Chicago at Carnegie Hall

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Chicago at Carnegie Hall
Live album by
ReleasedOctober 25, 1971[1]
RecordedApril 5–10, 1971
Length1971: 2:48:33
2005: 3:43:59
ProducerJames William Guercio
Chicago chronology
Chicago III
Chicago at Carnegie Hall
Chicago V
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic2.5/5 stars[3]
Christgau's Record GuideC–[4]

Chicago at Carnegie Hall is the first live album, and fourth album overall, by American band Chicago. It was initially released on October 25, 1971 by Columbia Records as a four-LP vinyl box set, and was also available for a time as two separate two-record sets. A Quadraphonic mix of the album was proposed, but was never performed, possibly due to the band's objection to the album being released in the first place. This is the only Chicago album of the group's first ten releases not to have a Quadraphonic release in any format.

The album reached No. 3 on the Billboard 200. It was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) two weeks after its release, and was certified platinum in 1986.[5]


While touring in support of Chicago III, Chicago played Carnegie Hall for a week in April 1971 and recorded all of their shows. A four-LP box set collection for release as Chicago's fourth album (that distinction being responsible for the album's nickname of Chicago IV) was the result. Walter Parazaider told writer William James Ruhlmann that "'The reason behind the live record for Carnegie Hall is, we were the first rock 'n' roll group to sell out a week at Carnegie Hall, and that was worth rolling up the trucks for, putting the mikes up there, and really chronicling what happened in 1971.'"[6]

Columbia were very skeptical on the risk the extended set posed,[citation needed] and with a decrease in royalties to counter that fear (a similar situation befell their 1969 debut Chicago Transit Authority),[citation needed] Chicago released Chicago at Carnegie Hall that October to a mixed reaction. While the set sold very well, reaching No. 3 in the US[7] (but failing to chart at all in the UK),[8] the critics found the album too long—and even indulgent with its inclusions of tune-ups.[citation needed]

The band themselves have remained divided through the years over the merits of the album. Robert Lamm and Walter Parazaider defended the album to William James Ruhlmann, while James Pankow and Peter Cetera were not happy with the result.[6] Pankow told Ruhlmann, "'I hate it. ... The acoustics of Carnegie Hall were never meant for amplified music, ...the sound of the brass after being miked came out sounding like kazoos.'"[6][9] Lee Loughnane said that although he thinks the album is good, there were many things he didn't like about it and that he didn't think the album should have been released.[10]

In recognition of setting Carnegie Hall records and the ensuing four LP live recordings, the group was awarded a Billboard 1972 Trendsetter Award.[11] Despite poor sound quality, Chicago at Carnegie Hall, according to William James Ruhlmann, went on to become "perhaps" the best-selling box set by a rock act until the release of the Live/1975-85 five-LP live box set by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band in 1986.[6] It is still the best-selling four-LP set.[citation needed]

In 2005, Chicago at Carnegie Hall was remastered and re-issued on three CDs by Rhino Records with much improved sound quality, a bonus disc of eight tracks of alternate takes and songs not on the 1971 edition, plus recreations of nearly all the original posters and packaging.

Artwork and packaging[edit]

The original LP release of this set contained two giant posters of the band, a poster of Carnegie Hall's exterior, an insert about voting information, and a 20-page softcover booklet; this last contained photos of the band members playing during the concert, and on the back bore a full touring schedule from their first tour through their 1971 US tour.[citation needed][12] The band's official web site labels the cover design "white tile".[1]

Track listing[edit]

Original 1971 LP release[edit]

