Chicago X

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Chicago X
Chicago - Chicago X.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 14, 1976 (1976-06-14)[1]
RecordedSeptember 1975, March – April 1976, at Caribou Ranch, Nederland, CO
GenreRock
Length38:12
LabelColumbia
ProducerJames William Guercio
Chicago chronology
Chicago IX: Chicago's Greatest Hits
(1975)
Chicago X
(1976)
Chicago XI
(1977)
Singles from Chicago X
  1. "Another Rainy Day in New York City"
    Released: June 1976
  2. "If You Leave Me Now"
    Released: July 1976
  3. "You Are on My Mind"
    Released: March 1977
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic3/5 stars[2]

Chicago X is the eighth studio album, and tenth album overall, by the American band Chicago. It was recorded at Caribou Ranch[3] and it was released by Columbia Records on June 14, 1976. The album made it to number three on the Billboard 200,[4] and was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on June 21, 1976, a week after its release.[5] It was the band's first album to be certified platinum,[1] on September 14, 1976, and has since been certified multi-platinum.[5] Chicago X was the first platinum album for Columbia Records, which awarded the group a 25-pound bar of pure platinum, made by Cartier, to mark the event.[6] (Billboard magazine reported it as a 30-pound bar.)[7]

Chicago X was nominated for a Grammy Award for Album of the Year,[8] and it won a Grammy Award for Best Album Package.[9]

The album produced Chicago's first number one single in the United States, "If You Leave Me Now".[10] The single went on to win two Grammy Awards: for Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus, the band's first Grammy Award;[8] and for Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists, for arrangers James William Guercio and Jimmie Haskell.[9] It was also nominated for the Grammy Award for Record of the Year.[8]

Two other songs from the album released as singles—"Another Rainy Day in New York City", and "You Are On My Mind"—made it into the Billboard Hot 100. "Another Rainy Day in New York City" made it to number 32, and "You Are On My Mind" went to number 49.[10]

Background[edit]

After recording Chicago VIII in a state of exhaustion, Chicago did not return to the studio until the spring of 1976, feeling refreshed after a substantial break away. Chicago X was released on June 14, 1976, to a receptive audience, giving Chicago a number three album on the Billboard 200 in the United States,[4] and their first album to chart in the UK in years, at number 21.[11]

The album featured two top forty singles: Robert Lamm's composition, "Another Rainy Day In New York City", which peaked at number 32 after a brief run in August 1976;[12] and Peter Cetera's composition, "If You Leave Me Now", which became the band's first number one single in October of that same year.[13] Originally written at the same time as Chicago VII's "Wishing You Were Here",[14] "If You Leave Me Now" was one of the very last to be completed and, according to reports, was very nearly left off the final product.[15] "We're a band where anyone can contribute anything, so when Peter wrote this song, we gave it our all, even though we thought it wasn't anything special. Shows how little we knew," said Robert Lamm.[citation needed] Guitarist Terry Kath didn't like the increased emphasis in ballads, singling out this song as an example.[citation needed] Band member Walter Parazaider has been quoted as saying he heard the song on the radio while cleaning his pool and initially thought "it sounded like McCartney," not realizing it was his own band's work.[15] The song became the band's first number one hit in the US and UK, and some band members felt the song's success changed the public's perception of the band, leading to more demand from Columbia Records for ballads,[15] although Robert Lamm has since acknowledged that the band had started moving away from their politically-oriented music into the mainstream years earlier, beginning with 1972's Chicago V.[16] Lamm and Kath, in particular, were uncomfortable with this turn of events.

Band members who normally were not vocalists received vocal credits on this album. The album is notable for the lead vocal debut of trombonist James Pankow. Different band singers tried "You Are On My Mind", but Pankow felt they were not nailing it the way he heard it, so producer Guercio said, "You sing it," and that effort landed on the final album.[15] "You Are On My Mind" was the third single for the album, reaching number 49 on the Billboard Hot 100 in April 1977.[17] Lee Loughnane contributed the lead vocal for his song "Together Again". (Both Pankow and Loughnane would contribute lead vocals again on the next album, Chicago XI.) The brief vocal section of "You Get It Up" was sung by the entire band in unison — thus the album's atypical crediting of Danny Seraphine, Walter Parazaider, and Laudir de Oliveira with "vocals".

In 2002, Chicago X was remastered and reissued by Rhino Records with an early rendition of Chicago XIV's "I'd Rather Be Rich" by Lamm, as well as Kath's "Your Love's An Attitude" — both cut in 1975 — as bonus tracks. This album was mixed and released in both stereo and quadraphonic.[18]

For the summer 2007 tour, the band included "You Are on My Mind" with Pankow again on vocals — the first time this song had been performed live since 1976–1977.[citation needed]

Packaging[edit]

Designed by Art Director of Columbia/CBS Records, John Berg, the album art depicts a partially unwrapped chocolate bar with the Chicago logo on it, resembling a Hershey's chocolate bar as it was packaged at the time, and winning for Berg a Grammy Award for Best Album Package.[9] The cover design is labeled "chocolate bar" on the band's official web site.[1] The cover art was included in a 2012-2013 exhibit of Berg's album covers at Guild Hall of East Hampton,[19] and is now in the permanent collection of The Museum of Modern Art in New York City.[20]

