September 16, 2002


I caught Live by Request on A&E a couple of weeks ago and after seeing Chicago I had to get my hands on their "Best Of" CD . It finally arrived this week and I'm listening to it now.

There's something about their early stuff that just grabs you and pulls you in. As the host of Live by Request pointed out, they're one of the few bands where you find yourself singing along with the horn parts. I'm listening to "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" as I type this and not only do I find myself singing, but it energizes me at the same time (I'm banging on the keyboard in time to the music :) ).

But, despite their great early stuff, I have to confess that I'm not much enamored of their later songs. For example, "Hard Habit To Break" is a pretty good song (at least it was popular), but it just doesn't have that "something" that pulls you in like the earlier songs. Maybe it's because (to me at least), the later songs sound too much like they've been tuned for a pop radio market. They lack the energy of the early songs.

I'm not old enough to have experienced their older songs when they came out (they started as "Chicago Transit Authority" three years before I was born), but I came to like them more through their "oldies" than the contemporary songs that they put out (I came of age during their "pop" era in the '80's). But good music can transcend generations, and I was glad to see some kids in the audience on A&E. Let's hope that their music stays alive for another 35 years.

Posted by Aubrey at September 16, 2002 10:24 PM


I have every available Chicago disc up to 17 and have loved them ever since I was a kid. Their last great, or even good, album was 17. It's also the last album they did with Peter Cetera. He played bass, very well, sang lead, very well and wrote some of their music, again very well.

If you listen to the whole 17 album you'll be surprised by the quality throughout. Even though they were more "pop" at that time, they did it better than anyone and played real music. On that album there are no fewer than 5 "classic" songs including "Once In A Lifetime", "Along Comes A Woman" and others I can't remember.

Posted by: Robert Prather at September 21, 2002 09:53 PM
Site Meter