Chicago XIV

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Chicago XIV
Chicago - Chicago XIV.jpg
Studio album by Chicago
Released July 21, 1980
Recorded March–May 1980 at The Record Plant, Los Angeles and Criteria Studios, Miami
Genre Rock
Length 38:58
Label Columbia
Producer Tom Dowd
Chicago chronology
Chicago 13
(1979)
Chicago XIV
(1980)
Greatest Hits, Volume II
(1981)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars[1]

Chicago XIV is the twelfth studio album by the American band Chicago, released in 1980. Recorded at a time of waning interest in the band, Chicago XIV remains one of Chicago's poorest selling albums and was a commercial flop. It is also notable for being their last studio album with Columbia Records, and the last one to feature percussionist Laudir de Oliveira.

Background[edit]

After the commercial and critical disappointment of Chicago 13, and the departure of guitarist Donnie Dacus, Chicago decided that a new strategy was in order. Instead of incorporating another guitarist into the band, they hired on Chris Pinnick as a session player and live performer. They also tried a new producer, this time Tom Dowd, who had worked with Aretha Franklin, Cream, Eric Clapton, and Toto. With Dowd taking the reins, and with Chicago abandoning the ill-advised dance club atmosphere that permeated the last album, the band recorded a lean, more streamlined record which would, predictably, be called Chicago XIV. Possibly designed as a response to the under-produced, new wave efforts on the radio at the time, the album was easily the band's least orchestrated effort to date. Still, it wasn't a perfect marriage, with Dowd having to shepherd a group whose members were not all on the same wavelength or headspace.

Release and aftermath[edit]

With Peter Cetera taking an even greater role in the band, his compositions included a mix of ballads, pop and rock songs. Robert Lamm turned in the rockers "Manipulation" and "I'd Rather Be Rich" (a song from 1975); James Pankow delivered the uptempo – if downbeat – "The American Dream"; and Lamm, Cetera and Danny Seraphine co-wrote "Thunder and Lightning". Like Chicago 13 before it, Chicago XIV did not improve Chicago's fortunes. To the record-buying public, Chicago's image was out of touch in 1980 and once the new album was released, it became clear that any attempt to win new fans would be in vain.

Poorly promoted by Columbia Records, a label that was increasingly disappointed with the poor sales performance of the band, Chicago XIV went unnoticed upon release and bombed, only reaching #71 in the US, and disappeared quickly. There were no singles hits again, with "Thunder and Lightning" stalling below the top 50 and "Song For You" failing to chart. Chicago also saw a poor attendance in many venues during the supporting tour. Realizing that the relationship had soured considerably, Columbia Records terminated their relationship with Chicago. In 1982, Robert Lamm recalled,

As a settlement to ending the arrangement early, Columbia released the band's second Greatest Hits album and jettisoned them from the label. The money from the settlement was used to record Chicago 16 independently, while the band shopped for a new label (eventually they signed with Warner). Realizing that the Latin/Jazz percussion style evident in the latter half of the previous decade no longer fit with their sound, the album signaled the end of percussionist Laudir de Oliveira's tenure with the band after nine years. Peter Cetera, meanwhile, concentrated on his first self-titled solo album during the hiatus.

In 2003, Chicago XIV was remastered and reissued by Rhino Records with three outtakes from the sessions, "Doin' Business" (which first appeared on the 1991 4-Disc anthology Group Portrait), "Live It Up" and "Soldier of Fortune" as bonus tracks.

Track listing[edit]

Side One
No. Title Writer(s) Vocals Length
1. "Manipulation" Robert Lamm Lamm 3:45
2. "Upon Arrival" Lamm/Peter Cetera Cetera/Lamm 3:48
3. "Song for You" Cetera Cetera 3:41
4. "Where Did the Lovin' Go" Cetera Cetera 4:06
5. "Birthday Boy" Danny Seraphine/David "Hawk" Wolinski Cetera 4:55
Side Two
No. Title Writer(s) Vocals Length
6. "Hold On" Cetera Cetera 4:15
7. "Overnight Cafe" Cetera Cetera 4:19
8. "Thunder and Lightning" Lamm/Seraphine/Cetera Lamm/Cetera 3:32
9. "I'd Rather be Rich" Lamm Lamm 3:08
10. "The American Dream" James Pankow Cetera 3:19

Personnel[edit]

The Band[edit]

Additional personnel

Production[edit]

  • Produced by Tom Dowd
  • Production Coordination – Schatzi Hagerman
  • Engineered and Mixed by Michael Carnevale
  • Assistant Engineers – Karat Faye, Bill Freesh and Ricky Delena
  • Mastered by Bernie Grundman
  • Design – John Berg (art director)
  • Artwork, Cover Lettering – Gerard Huerta

The cover artwork is in the permanent collection of The Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

Charts[edit]

Album - Billboard (North America)

Year Chart Position
1980 Pop Albums 71

Singles - Billboard (North America)

Year Single Chart Position
1980 Thunder and Lightning Pop Singles 56

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/r3856/review
  2. ^ "Revitalized Chicago Back On Road Again". Chicago Tribune June 13, 1982