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At Carnegie Hall


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Audio CD, August 23, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

Chicago ranks among the all-time most successful groups in American rock. When it was first released as a four-LP package in 1972, this marathon live recording hit #3 on Billboard's Pop album chart and was certified RIAA gold. Following up their 1969 debut album, Chicago Transit Authority, 1970's Chicago II, and 1971's Chicago III-#17, #4, and #2 respectively-this historic set features all their early hits and spotlights Chicago at the pinnacle of their inital success. Painstakingly remastered, it now features a full disc of previously unreleased material showcasing their trademark horns, Robert Lamm's keyboards and vocals, along with the underappreciated guitar virtuosity of the late Terry Kath.

Disc: 1
1. In The Country
2. Fancy Colours
3. Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? (Free Form Intro)
4. Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?
5. South California Purples
See all 8 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. 1st Movement
2. 2nd Movement (Flute Solo)
3. 3rd Movement (Guitar Solo)
4. 4th Movement (Preach)
5. 5th Movement
See all 13 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Happy 'Cause I'm Going Home
2. Make Me Smile
3. So Much To Say, So Much To Give
4. Anxiety's Moment
5. West Virginia Fantasies
See all 11 tracks on this disc
Disc: 4
1. Listen
2. Introduction
3. South California Purples
4. Loneliness Is Just A Word
5. Free Form Intro (Naseltones)
See all 8 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 23, 2005)
  • Original Release Date: 2005
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B00006FM77
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,494 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Louie Bourland on August 23, 2005
Format: Audio CD
The wait is finally over. Chicago's legendary four-album document of their sold-out week at Carnegie Hall is at last, reissued and remastered. In addition to the material that was included on the original 1971 album, there is a complete disc of unreleased material from the concerts as well as the original packaging and replicas of the original posters and booklet which came with the LP. Granted, THIS is the ultimate reissue of this classic live album.

As for the music itself, it is full of the raw energy that made Chicago so great during its early days. Instead of the short snappy pop songs and romantic ballads, you get extended jam-band cuts such as "In The Country", "South California Purples", "Sing A Mean Tune Kid" and "It Better End Soon". Additionally, there are stellar renditions of "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" (complete with a six-minute 'Free Form Intro' from Mr. Chops, Robert Lamm), "Questions 67 and 68", "25 or 6 to 4", "Beginnings" and the band's plea for Nixon's resignation, "A Song For Richard and His Friends". All seven of Chicago's original band members are given due time in the spotlight and are full of the energy and vigour of an excited young band during their first shot of fame. Terry Kath's extended guitar solos on the aforementioned "Purples" and "Sing A Mean Tune Kid" are some of his best guitar solos on record full of freedom and endless invention.

As for the bonus material, there are tunes which were not released on the original "Carnegie Hall" album as well as alternate performances of several tracks on the original album. The "Naseltones" free form intro included here is another Robert Lamm piano improvisation which goes into a boogie motiff that has a slight hint of Dave Brubeck in its groove.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By M. A Fortes on August 24, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Anyone looking for the best example of Chicago as a great band has it right here. Their improvisational powers are at a peak, their best early hits are here, there's fire and passion in the vocals of Terry Kath and even the usually sedate Robert Lamm, and the guitar playing of Terry Kath is in sharp relief for all to hear. He really was one of the great unsung guitar heroes.

Best of all, the sound of the horn section has been improved over the original recording. The sound is much more robust. Maybe now that infamous "kazoos" assessment can be laid to rest.

The packaging is also superb -- it's essentially a mini replica of the original box set, complete with all 3 posters and an expanded booklet with new liner notes.

The 4th disc of unreleased performances has further delights -- "Sing A Mean Tune Kid" is a bit less jazz and a bit more rock in its alternate version, Kath's singing is more controlled in the alternate "Introduction," and now we get to hear top-notch live versions of "Listen," "Loneliness Is Just A Word" and "An Hour In The Shower."

This set has been slagged a lot over the years, but I've always held firm that it's really an amazing document of a powerful live rock band. Before the platinum pop balladry, before the loss of key band members, before their respectability eroded in the 1980s, THIS was Chicago -- a band that could hold their own in the company of greats like the Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead, and other contemporaries who exelled when stretching out on stage. Don't pass this one up!
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Derosier on September 26, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I was introduced to the first half of this landmark recording as "Volume I & II" on an 8-track tape cartridge (!) Quite the nostalgia trip. I must confess, I can't hear a significant difference between the remastered CDs and the original CD release of a few years ago...but of course the newly mixed, previously unreleased tracks are wonderful. I'm a little surprised that they didn't do some tasteful crossfading between these songs--even a bit of canned applause between numbers would've created the sense of one typical night during this unprecedented week. Fragmented as this bonus disc is, however, it's a real treat for Carnegie Hall fans. I'm truly disappointed, however, that they didn't take full advantage of the eighty minutes a CD allows...given all of those performances, alternate takes of three or four more numbers could've easily fit on that disc! I suppose a bit of marketing comes into play: a few years fron now, it'll be released yet again as a five or six CD set, broken down into invividual performances from each night...the Late, Great Terry Kath is NOT the only person who shines throughout this effort: Danny Seraphine's drumming has to be heard to be believed! This entire set is a showcase for his phenomenal chops during this era...it's almost impossible to believe that this is the same guy whose drumming morphed into the generic tripe heard on Chicago 16 and 17. This album represents Chicago arguably at their peak...at least before David Foster got his hands on them and turned the boys into a hit factory.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By a reader in the U.S. on February 1, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Yep, I again have to agree with Bill Fleck that something just was not quite right on this one. As I mentioned in my review of Chicago III, I saw this band less than 60 days before this 5-day marathon recordfest, and I wish they had recorded that one night instead. However - that said - I must also take to task Mr. Guercio for what I feel to be bad production decisions regardless of the band's state. You have to remember that this was early 1971 and this band had already done over 700 shows. I might get drunk too. It sounds as though the band is ashamed to play "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is". I refuse to believe that after five nights, that was the best take. I will say this: Danny Seraphine was neither drunk nor sloppy. This guy (as I remember well from seeing them) was AWESOME. As good on his instrument as Terry Kath was on his. Speaking of which: Why is Kath playing electric on "Flight 602"? and "Happy Cause I'm Going Home"? Why is he up in the mix AT ALL TIMES even when he should be backed off some? "Free" is terrible - WAY too fast and the vocals...ouch. Then "I Don't Want Your Money" crawls like a tortoise. These are a few of the things that bug me about this recording. Also we don't need over three minutes of nothing to start this.
O.K....now that that is all off my chest, I also agree ultimately that this is worth having. Like "Mr. Chops" says, it is a document of an event, and well worth the flaws simply to have that document. Bill, I hear you and agree with you. But we both also agree that one should have this. That is the highest praise, no?
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