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
1."In the Country"Terry KathKath, Peter Cetera10:35
2."Fancy Colours"Robert LammCetera5:15
3."Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" (free form intro)Lamm 6:20[13]
4."Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?"LammLamm3:47
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
5."South California Purples"LammLamm15:35
6."Questions 67 and 68"LammCetera, Lamm5:36
Side three
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
7."Sing a Mean Tune Kid"LammCetera12:54
Side four
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
9."It Better End Soon
  • I. "1st Movement"
  • II. "2nd Movement (Flute Solo)"
  • III. "3rd Movement (Guitar Solo)"
  • IV. "4th Movement"
  • V. "5th Movement""
Lamm, Kath, Walter ParazaiderKath15:55
  • 2:54
  • 5:00
  • 2:42
  • 3:09
  • 2:09
  • Side five
    No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
    12."Lowdown"Cetera, Danny SeraphineCetera3:58
    Side six
    No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
    13."Travel Suite: 1. Flight 602"LammLamm3:31
    14."Travel Suite: 2. Motorboat to Mars"Seraphine 3:00
    15."Travel Suite: 3. Free"LammKath5:15
    16."Where Do We Go From Here"CeteraCetera4:08
    17."I Don't Want Your Money"Kath, LammLamm5:23
    Side seven
    No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
    18."Travel Suite 6: Happy Cause I'm Going Home"LammLamm, Cetera7:56
    19."Ballet for a Girl in Buchannon
    • I. "Make Me Smile"
    • II. "So Much to Say, So Much to Give"
    • III. "Anxiety's Moment"
    • IV. "West Virginia Fantasies"
    • V. "Colour My World"
    • VI. To Be Free
    • VII. Now More Than Ever"
    James PankowKath, Lamm15:25
    Side eight
    No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
    20."A Song for Richard and His Friends"LammLamm6:58
    21."25 or 6 to 4"LammCetera6:35
    22."I'm a Man"Jimmy Miller, Steve WinwoodKath, Cetera, Lamm8:51
    Total length:2:48:33

    2005 Rhino Entertainment remastered reissue[edit]



    • Produced by James William Guercio
    • Engineers – Don Puluse, Bud Graham, Hank Altman, Aaron Baron and Larry Dahlstrom.
    • Recorded at Carnegie Hall, New York, NY (by Location Recorders).
    • Mixed at Columbia Recording Studios, New York, NY.
    • Art Direction – John Berg/Virginia Team
    • Artwork – Fuding Cheng
    • Poster Design – Ron Coro
    • Photography – Allen Goldblatt and Fred Lombardi
    • Poster Photo – Frank Laffire
    • Lettering – Beverly Scott


    Chicago at Carnegie Hall (Columbia 30865) reached No. 3 in the US during a chart stay of 46 weeks.[7] It did not chart in the UK.[8]


    1. ^ a b "Albums: Chicago at Carnegie Hall". Chicago - The Band. Chicago Touring. Archived from the original on November 2, 2017. Retrieved November 14, 2017.
    2. ^ [1] allmusic - At Carnegie Hall, Vol. 1-4
    3. ^
    4. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: C". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved February 23, 2019 – via
    5. ^ "Gold & Platinum - RIAA: Chicago: Live at Carnegie Hall". RIAA. Retrieved November 13, 2017.
    6. ^ 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. 5. Retrieved November 13, 2017.
    7. ^ a b "Chicago At Carnegie Hall Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved November 13, 2017.
    8. ^ a b "CHICAGO | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Retrieved November 13, 2017.
    9. ^ "History, Section VII" Archived 2008-03-07 at the Wayback Machine
    10. ^ "A Chicago Story: Chapter 7 — Success". Chicago - The Band. Chicago Touring. Archived from the original on January 2, 2017. Retrieved November 13, 2017.
    11. ^ "Talent in Action: Billboard 1972 Trendsetter Awards". Billboard. Vol. 83 no. 52. New York, NY: Billboard Publications, Inc. December 25, 1971. p. TA-4, TA-20 – via Google Books.
    12. ^ Wagner, David F. (March 5, 1972). "Columns and opinion: Chicago at Carnegie Hall, Vols. 1-4". The Post-Crescent. Appleton, Wisconsin, USA. p. 6, "Showtime" supplement. Retrieved November 13, 2017 – via Free to read
    13. ^ Original Album C30866/AL30866 Columbia
    14. ^ Original Album C30866/AL30866 Columbia
    15. ^