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4.3 out of 5 stars
Chicago - Greatest Hits: 1982-1989
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
Rating this CD requires one to rate it on the basis that this was the 2nd incarnation of Chicago that musically was very different from the first Chicago. So, let's say that this is the greatest hits from Chicago II, and rate it on that basis.

Great ballads, lots of Peter Cetera, and occasionally horns to remind you of Chicago I. Truly these songs are greatest hits. Truly these songs are very mainstream, middle-of-the-road pop/rock.

You will recognize nearly all if not all songs on this CD. Most of them got a lot of airplay and were top 40 or top 10 and even #1 songs. The fact that all these songs are classified as adult contemporary music (read pop) should tell you everything you need to know about these songs.

These songs are highly polished, well produced, well sung. These songs represent the best of Chicago II's output. You could go purchase the albums from which these songs came, but you might also be disappointed. Save your money and stick with this album. My recommendation is that if you like pop, and you like ballads, go buy this CD and do not read beyond this point.

Now that I've rated the CD, I can make a comment regarding Chicago I and Chicago II. The group that made this album is not the same group that created "Chicago Transit Authority" and Chicago II, III, IV, ad infinitum. The original Chicago had a killer horn section that gave a jazz flavor to Chicago's rock. Chicago had some progressive rock, some tunes that were very jazzy, and some plain old rock. This group loved to experiment and while perhaps hoping for commercial success, wasn't falling all over itself to obtain it. They did their own thing. So if you liked the old Chicago, and aren't into George Michael and Peter Cetera and others that sing that type of music, this is the wrong CD for you!

This particular CD is a reissue. The original is still being sold. Before you buy this particular version you may want to see what other versions are available, the features they have and their current price.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I will keep out of the "old Chicago vs. new Chicago" debates. I grew up in the 1980s and fell in love with all this stuff. I am also a huge fan of the early stuff. I'll leave it at that.
With one exception, this collection includes all of Chicago's big hits of the '80s. Yes, they are mostly ballads, and for most bands that would be a complaint from me. But these songs are so exceptionally well done, with such melody, polish, and emotion, that I can't complain. After all, I loved each and every one of these songs when they came on the radio.
Full-length versions of the songs are included--such as the ending of all-time favorite "Hard To Say I'm Sorry" (called "Get Away"). Also, the full-length version of the beautiful power ballad "Will You Still Love Me?" is included--not the radio edit version. In addition, a remix of "What Kind Of Man Would I Be?", which was released as a single off of this album (instead of the original version off of Chicago 19), is included. It ended up being the band's last big hit.
Ballads like "Look Away", "You're The Inspiration", and "Hard Habit To Break" also still sound fantastic. The only songs I would call "rockers" on this collection are both from Chicago 17--"Stay The Night" and "Along Comes A Woman". Both still sound fantastic and fit in nicely on this collection.
Now to that one missing "big hit" track: where is "You're Not Alone"? Instead of that top ten track, the beautiful but obscure hit "We Can Last Forever" was put on this collection. What I wish is that the radio version of "You're Not Alone" was also included here--with the extra melodies and guitar parts. To this day, that version is only on record single.
Other than that, this collection is just about perfect for 1980's Chicago. Having that along with the two earlier greatest hits albums means to me that there is no point in buying the collections of Chicago hits that have been released since then--including the two-disc collection that was released last year. Get the original albums and/or the oldest greatest hits collections; that is all you need. For sure, this one is still a beautifully enjoyable listen 13 years after I bought it. Highly recommended for '80s pop/rock music lovers.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on October 23, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Unfortunately, I wasn't around for much of Chicago's time.
I'm ninteeen years old now, and a friend of mine introduced me
to Chicago through this CD. I fell in love instantly. Since,
I have purchased a good bit of their music from CTA to their
Christmas CD. I enjoy all of their music spanning their existence, but I keep coming back to this one. I'm fond of the earlier rock style, but the ballads are incredible. I don't understand why people can't bear their ballads...let's face it, they're sappy and lovey, but their also the very best of their kind. Chicago has proven that they can dominate every medium of musical style. These may be ballads, but they're the best ballads you'll ever hear. "Hard to say I'm sorry" is an exceptional Peter Cetera vocal effort, "Look Away" is my original favorite Chicago song, "You're the Inspiration" speaks for itself as quite possibly one of the best love songs they ever played, "If She Would've Been Faithful" is one of the best musically, and for crying out loud, "We Can Last Forever" is the most powerful love song I've heard in my life...to say nothing of the other great numbers contained in this CD. Every single song here is worthy of consideration. If you're looking for a good selection of Chicago's ballads, this is the CD you're searching for. If you're not, you need it anyway simply because love is what makes the world go 'round, and nobody expresses it like Chicago.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon October 30, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Chicago has been a remarkably successful group; in fact, they're #18 on the list of Top 500 Artists of the rock era (see Joel Whitburn's "Top Pop Singles"). This ranking makes them the fifth biggest group, behind only The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, and The Temptations! The group, of course, was tremendously successful during most of the 70s. However, during the late 70s and early 80s, it looked as though their biggest successes were behind them as 6 of 9 releases failed to make the Top 40, and they only scored one Top 10 hit.

