Carol S. from AMHERST, NH Reviewed on 12/16/2012...
Brings back memories.....
0 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Robbie M. from TUCSON, AZ Reviewed on 11/10/2011...
A must for any Chicago fan.
James J. from TROPHY CLUB, TX Reviewed on 1/23/2011...
Chicago's best album. Definitely old school, late 60's, earl 70's style of rock.
Carol B. from COOKEVILLE, TN Reviewed on 10/28/2009...
--for Chicago lovers--does not disappoint!
The Best Place to Start
W. Langan | the end of the world to your town! | 07/01/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a good CD to introduce someone to Chicago or to let them know who it was who sang songs like "25 or 6 to 4" or "Saturday in the Park" (perhaps 2 of their most recognisable songs). This collection features exclusively the original (and the best) lineup of Peter Cetera (he may have gone a little pop in the 1980's but he still could jam on bass and sing really well), Robert Lamm (an excellent keyboardist, singer, and songwiter), James Pankow (trombonist; both he and Lamm guested on Bob Coburn's Rock Line last week), Lee Loughnane (trumpet), Danny Seraphine (drummer extraordinaire), Walter Parazaider (woodwinds-sax, flute, and clarinet), and the late great Terry Kath (Hendrix complimented his guitar style when still alive and only Barry White could match his gravelly baritone). As others who reviewed this have said, this isn't a complete Greatest Hits collection. After all, there are no brass instruments on "I'm a Man" a song which showed a different side of Chicago and albums Chicago III and VIII are not even represented. Nevertheless, every song here is a gem. "Saturday in the Park" recollects Lamm's memories in NYC (he's one of the few original members who is not a native of the windy city). Pankow contributes the motivational "Feelin' Stronger" (co-written with Cetera) and the introspective "Searchin' So Long" (featuting some lovely strings joining the brass section). "Just You 'n' Me" features some fine jazz improvization in the middle. "Wishing You Were Here" features some fine vocals from Carl and Dennis Wilson and Al Jardine of the Beach Boys. Kath croons on both the passionate "Make Me Smile" and the sensitive "Colour My World", featuring a lovely flute solo by Parazaider (both songs were part of a long medley on Chicago II) and jams out quite impressively with his guitar on "25 or 6 to 4"! "Call on Me" probably best represents Chicago VII (one of the last jazz-rock albums they did). And I'm really glad the entire versions of "Beginnings" (one of my all-time favorites) and "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" (Lamm's plea for a world to chill out and not be in such a hurry all the time). When this 1st came out on vinyl, the samba fadeout of "Beginnings" was cut short as was the bold intro to "...What Time It Is" (too bad for vinyl owners, since Lamm's F/G piano riff is an essential part of the song). As I said before, this is the best place to start and if you'd really like to hear more, Chicago's Group Portrait is highly recommended."
So many collections from which to choose!
Westley | Stuck in my head | 10/20/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Chicago were one of the most consistent hit makers of the 70s and 80s. In fact, Chicago is #18 on the list of Top 500 Artists of the rock era (see Joel Whitburn's "Top Pop Singles"). This ranking means that they are the fifth biggest group, behind only The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, and The Temptations! Given their success, it's not surprising that they've released several greatest hits collections, starting with this record in 1975. This CD includes their first 9 Top 10 singles, as well as two additional hits.
25 or 6 to 4 (#4 in 1970) Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? (#7 in 1971) Color My World (flip of "Beginnings") Just You 'n' Me (#4 in 1973) Saturday in the Park (#3 in 1972 - the band's first gold single) Feelin' Stronger Every Day (#10 in 1973) Make Me Smile (#9 in 1970 - the band's first Top 10 single) Wishing You Were Here (#11 in 1974) Call on Me (#6 in 1974) (I've Been) Searchin' So Long (#9 in 1974) Beginnings (#7 in 1971)
These songs are great and much more varied than their latest music. I especially enjoy "Saturday in the Park," which features an upbeat Peter Cetera vocal playfully interweaving with the band's horn section. The melancholic "Colour My World" is another highlight. Over the years, the band released a few other compilations, starting with "Chicago - Greatest Hits: 1982-1989." These first two CDs, however, exclude their late 70s hits, such as "Old Days" (#5 in 1975), "Baby, What a Big Surprise" (#4 in 1977), and their first #1 song - "If You Leave Me Now" (#1 for 2 weeks in 1976). Fortunately in 2002, Chicago released the 2-disk, "The Very Best of Chicago: Only the Beginning," which includes hits from the entire span of their career and was clearly designed to replace their first two anthologies.
I own and like all three of these greatest hits collections. The one you decide to buy will likely depend greatly on how much you like Chicago and what period of their music you enjoy most. If you want a single CD set, then "Chicago IX - Greatest Hits" is my recommendation, as I enjoy their more adventurous 70s music over the glossier 80s ballads. On these songs, they are still the cutting-edge rock band that brilliantly incorporated jazz into rock. However, if you're willing to spend a few more bucks, then I'd highly recommend their 2-disk set. "
The one Chicago CD to buy - but please remaster it
(4 out of 5 stars)
"No question that this is indeed the most concise, exciting single CD best-of covering Chicago's early hit period.Only two songs get the single editing treatment: Make Me Smile, and Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?The only really frustrating thing about this CD is that the group regained the catalog from Columbia. Since then, Columbia has been remastering their Greatest Hits line (B,S&T, Byrds, Donovan, etc) adding bonus tracks to boot.Chicago Records has to date failed to do the same. This means that this terrific Chicago best-of still has mid '80's sound quality.Suggestion: Chicago records remaster the catalog and add needed bonus tracks where available."
Outstanding compilation of their best songs
Edward Bosnar | 05/21/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ah, back in the days when Chicago was a real band. . . Before the dreaded 1980s when the band began churning out those schmaltzy synthesizer/drum machine-embellished lost-love ballads heard at high school proms throughout suburban America, Chicago produced some of the most memorable pop/rock standards ever recorded. This includes classics like "25 or 6 to 4," "Saturday in the Park" "Just You `n' Me," "Make Me Smile" and "Beginnings" just to name a few; Chicago IX is the perfect collection of their best material recorded in the early to mid-1970s. These songs express a range of emotions and styles, they're alternately fun and light-hearted, and wistful and melancholy - all of it backed by strong instrumental work and a brass rhythm section. Chicago was one of the few bands to so successfully blend a solid rock `n' roll sound with a big band style. "Chicago IX" is a nice little piece of music history and an all-around fantastic album - can't recommend it enough."