequent compilation albums restores much of the second half (leaving off only the extended percussion outro). Two notable exceptions are the compilations Chicago IX: Chicago's Greatest Hits (in its CD edition) and The Heart of Chicago 1967-1997, both of which feature the original full-length version of the tune.

Cover versions[edit]

Brazilian bossa nova star Astrud Gilberto recorded "Beginnings" as the lead track on her 1970 album September 17, 1969.

In 1974, "Beginnings" was covered by pianist Gene Harris on his Blue Note album Astral Signal. This is one of the very few times Harris can be heard as lead vocalist.

Russian cover band "Leonid and Friends" covered "Beginnings" in 2018

Chart performance[edit]



  1. ^ "Billboard Singles". All Media Guide / Billboard. Retrieved 2010-03-07.
  2. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". 1971-09-04. Retrieved 2017-04-04.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  5. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2016-10-02.
  8. ^ "Top Pop 100 Singles" Billboard December 25, 1971: TA-36
  9. ^ "Billboard". 1971-12-25. p. 15. Retrieved 2016-10-02.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2016-05-30.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]