Track listing[edit]

Side One
No.TitleWriter(s)VocalsLength
1."Once or Twice"Terry KathKath3:01
2."You Are on My Mind"James PankowPankow3:24
3."Skin Tight"PankowPeter Cetera3:20
4."If You Leave Me Now"CeteraCetera3:58
5."Together Again"Lee LoughnaneLoughnane3:53
6."Another Rainy Day in New York City"Robert LammCetera3:03
Side Two
No.TitleWriter(s)VocalsLength
7."Mama Mama"CeteraCetera3:31
8."Scrapbook"LammLamm3:28
9."Gently I'll Wake You"LammLamm3:36
10."You Get It Up"LammCetera/Kath/Lamm/Loughnane/Laudir de Oliveira/Pankow/Walter Parazaider/Danny Seraphine3:34
11."Hope for Love"KathKath3:04

Personnel[edit]

Chicago
Additional personnel
  • David J. Wolinski – keyboards on "Hope For Love"
  • James William Guercio – guitar on "If You Leave Me Now" and "Hope For Love"
  • Othello Molineaux – steel drums on "Another Rainy Day in New York City"
  • Leroy Williams – steel drums on "Another Rainy Day in New York City"
  • Jimmie Haskell – string and brass orchestration on "If You Leave Me Now" and "Gently I'll Wake You"

Production[edit]

  • Produced by James William Guercio
  • Engineered by Wayne Tarnowski
  • Assistant Engineer – Tom Likes
  • Strings recorded by Armin Steiner at Sound Labs (Hollywood, CA).
  • Mastered by Doug Sax at The Mastering Lab (Los Angeles, CA).
  • Album Cover Concept – John Berg
  • Logo Design – Nick Fasciano
  • Candy Bar Photo – Columbia Records Photo Studio
  • Inside Photography – Reid Miles

Charts[edit]

Album - Billboard (North America)

Year Chart Position Ref
1976 Pop Albums 3 [4]

Singles - Billboard (North America)

Year Single Chart Position Ref
1976 Another Rainy Day in New York City Pop Singles 32 [10]
1976 Another Rainy Day in New York City Adult Contemporary 2 [21]
1976 If You Leave Me Now Pop Singles 1 [10]
1976 If You Leave Me Now Adult Contemporary 1 [21]
1977 You Are on My Mind Pop Singles 49 [10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Albums: Chicago X". Chicago - The Band. Chicago Touring. Retrieved August 11, 2018.
  2. ^ https://www.allmusic.com/album/r3853/review
  3. ^ Amicone, Michael (July 20, 2002). "A vigorous 35-year-old feelin' stronger every day". Billboard. Howard Lander. p. 42 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ a b c "Chicago - Billboard 200 Chart history | Billboard". www.billboard.com. Retrieved August 4, 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Gold & Platinum - RIAA". RIAA. Retrieved August 4, 2017.
  6. ^ Young, Charles M. (December 8, 1976). "Random Notes: Rolling Stone: Capitol out of Lennon suit". Tallahassee Democrat. p. 26. Retrieved December 7, 2017 – via Newspapers.com. Free to read
  7. ^ "Platinum All the Way (photo caption)". Billboard. 88 (49): 4. December 4, 1976. Retrieved December 6, 2017 – via Google Books.
  8. ^ a b c "Chicago". GRAMMY.com. May 14, 2017. Retrieved August 4, 2017.
  9. ^ a b c "19th Annual GRAMMY Awards". GRAMMY.com. January 16, 2013. Retrieved August 4, 2017.
  10. ^ a b c d e "Chicago - Hot 100 Chart history | Billboard". www.billboard.com. Retrieved August 4, 2017.
  11. ^ "CHICAGO | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". www.officialcharts.com. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
  12. ^ "Music: Billboard Hot 100 for August 8, 2017". Billboard. Retrieved August 4, 2017.
  13. ^ http://www.billboard.com/charts/hot-100/1976-10-23
  14. ^ Cetera, Peter (September 28, 2015). "Peter Cetera/September 28" (audio). Humble & Fred Radio.Com (Interview). Interviewed by Howard Glassman and Fred Patterson. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Humble and Fred Radio. Event occurs at 51:09. Retrieved October 3, 2017. I started two songs that night, one was "If You Leave Me Now", and one was "Wishing You Were Here".
  15. ^ a b c d Ruhlmann, William James (1991). Chicago Group Portrait (Box Set) (CD booklet archived online) (Media notes). New York City, NY: Columbia Records. p. 7. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  16. ^ Greene, Andy (December 17, 2015). "Chicago on Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Reuniting with Peter Cetera". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 4, 2017.
  17. ^ http://www.billboard.com/charts/hot-100/1977-04-30
  18. ^ "Out Now: Chicago, Quadio | Rhino". www.rhino.com. June 17, 2016. Retrieved November 3, 2017.
  19. ^ Jacobson, Aileen (November 23, 2012). "Album Covers That Are as Evocative as the Music". The New York Times.
  20. ^ "John Berg, Nick Fasciano, Reid Miles. Cover for Chicago's tenth self-titled album. 1976 | MoMA". The Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved October 25, 2017.
  21. ^ a b "Chicago - Adult Contemporary Chart history | Billboard". www.billboard.com. Retrieved August 4, 2017.