Chicago (album)

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Studio album by Chicago
Released January 26, 1970
Recorded August 1969
Studio Columbia Recording Studios, New York and Columbia Studios, Hollywood
Genre Jazz fusion, rock
Length 67:21
Label Columbia
Producer James William Guercio
Chicago chronology
The Chicago Transit Authority
(1969)The Chicago Transit Authority1969
Chicago III
(1971)Chicago III1971
Singles from Chicago
  1. "Make Me Smile/Colour My World"
    Released: March 1970
  2. "25 or 6 to 4"
    Released: June 1970
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[1]

Chicago (sometimes referred to as 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 self-titled debut album the previous year (to avoid legal action being threatened by the actual mass-transit company).


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 keyboardist Robert Lamm also tackles his qualms with "It Better End Soon", another modular piece. Bassist 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.

In 2016, progressive rock musician Steven Wilson remixed Chicago from the original multitrack tapes. This version was released on January 27, 2017 by Rhino Records.[2]

Track listing[edit]

Side One
No. Title Writer(s) Vocals Length
1. "Movin' In" James Pankow Terry Kath 4:06
2. "The Road" Kath Peter Cetera 3:10
3. "Poem for the People" Robert Lamm Lamm/Cetera 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)[3]"
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)[4]"

Kath/Peter Matz

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)[5]"

Lamm/Walter Parazaider

11. "Where Do We Go from Here" Cetera Cetera 2:53




2002 reissue

  • Paul Klingberg – remixing
  • John Kellogg – remix producer
  • Joe Gastwirt – remastering
  • David Wild – liner notes


Weekly charts[edit]

Year Chart Position
1970 Billboard Pop Albums 4


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


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


  1. ^ Chicago at AllMusic. Retrieved February 17, 2017.}}
  2. ^ Chicago II [Steven Wilson Remix] at AllMusic. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
  3. ^ individual times for Ballet taken from original LP KGP 24 CS 9962 XSM 151735
  4. ^ individual times for Memories of Love taken from original LP KGP 24 CS 9977 XSM 151852
  5. ^ individual times for It Better End Soon taken from original LP KGP 24 CS 9977 XSM 151853