Chicago's sophomore album includes the hits ""Make Me Smile,"" ""Colour My World,"" and ""25 or 6 to 4."" Bonus tracks include the single versions of ""Make Me Smile"" and ""25 or 6 to 4."" — No Track Information Available
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Media Type: CD
Chicago's sophomore album includes the hits ""Make Me Smile,"" ""Colour My World,"" and ""25 or 6 to 4."" Bonus tracks include the single versions of ""Make Me Smile"" and ""25 or 6 to 4.""
No Track Information Available
Media Type: CD
Title: CHICAGO 2
Street Release Date: 07/16/2002
R. Angeloni | Northern California, USA | 07/18/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Along with Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago (the "official" name of this CD is Chicago, not Chicago II,) represents early Chicago at its very best, seven very good musicians playing a jazzy mix of horn-influenced rock and roll. In later years Chicago became known for producing popular "power ballads," but early Chicago, with Terry Kath's driving guitar, was very much a rock and roll band. On this CD, Chicago flexes its musical muscle in such suites as "Ballet for a Girl in Buchannon," which feature the hits "Make Me Smile," and "Colour My World," as well as "25 or 6 to 4." Another suite "It Better End Soon," is a protest movement and ends with the simple, but very effective "Where Do We Go From Here." "In the Country," features the great Terry Kath, one of rock and roll's most under-rated guitarist of all time. Every song is good, and the CD as a whole represents some remarkable work by a very talented group.
Rhino is in the process of remastering Chicago's catalogue, and on this issue, they have included two bonus tracks, the single versions of "Make Me Smile," and "25 or 6 to 4." They also did a very nice job with the packaging, adding a 16-page booklet with commentary by the band and some rare photos. Highly recommended."
Colours my world
Jeffrey J.Park | Massachusetts, USA | 11/14/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As a huge fan of Chicago's blistering acid jazz rock from 1969-1972 (Chicago Transit Authority through V), it is hard to select a favorite from this incredibly creative peak, although this 1970 album always seems to come up.
I think that all of the albums from this period had distinct personalities and this one seemed to me to be the most classically influenced. Of course, this was big band style jazz rock (with an emphasis on the rock), punctuated by Terry Kath's searing guitar work, and blasts from the horns, so using terms like classical to describe this music might be a bit of a stretch. However, some of the pieces have classical overtones - the intro to Poem for the People and the obvious choice Prelude/AM Mourning/PM Mourning, which is a classical piece through and through (that borders on modern classical at points). There is also the presence of very sophisticated and lengthy multi-movement suites (Ballet for a Girl in Buchanan; It Better End Soon). In fact, upon reading through the liner notes, it became clear to me that the guys were very interested in writing "serious" pieces that followed in the style of the famous classical composers - for example, Walter Pankow had been listening to Bach's Brandenburg Concertos, which inspired his beautiful piece Colour My World. Certainly, efforts like these were being undertaken in England by a number of rock groups, yet with much different results.
All of the guys in Chicago were incredible musicians and the ensemble work on the album Chicago (I am resisting the impulse to call this Chicago II, although that is what I used to think of it as) is just phenomenal. The guys knew how to really COMPOSE a proper piece of music. Counterpoint, melodies, harmonies, and the use of sophisticated meters are all used very well and make this album an extremely interesting listening experience. The guys were great vocalists too and they used the differences in the texture of their voices very well - for example, Terry sang the heavier pieces, while Peter sang the "sweeter", more melodic songs etc. The dynamic range is fairly broad too and ranges from the delicate acoustic textures of Prelude/AM Mourning/PM Mourning, through the spacey Hammond organ intro of Fancy Colours, to the blazing rock piece 25 or 6 to 4. Then there is the use of instrumentation: great horn arrangements, searing electric guitar, Peter's fantastic bass playing (he is criminally underrated); Danny Seraphines great drumming...whew, this is great stuff.