However, in 1982 they returned to #1 for the first time in six years with the wildly popular "Hard to Say I'm Sorry," which was featured in the flop movie "Summer Lovers." The song really kick-started their career again, and they scored a huge number of hits during the rest of the decade (#7 group of the 80s), as reflected by this collection.

Hard to Say I'm Sorry/Get Away (#1 for 2 weeks in 1982)

Look Away (#1 for 2 weeks in 1988)

Stay the Night (#16 in 1984)

Will You Still Love Me? (#3 in 1987)

Love Me Tomorrow (#22 in 1982)

What Kind of Man Would I Be? (#5 in 1990)

You're the Inspiration (#3 in 1985)

I Don't Wanna Live Without Your Love (#3 in 1988)

Hard Habit to Break (#3 in 1984)

Along Comes a Woman (#14 in 1985)

If She Would Have Been Faithful (#17 in 1989)

We Can Last Forever (#55 in 1989)

Despite their success during this period, this music isn't as rich and varied as their earlier oeuvre. Specifically, the majority of songs here are Peter Cetera-lead ballads. I actually do enjoy many of these songs, particularly "Hard to Say I'm Sorry," "Love Me Tomorrow," "Will You Still Love Me," and "What Kind of Man Would I Be?" In addition, the craftsmanship of the entire set is admirable. However, too many of the songs are sallow ballads - I especially dislike "You're the Inspiration" and "Look Away." If you like the 80s-era Chicago, then this set if for you, and it will likely bring back many fond memories.

