Sunday, 21 December 2014 10:06

Chicago on a Sunday - Chicago V

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Last Sunday of Advent, yet we have only come to Chicago V in the fifth slot in the Chicago calendar.

Album Chicago V was recorded last half of 1971, but was not released before summer 1972. Chicago V differs slightly from the previous three studio albums in several ways. It is the first single album, and it's also the album op to that time with the the most unified musical character. Perhaps it is because Robert Lamm wrote 8 of the 10 songs on the original album.

There is also an absence of suites here, if we disregard Dialogue Part I and II. This one may choose to see as a warning for a change of direction that will come later.

Musically it is a very smooth, high quality, and the fact that not all Chicago fans give this album as high star as the first three, is in my view deeply unfair. One could maybe state that there are not quite as big hits as on the two first albums, but this is offset by the quality is even more evenly high on Chicago V. In my world is Chicago V one of several potential candidates for the title "all time best studio album from Chicago".


The sound on Chicago V.

This review is based on 24-bit / 192kHz files from Highresaudio . The sound is in excess of the quality to the first three studio albums. Good stereo perspective and good dynamics. But perhaps the most important parameter, the sound of horn section is better in Chicago V than on the previous releases. From an Audiophile stance therefore perhaps Chicago V is the very best studio album of all times.


LP page 1.

1.      A hit city variese. (5+)
Written by Robert Lamm.

A strong opening tune with blues oriented structure, but without being Bluesy. Lots of great blowing event.


2.      All is Well. (5-)
Written by Robert Lamm.

A slightly devious song.

3.      Now That You`ve Gone (5)
Written by James Pankow

Terry Kath as the main vocalist.

4.      Dialog (Part I) (5)
Written ev Robert Lamm

Vocal dialogue between Terry Kath and Robert Lamm. One of the political accented songs signed Robert Lamm. Together with Dialogue (Part II) is also the only that can be called (mini) Suite.


5.      Dialog (Part II) (5+)
Written by Robert Lamm

Less vocal and more dominated by Terry Kath's guitar. The ending "We can make it hap ..." is an example of Chicago's countless creative variations.


LP Page 2.

6.      While The City Sleeps. (5+)
Written by Robert Lamm.

One of the album's best songs. Typical urban tunings In Chicagå song. Good punch. Peter Cetera user wah-wah on bass.


7.      Saturday in the Park (4+)
Written by Robert Lamm.

Not among my favorites, but still perhaps the song on Chicago V which is mostly used in later concerts and compilations.

8.      State of the Union (5+)
Written by Robert Lamm

Competing with A hit city Variese and While the City Sleeps to be the album's best song. 
Rockin puchy song, and some original sound on Peter Cetera's vocals. Also illustrates that Cetera really are better as a rock singer, than soft ballad singer.

9.      Goodbye (5+)
Written by Robert Lamm.

Very beautiful composition and great arrangement for woodwinds.


10.   Alma Mater (5)
Written by Terry Kath.

Great song with a somewhat melancholic atmosphere. The song is dominated by Terry Kath's vocals and piano Robert Lamm. Terry Kath plays some unusual on acoustic guitar here.


Bonus Tracks remastered CD release, released in 2002.

11.   A Song For Richard And His Friends. (5+)
Written by Robert Lamm.

A harsh and bold criticism of Nixon's regime, which loses some of the political sting of this instrumental version compared to the live version with vocals, as performed at Carnegie Hall in 71. Interesting musically, it is nevertheless still quite unique, and some of the finest and most daring tune Chicago has ever made.


12.   Mississippi Delta City Blues. (5)
Written by Terry Kath.

This song is "former" known from Chicago XI. Here is the obviously recorded in an edition that was not originally released.


13.   Dialogue (Part I & II)
Written by Robert Lamm

Single mix of what was originally divided into two tracks. At the same time cut down with two minutes. Maybe a bit redundant bonus tracks?



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Karl Erik Sylthe

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