Chicago XIV

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Chicago XIV
Chicago - Chicago XIV.jpg
Studio album by Chicago
Released July 21, 1980
Recorded March–May 1980
Studio The Record Plant, Los Angeles[1] and Criteria Studios, Miami
Genre Rock
Length 38:58
Label Columbia
Producer Tom Dowd
Chicago chronology
Chicago 13
(1979)Chicago 131979
Chicago XIV
(1980)
Greatest Hits, Volume II
(1981)Greatest Hits, Volume II1981
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 2.5/5 stars[2]

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, failing to reach Gold certification by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)[3] and was deemed 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,[4] 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.[1] They also tried a new producer, this time Tom Dowd,[1] who had worked with Aretha Franklin, Cream, Eric Clapton, and Toto. With Dowd taking the reins, and with Chicago abandoning the dance club sound 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 the band's least orchestrated effort to date.

Release and aftermath[edit]

With four solo writing credits and one cowriting credit of the ten songs on the album,[5] Peter Cetera took on a greater songwriting role in the band than in the past. 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[citation needed]); James Pankow delivered the uptempo – if downbeat – "The American Dream"; and Lamm and Danny Seraphine co-wrote "Thunder and Lightning".[5] Like Chicago 13 before it, Chicago XIV did not improve Chicago's fortunes.[6] 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,[citation needed] a label that was increasingly disappointed with the poor sales performance of the band, Chicago XIV went unnoticed upon release and bombed, only reaching number seventy-one on the Billboard 200 chart in the US,[7] and disappeared quickly. There were no singles hits again, with "Thunder and Lightning" stalling below the top fifty[8] and "Song For You" failing to chart. Chicago also saw a poor attendance in many venues during the supporting tour.[citation needed] 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,[1] 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 "more pop-oriented sound," while beginning work on Chicago 16, the album Chicago XIV signaled the end of percussionist Laudir de Oliveira's tenure with the band after nine years.[10]:200 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]

Track titles, track order and writers for tracks one through ten from [5].

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[nb 1] 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]

Chicago[edit]

Additional musicians[edit]

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]

AlbumBillboard (North America)

Year Chart Position
1980 Pop Albums 71

SinglesBillboard (North America)

Year Single Chart Position
1980 Thunder and Lightning Pop Singles 56

References[edit]

  1. ^ 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. 8. Retrieved July 26, 2017. 
  2. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/r3856/review
  3. ^ "Gold & Platinum - RIAA: Search by Artist". RIAA. Retrieved July 26, 2017. 
  4. ^ Amicone, Michael (July 20, 2002). "A vigorous 35-year-old feelin' stronger every day". Billboard. Howard Lander. p. 50. Retrieved July 28, 2017 – via Google Books. . . . Chicago 13 (1979), proved to be as unlucky as its number would portend. 
  5. ^ a b c Chicago XIV (vinyl LP liner). Chicago. CBS Inc. 1980. BL 36517. 
  6. ^ Amicone, Michael (July 20, 2002). "A vigorous 35-year-old feelin' stronger every day". Billboard. Howard Lander. p. 50. Retrieved July 28, 2017 – via Google Books. . . . Chicago XIV, produced by Tom Dowd, could not stem the band's commercial downturn . . . 
  7. ^ "Top 200 Albums for September 13, 1980". Billboard. Retrieved July 26, 2017. 
  8. ^ "Music: Top 100 Songs | Billboard Hot 100 Chart for September 20, 1980". Billboard. Retrieved July 27, 2017. 
  9. ^ Van Matre, Lynn (June 13, 1982). "Revitalized Chicago Back On Road Again.". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 26, 2017. 
  10. ^ Seraphine, Danny (2011). Street Player: My Chicago Story. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. ISBN 978-0-470-41683-9. 

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The Rhino CD reissue credits this song to Lamm, Seraphine and Cetera.