Sunday, 30 November 2014 15:44

Chicago on a Sunday - Chicago II

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I started a bit too ambitious series with a review of the albums of Chicago, where I announced that the goal is to present all the 36 official albums. After it stopped up slightly, I've got an encouraging nudge to resume this from a pleasant reader. So here comes the third review - Chicago II.

The Album s actual title is "Chicago" and was the first album after this band changed the name from Chicago Transit Authoriy to Chicago . But in retrospect, the album has been called Chicago II, which characterizes that it is the band's second album, and simultaneously starting the tradition of album names like Chicago followed by album number , preferably as Roman numerals.

Chicago II is a very strong successor to Chicago Transit Authority , and has an obvious place in the golden row consisting of Chicago's best albums. Meanwhile distinguishes Chicago II out clearly from Chicago Transit Authority in the direction of being a concept album. There are three suites here, with different authors. and very different character.

Perhaps the most prolific suite is the one that shows up first - Ballet for a Girl in Buchannon . It is written by trombonist James Pankow, and carries partly a touch of that iby rich horn parts. This is widely played at later concerts, both excerpts and as a whole. A nice reader has sent mail to me and told that Ballet for a Girl in Buchannon was played in its entirety at Chicago's concert in Langesund in july 2014.

Next suite is a far more lyrical suite, and was written by Terry Kath and pianist Peter Matz, the latter was not a member of Chicago. Memories of Love has four parts, two of which are instrumental.

My favorite on the album next opening track Movin in is undeniably the last suite. It better end Soon written that Robert Lamm, who was the most politically engaged at the time. And maybe still? It better end soon is also the one with the most obvious rock feel.


The sound on Chicago II.

The review is based on HighRes in 24bit / 96kHz from HD Tracks. Compared with the Chicago Transit Authority is the sound of horn section sounding fuller. But at the same time lacking some of the close rendition of solo instruments provided at the 24bit / 192kHz edition of CTA. That said, these differences are hardly related to difference of 96 vs. 192kHz, but rather other differences. After review of the Chicago Transit Authority was written I have acquired a vinyl recording of CTA, where the sound of horn section tracks sound a bit fuller. Could it be all about a little too ambitious remastring of CTA on the 24/192 edition?

Otherwise it can be mentioned that this 24/96 edition of Chicago II distributed by HD tracks has an error in tagging, indicating that also Fancy Colours and 25 or 6 to 4 would be included in " Ballet for a Girl in Buchannon » . That is incorrect.



Chicago Nerds and other special interests: Comments and notes to each song:

1.       Movin in.
Rank 5+

Written by James Pankow. Terry Kath Vocals.
A strong opening tune for the album, and oozes Terry Kath, despite Pankow being songwriter.

2.     The Road.
Rank 5-4

Written by Terry Kath. Peter Cetera on vocals.

3.      Poem for the People.
Rank 5. 

Written by Robert Lamm. Robert Lamm and Peter Cetera on vocals.

Great horn event.

4.      In the Country
Rank 5+ 

Written by Terry Kath. Terry Kath on vocal, supplemented by Peter Cetera. Great song with some intricate shifts. Almost a little symphonic structure. I especially like the intermezzo about five and a half minutes out In the tune. Dominated by Terry Kath. The song has been used in some concerts.


5.         Wake up Sunshine.
Rank 4+

Written by Robert Lamm. Main Vocals Robert Lamm, supplemented by Peter Cetera.

Not my favorite, but creative conclusion.


Ballet for a Girl in Buchannon:

Written by James Pankow. Sung by Terry Kath and Robert Lamm.

6.      Make me Smile.
Rank 5+.

A strong opening haying In this suite Ballet for a Girl in Buchannon. Popular also in concerts In recent times, where Lou Pardini does a great job on vocals.


7.      So Much to Say.
Rank 5-


8.      Anxiety`s Moment.
Rank 5


9.      West Virginia Fantasies.
Rank 5


10.   Colour my World.
Rank 4.

Not my favorite.

11.   To Be Free.
Rank 5. 

Instrumental. Great blowing event.


12.   Now More Than Ever.
Rank 5. 

Written by James Pankow. Terry Kath and Robert Lamm on Vocals.

A kind of "return" of make me Smile, while the termination of the suite.


13.   Fancy Colours.
Rank 4-3.

Written by Robert Lamm. Peter Cetera on vocals. Below par in my ears.
Parazider his flute is not good in the event. But great ending.


14.   25 OR 6 2:04.
grade 5. Written by Robert Lamm. Peter Cetera on vocals.

One of Chicago's biggest hit, which I even got as single in 1970. A course airtime on livopptredener. The cryptic title reflects follow Robert Lamm a time - at. 3:34 or 3:35, when he looked out of his window during the songwriting.



Memories of Love.

15.   Prelude.
grade 5.

Written by Terry Kath and Peter Matz 

Lyrical Instrumental.


16.   AMMourning.
grade 5.

Written by Terry Kath and Peter Matz.
Instrumental. Still lyrical instrumental. Great and creative flute Walt Parazider.


17.   PM Mourning.
grade 5.

Written by Terry Kath and Peter Matz.

18. Memories of Love.
Rated 5

Written by Terry Kath and Peter Matz. Terry Kath on vocal. 
Great lyrical and hushed piece, illustrating the scope Terry Kath had, and yet how important resource he was Chicago.


It better end soon.
A suite written by Robert Lamm, Terry Kath and Walt Parazaider. One of several examples of Robert Lamm her political involvement this time.

19.   1st Movement.
Rank 6

Very good.

20.   2 nd Movement.
Rank 5

Dominated by Parazider their fløytespll, which periodically Not quite on height. Better Chicago IV - Live at Carnegie Hall.

21.   3rd Movement.
Rank 6.

Terry Kath's vocal is the main focus. Finishes of great but short guitar solo.

22.   4th Movement .
Rank 6

------------------------------------------ ----


23.   Where do we go from here.
Rank 4.

Written by Peter Cetera, who is also vocalist.
The album might weakest song, along with Fancy Colors. And something strange chosen the B-side of the single 25 or 6:02 4. (free from memory).



Also read these reviews of Chicago:

Chicago on a Sunday - Chicago Transit Authority
Plate Review and portrait: "NOW" Chicago XXXVI - And then ...

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Karl Erik Sylthe

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