Lonnie E. Holder | Columbus, Indiana, United States | 03/31/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Being a fan of Chicago from the days of "Chicago Transit Authority," I must review this CD as though it were from a different group because the style of early Chicago is different from the style of this Chicago. Early Chicago was an innovative group that experimented with a variety of styles and was considered somewhat progressive. This Chicago is a high quality mellow pop music group as this 1988 release shows.
This music is so consistent in terms of style that an individual song discussion is relatively valueless. Thus, if you are familiar with the hits from this album know that you are getting an entire album of similar music.
The album reached #43 in the summer of 1988. Singles were released from the album beginning in mid 1988 until mid 1989. The first single released was "I Don't Wanna Live without Your Love" backed by "I Stand Up," which reach #3 in June 1988. The second single was "Look Away" backed by "Come in from the Night," which reached #1 in September 1988. The third single was "You're not Alone" backed by "It's Alright," which reach #10 in January 1989. The final single released was "We Can't Last Forever" backed by "One More Day," which reached #55. "What Kind of Man Would I Be" was remixed and released after the release of "Chicago's Greatest Hits 1982-1989," reaching #5 in December 1989. Thus, there were a total of seven songs from this album that were released on a single, either on the A-side or the B-side.
I find this album's consistency surprising. While there are variations in tempo and lyrics in each song, the style is constant throughout. I also think it is interesting that Chicago did not succumb to the "big hair band" style of the 80s. There are tinges of that style, but the album remains focused on ballads.
All the songs on this album are good, and a few are very good or excellent. If you like middle-of-the-road rock, and mellow ballads, this album would be an excellent addition to your collection. I would recommend this music to be played at work, or around the house. I would not recommend this music for long drives, as it might put you to sleep, but in rush hour it might calm your nerves.
Groups should evolve as they see fit; Chicago did exactly that. Chicago has had mellow ballads from their first album. While Peter Cetera was a frequent contributor of mellow ballads, others in the group contributed this style nearly as often. The principal difference between the Chicago represented in this album and early Chicago is that this music is focused, and Chicago began with eclectic styles. I believe this album is worthy of being in a collection of Chicago's music, as well as in the collection of those who like pop ballads.
Brad | CT | 04/06/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love the old Chicago. The original stuff was some of the most innovative music in popular music history. However, I also love the '80s Chicago sound; and this album is as great as any of them. It's hard to believe that it would be their last big album of all original material.Yes, this album had 4 top 10 hits--all ballads. All are great songs. "I Don't Want To Live Without Your Love" was the fantastic lead single off the album. "Look Away" is a heart-rending, fantastic ballad that went all the way to number 1. "You're Not Alone" is very underrated--another heartfelt song. All of these songs beautifully showcase Bill Champlain's excellent vocals. "What Kind Of Man Would I Be" was actually released in remixed form off of the Greatest Hits album that came out a year after this album did--their last big hit. "We Can Last Forever" is a gorgeous power ballad that was actually released as the fourth single off the album--but it only peaked at number 55. Still fantastic vocals by Jason Scheff on this one.Those are the hits--and they for the most part display Chicago's tendency towards ballads in the '80s. However, there are other noteworthy, fantastic tracks on this album that rock a little harder. The highlight is "Come In From The Night", which showcases both the horns and electric guitar and doesn't have a typical "love song" message. "Heart In Pieces" kicks off the album with a bit of uptempo heartbreak, and "I Stand Up" is also a bit uptempo. "Runaround" and "Victorious" are also fine tracks.There truly isn't a bad song on this album. The songs shine with melody and feeling from beginning to end. If you liked any of Chicago's '80s material, then you should definitely like this one. For me, a must-have."
Chicago Teams Up With Ron Nevison, why not??
David Spuria | Spencer, MA United States | 08/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
This may be be the most misunderstood and maligned Chicago album ever released. I was in radio at the time of it's release. In fact I was at a rock station that "couldn't" play 19 because Chicago had been an AC band for over a decade.
One listen to the Ron Nevison production and you'll be hooked on this brand of Chicago. It produced the fastest climbing Chicago #1 song in the band's history-that would be the Dianne Warren song "Look Away" featuring Bill Champlin's pleading delivery. The combination seemed wierd at the time-but Nevison (Heart's big 80's albums) and Chicago made great music together. Chicago purests likely jumped off of 19 scrambling to find their Chicago IX LP's.
But there's no denying Jason Scheff coming into his own on "What Kind Of Man Would I Be" and "We Can Last Forever". Champlin also hits solo for the first time on "Look Away", "I Don't Wanna Live Without Your Love" and the much forgotten about "You're Not Alone". Also of note is the Robert Lamm composition "Victorious" which paves new ground for production experimentation for a band that's done it all. This whole CD plays well from start to finish. It is lighter on the horns than most Chicago CD's, but they're still in there! This CD is a great piece of musical history-a timepiece of what was hot in 1989. 19 shows that Chicago could change and innovate with the times."
The Champlin/Scheff Project
Richard "Skippyhead" | Florida! | 09/18/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Well, that's what I call it anyways. I became a Chicago fan with "17". It was Bill Champlin's voice that grabbed me. I went back and bought "16" and later, when it came out, "18". I played all three of these tapes endlessly. I actualy played them until they started sounding dull. Too much synth. When "I Don't Wanna Live Without Your Love" came out as a single I bought it and was really elated. Bill Champlin singing. Loud and, possibly, real drums and a harder guitar sound. The flip side of it was "I Stand Up" with Robert Lamm singing with some gusto. When the album was released I got it and just loved it. I don't really think of it as a Chicago album. Just a great late 80's guitar pop album. Yes, full of power ballads and guitar hooks and just some great songs.1. "Heart In Pieces" Great kick off.2. "I Don't Wanna Live Without Your Love" (a #3 hit on the US charts.) 3. "I Stand Up" There they are (The horns.)4. "We Can last Forever" last single released, remixed, made it to #55. "One More Day" from Chicago 18 was the flip side.5. "Come In From The Night" flip side of "Look Away". Great track.6. "Look Away" #1 hit for a week. Remixed for release as a single.7. "What Kind Of Man Would I Be?" remixed and released as a single off of the following year's Chicago's Greatest Hits 82-89. A #5 hit on the US charts.8. "Runaround" my favorite track. Sounds like it was recorded live.9. "You're Not Alone" 3rd single released. Remixed. A #10 hit. Curiously, the album version appears on the "Heart of Chicago" compilation of hits. Meaning that if you have the cassette single or 45 of the remix then you have a rarity. The flip side is "It's Alright" from Chicago 18.10. "Victorious" A fine ending to the album. A lot of hard core "Chicago Fans" totally hate this album. And yes, it does go furter from the band's roots even more than the David Foster albums (16-18) did. I however just love it for the great music."