Fortunately, Chicago subsequently released the 2-disk, "The Very Best of Chicago: Only the Beginning," a full-retrospective of their career, including their superior 70s music. If you like their 80s music and are willing to spend a little more, then I'd highly recommend the 2-disk set, which is a definite 5-star release.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Let me explain myself: Chicago 1st generation was from when they started till about 1981. From then on, they became Chicago: 2nd generation. The 1st gen was all about funky rock/jazz sound with great vocals and brass sections. This was their best time, in my opinion. In 1981, they started really heading into the power ballads like "You're The Inspiration", "Hard For Me To Say I'm Sorry", and "Will You Still Love Me?". Not bad, but different. Many people love their 80's work and not the earlier stuff, and vice versa. I like them both seperately, it's almost like two different bands though. Cetera proves that he's one helluva singer on this album, and Jason Scheff does his best to live up to Cetera's name with hits like "We Can Last Forever" (I love this song) and "If She Would've Been Faithful". Scheff succeeds on his own grounds (he cannot cover Cetera's songs worth a flip though, see Chicago 26), and proves himself a worthy addition to the band. There really are no bad tunes about this album, it's pretty solid, and I highly recommend it to fans of the 80's love songs...it's still a lot better than most of their newer stuff.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Critics may sniff that Chicago lost their integrity in the '80s, when they dominated radio with a series of slick, classy power ballads. But I wouldn't have it any other way.
This is one of my favorite CDs, not just because it takes me back to my youth, but because it contains some of the best love songs of the era. Included are two #1 hits, "Hard to Say I'm Sorry" (the full, original album cut, with the epilogue, "Get Away") and the Diane Warren-penned "Look Away". There's also other great ballads: "You're the Inspiration", "Hard Habit to Break", "Love Me Tomorrow", and two of my all-time fave songs, "I Don't Wanna Live Without Your Love" and "Will You Still Love Me?", which, if you're only familiar with the radio edit, deserves to be heard in it's full, absolutely incredible 5 and half minute brilliance. Also a couple of great rockers, "Stay The Night" and "Along Comes a Woman", with that great brass section in magnificent sound.
A must for Chicago fans and romantics everywhere.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Few years ago in Japan, [hard to say I'm sorry] was used in a Japanese car song. But I did not know about the song name. Didn't know the band name that sang the song even. The only thing that I find out was that the song had very beautiful and sentimental melodies. After few years, by chance I listened to the song in radio. And finally I find out about the song name and band name.
I bought this album including the song in a record store soon. The first point that I would to buy was for listening the song, [hard to say..].But in fact when I listened to the album, there ware the other plus things, that is, there ware wonderful and beautiful ballad songs except of [hard to say].
Individually,I like ballade songs with miner chords. The album had a lot of beautiful and sentimental melodies. The album was for me.
At same time, the album made the chance that I was interested in foreign music. I think that it was very fortunate.
Thank you for reading poor English.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 1999
Format: Audio CD
This manages to distill the hits from CHICAGO 16, 17, 18 & 19 down to one easy-listening marathon. "Hard To Say I'm Sorry", "Look Away", "Will You Still Love Me?", "Love Me Tomorrow" and "Along Comes A Woman" are all the original album versions, not the edited or remixed single versions. With "Hard To Say I'm Sorry" it's a bonus, as "Get Away" is possibly the best part. And "Will You Still Love Me?" DESERVES to be heard in full. But "Along Comes A Woman" was even MORE exciting as a single-maybe too jarring for THIS collection! Also, "What Kind Of Man Would I Be?" is a remix-- when it wasn't a single in the first place. Personally, I'll take the 4 full albums, where these mellow tunes fit better BETWEEN the rockers I enjoy so much.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This CD is a great representation of Chicago's 2nd generation. Most of the songs are love ballads, but almost every song is great. Hard to Say I'm Sorry is excellent, Will You Still Love Me is a 5 1/2 minute masterpiece, and You're the Inspiration is my favorite Chicago song of all-time. What Kind of Man Would I Be and Hard Habit to Break are also great; I also like Look Away and I Don't Want to Live Without Your Love. All of the songs are love ballads, but they are all different, and Peter Cetera shines. All of these songs are hits, and this is a wonderful album.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
Rating this CD requires one to rate it on the basis that this was the 2nd incarnation of Chicago that musically is very different from the first Chicago. So, let's say that this is the greatest hits from Chicago II, and rate it on that basis.
Great ballads, lots of Peter Cetera, and occasionally horns to remind you of Chicago I. Truly these songs are greatest hits. Truly these songs are very mainstream, middle-of-the-road pop/rock.
You will recognize nearly all if not all songs on this CD. Most of them got a lot of airplay and were top 40 or top 10 and even #1 songs. The fact that all these songs are classified as adult contemporary music (read pop) should tell you everything you need to know about these songs.
These songs are highly polished, well produced, well sung. These songs represent the best of Chicago II's output. You could go purchase the albums from which these songs came, but you might also be disappointed. Save your money and stick with this album. My recommendation is that if you like pop, and you like ballads, go buy this CD and do not read beyond this point.
Now that I've rated the CD, I can make a comment regarding Chicago I and Chicago II. The group that made this album is not the same group that created "Chicago Transit Authority" and Chicago II, III, IV, ad infinitum. The original Chicago had a killer horn section that gave a jazz flavor to Chicago's rock. Chicago had some progressive rock, some tunes that were very jazzy, and some plain old rock. This group loved to experiment and while perhaps hoping for commercial success, wasn't falling all over itself to obtain it. They did their own thing. So if you liked the old Chicago, and aren't into George Michael and Peter Cetera and others that sing that type of music, this is the wrong CD for you!
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