The remastering job by Rhino is fantastic and there are now a ton of liner notes and photos to go along with the original album art. Although I do miss my old vinyl version of Chicago...II, this remastered version is of very high quality and has fantastic sound quality.
All in all, this is an incredible album that contains music written by Chicago during their creative peak. Very highly recommended along with Chicago Transit Authority (1969); Chicago III (1971); the live Chicago IV (1971); and Chicago V (1972)."
A great album that sounds awful...
David C. Snyder | PITTSBURGH, PA | 03/19/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This was one of my favourite records growing up as a kid and I wore my father's vinyl out. Needless to say that I know the album inside and out and I was so excited when Rhino started reissuing the entire Chicago catalogue. II was the one of the last albums I bought as I had already picked up the DVD Audio version of the disc which is flat out INCREDIBLE. Much to my dismay did I then discover that the same care taken to remaster the other Chicago albums was not bestowed upon the CD release of II. I had always thought that, compared to the rest of the band's catalogue, II was not recorded as well or as clearly. The mix always seemed a bit muddy and details would get lost. This was rememdied in the DVD Audio version I purchased wherein I was able to hear things in the recording I had never heard before. I assumed that this remastering process had originated with the CD remaster but this is not the case. If you want to really listen to this album, by all means pick up the DVD Audio version. I even recommend transferring that version down into a CD if you so desire because even though the packaging is as smart as usual the audio does not hold up."
Complex and varried -- One of Chicago's Best
Jason P. Gold | Long Beach, CA | 06/29/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"On the inside liner notes to the album, the band writes, "With this album, we dedicate ourselves, our futures and our energies to the people of the revolution ... And the revolution in all its forms." (I think the band changed its original name from Chicago Transit Authority to Chicago because the real Chicago Transit Authority, which actually operated trains and busses, didn't want their name attached to such a radical band!) From there on out, Chicago slowly drifted into assaulting us with lighter pop music. Such is life!
But Chicago I (actually "Chicago Transit Authority") and Chicago II (actually named just "Chicago") are both rock masterpieces, blending rock and horn driven jazz into a perfect union. "CTA" is a pure rock album, with a dominating base line, somewhat distorted guitar, some really great drum work, with the horns being used for ambience like a synthesizer or for punctuation.
With Chicago II, the band shows amazing growth as composers and musicians. The horns and woodwinds are allowed to take the lead, the music is easier listening, and the band braves soft rock classis such as "Colour My World" and "Wake Up Sunshine," and the jazzy "Fancy Colours." But, the album also contains some great rock, including the FM/AOR staple "25 Or 6 To 4."
Unlike many albums, this album is not simply a collection of singles, and contains three extended suites, including two with titles, "Ballet for a Girl in Buchannon" and "It Better End Soon," and one group of songs including "Prelude," "AM Mourning," "PM Mourning," and Memories of Love." Each is in a very different style. The "Ballet" is the best known section, containing mostly soft rock ballads of the type which would become Chicago's forte in later albums. "It Better End Soon" contains some hard core jazz, while the "Mourning" suite is virtually a classical piece of music. It does take an eclectic and varied taste in music to enjoy the entire album.
Why Buy the DVD-Audio? When the CD format was released, it was marketed as being perfectly true to the original master tapes. No skips, no record noise, no wow and flutter, and perfectly flat from the lowest notes to the highest notes a human can hear. What we got was 20 years of music which was synthesized, mechanical, cold, brittle, dry and fatigue inducing. CDs simply don't contain enough data to get the sound right. DVD-Audio (and SACDs which go back to the master tape) fix this problem. In addition, instead of two tracks, this DVD contains 5.1 channels of Dolby Digital music which can be played on all DVD players as well as higher resolution stereo and surround tracks for a DVD Audio player. You get to sit in the middle of the band. And the sound is marvelous. An A/B comparison with the CD reveals a midrange which is cleaned up immeasurably. This album contains real live horns and woodwinds. The brass sounds like brass instead of tin, and the vocals sound human instead of like a clock radio. Well worth the price of admission."