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Chicago Fire
Son Seals
Chicago Fire
Genres: Blues, Pop
  •  Track Listings (9) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Son Seals
Title: Chicago Fire
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Alligator Records
Release Date: 5/7/1992
Genres: Blues, Pop
Styles: Chicago Blues, Electric Blues, Modern Blues
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 014551472025, 014551472018, 014551472049

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CD Reviews

Fall In Love With The Blues Again
Tim Holek | 04/24/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

Chicago Fire
Alligator ALCD4720

Son Seals used to wake up and say, "Blues". He had an aggressive sound that was uniquely Chicago. This fierce CD has captured that sound and feel. Although the disc was recorded in 1980, it has a '70s funk/blues sound. The nine energy-laced songs feature seven originals by Seals, and two covers - the more notable one by Cropper and Pickett. Most songs are up-tempo with hearty girth. As on Midnight Son, Seal's mighty five-piece core band is enlarged by a full brass section with sax, trumpet, and trombone. Chicago Fire closely resembles Midnight Son which was recently chosen among the Top 200 greatest guitar recordings of all time by GuitarOne Magazine.

Buzzard Luck highlights the difficulties and challenges faced by Seals upon arriving in Chicago. Tragic lyrics like ("I can't kill nothing and won't nothing die") paint a bleak picture. Flame-like horns musically drive the band and Seals, in particular, to extreme. I'm Not Tired is one of Seals most swinging numbers ever. Leaving Home contains an arrangement that Seals loved. It is also featured on Going Back Home from Midnight Son, and he used to use it on covers performed during his live sets. On the track, Seals' ferocious vocals are as haunting as King Solomon's bewitching organ. Landlord At My Door contains the definitive Son Seals sound that we now deeply miss. What is that sound? A deep, funk groove with lots of hefty blues layered on top pulsating horns with a guitar solo that effortlessly discharges notes and emotions. Like the disc's opening track, the song weighs the advantages and disadvantages of urban versus rural life. On Nobody Wants A Loser, Seals proclaims, ("the game of life is the hardest one to win"). When he was on top and ahead of that game, there was no stopping the Bad Axe man. By the time you get to hearing Watching Every Move You Make, you start thinking you have already heard the song. Although you haven't, this pinpoints the CD's greatest downfall. The songs are too similar.

Seals' gruff vocals sound like your grouchy old uncle or grandfather. Just like them, there is something that welcomes you. On guitar, Son Seals was a precision shooter. You can hear it in every solo he fires on this 41-minute album. Although the sound quality isn't as bright as today's polished productions, and some instruments are too low in the mix, this genuine blues CD will have you falling in love with the blues, and Son Seals, all over again. They don't make greasy, working-class blues albums like this anymore.

--- Tim Holek