Chicago at Carnegie Hall

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Chicago at Carnegie Hall
Live album by Chicago
Released October 25, 1971[1]
Recorded April 5–10, 1971
Genre Jazz fusion,[2] rock
Length 1971: 2:48:33
2005: 3:43:59
Label Columbia
Producer James William Guercio
Chicago chronology
Chicago III
Chicago at Carnegie Hall
Chicago V
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars[3]

Chicago at Carnegie Hall is the first live album and fourth album overall by American band Chicago and was initially released in 1971 as a four LP vinyl box set on Columbia Records. It was also available for a time as two separate 2-record sets. A quadraphonic mix of the album was proposed, but was never done, possibly due to the band's objection to the record being released in the first place. This is the only Chicago album of their 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 it was certified platinum in 1986.[4]


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 tells writer William James Ruhlmann, "'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.'"[5]

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 The 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[6] (but failing to chart at all in the UK[7]), the critics found the album too long - and even indulgent with its moments 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.[5] 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.'"[5][8] Lee Loughnane said 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.[9]

In recognition of setting Carnegie Hall records and the ensuing four LP live recordings, the group was awarded a Billboard 1972 Trendsetter Award.[10] 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 5 LP live box set by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band in 1986.[5] It is still the best-selling 4-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, 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 containing photos of the band members playing during the concert and a full touring schedule from their first tour through their 1971 U.S. tour on the back.[citation needed][11] The band's official web site labels the cover design, "white tile."[1]

Track listing[edit]

Original 1971 LP release[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
1. "In the Country" Terry Kath Kath, Peter Cetera 10:35
2. "Fancy Colours" Robert Lamm Cetera 5:15
3. "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" (free form intro) Lamm   6:20[12]
4. "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" Lamm Lamm 3:47
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
5. "South California Purples" Lamm Lamm 15:35
6. "Questions 67 and 68" Lamm Cetera, Lamm 5:36
Side three
No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
7. "Sing a Mean Tune Kid" Lamm Cetera 12:54
8. "Beginnings" Lamm Lamm 6:27
Side four
No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
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 Parazaider Kath 15:55
  • 2:54
  • 5:00
  • 2:42
  • 3:09
  • 2:09
Side five
No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
10. "Introduction" Kath Kath 7:10
11. "Mother" Lamm Lamm 8:21
12. "Lowdown" Cetera, Danny Seraphine Cetera 3:58
Side six
No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
13. "Travel Suite: 1. Flight 602" Lamm Lamm 3:31
14. "Travel Suite: 2. Motorboat to Mars" Seraphine   3:00
15. "Travel Suite: 3. Free" Lamm Kath 5:15
16. "Where Do We Go From Here" Cetera Cetera 4:08
17. "I Don't Want Your Money" Kath, Lamm Lamm 5:23
Side seven
No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
18. "Travel Suite 6: Happy Cause I'm Going Home" Lamm Lamm, Cetera 7:56
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 Pankow Kath, Lamm 15:25
Side eight
No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
20. "A Song for Richard and His Friends" Lamm Lamm 6:58
21. "25 or 6 to 4" Lamm Cetera 6:35
22. "I'm a Man" Jimmy Miller, Steve Winwood Kath, Cetera, Lamm 8:51
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.[6] It did not chart in the UK.[7]


  1. ^ a b "Albums: Chicago at Carnegie Hall". Chicago - The Band. Chicago Touring. Retrieved November 14, 2017. 
  2. ^ [1] allmusic - At Carnegie Hall, Vol. 1-4
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Gold & Platinum - RIAA: Chicago: Live at Carnegie Hall". RIAA. Retrieved November 13, 2017. 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ a b "Chicago At Carnegie Hall Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved November 13, 2017. 
  7. ^ a b "CHICAGO | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Retrieved November 13, 2017. 
  8. ^ "History, Section VII" Archived 2008-03-07 at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ "A Chicago Story: Chapter 7 — Success". Chicago - The Band. Chicago Touring. Retrieved November 13, 2017. 
  10. ^ "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. 
  11. ^ 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
  12. ^ Original Album C30866/AL30866 Columbia
  13. ^ Original Album C30866/AL30866 Columbia