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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The one Chicago CD to buy - but please remaster it
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...
Published on November 3, 1999

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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dated Collection - but has the best stuff they did
"Chicago Greatest Hits" is actually "Chicago IX" if you keep track of Chicago's numeric naming of their albums. This was a greatest hits album that was released early in their careers and like many Greatest Hits albums that come out early, they often get dated when the band continues to have success. In the case of Chicago, the band would still have...
Published on August 5, 2004 by L.A. Scene


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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The one Chicago CD to buy - but please remaster it, November 3, 1999
By A Customer
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.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Place to Start, July 1, 2001
By 
W. Langan "take403" (the end of the world to your town!) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Terrific, But Mostly Unnecessary Collection, October 8, 2005
This review is from: Chicago's Greatest Hits (Audio CD)
CHICAGO IX: GREATEST HITS was first released thirty years ago and it was a fitting testament to the classic period in Chicago's continuing legacy. While Rhino justifiably remastered and rereleaseed (often with bonus tracks) their early catalog, was it really necessary to reissue this greatest hits package? After all, Rhino put out a definitive two-disc set, 2002's THE VERY BEST OF CHICAGO: ONLY THE BEGINNING, that covers every song here--and 28 more.

However, it should be noted that there are two distinctive differences. THE VERY BEST OF included a new edit of "Make Me Smile" that was over a minute longer than the original LP version, and they used a truncated version of "Beginnings," editing out the drum and percussion interlude. Both of these songs appear in their original album version on CHICAGO IX. Is that enough difference to warrant the purchase of this reissue? You'll have to decide that for yourself. But, overall, this is a solid (if somewhat skimpy) collection of Chicago's early hits. RECOMMENDED
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dated Collection - but has the best stuff they did, August 5, 2004
By 
L.A. Scene (Indian Trail, NC USA) - See all my reviews
"Chicago Greatest Hits" is actually "Chicago IX" if you keep track of Chicago's numeric naming of their albums. This was a greatest hits album that was released early in their careers and like many Greatest Hits albums that come out early, they often get dated when the band continues to have success. In the case of Chicago, the band would still have another 1/4 century of music ahead of them. Chicago might be the greatest and most innovative band not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame despite having Hall of Fame eligibility. The key to their legend is the innovative use of horns and woodwinds (thanks to unheralded band members Lee Loughnane, Jimmy Pankow, and Walt Parazaider) Despite this particular Greatest Hits collection being dated - it does cover the most creative period of Chicago. This contains selections that have the most innovative use of the horn section which form an aggressive rock sound what I call the "Chicago (band) Sound". Although the band would continue to have the use of a horns section in the later stages of their career, the band would slowly transform into an adult contemporary and love ballads band.

There are other collections that will probably give you a more complete. For example, the set "The Very Best of Chicago: Only the Beginning" contains every song on this collection plus a good selection of their material that would follow in the 25 years after the release of "Chicago Greatest Hits". "The Best of Chicago" and "The Best of Chicago Volume 2" are two separate CDs that between the 2, include all of the material on this CD. "Chicago - Group Portrait" is a more complete collection while the boxed set "Chicago - The Box" will provide the most complete library. The important thing to note is this CD has a good chunk of the band's early career. Another thing to point out is that this CD takes songs from the first 8 albums of Chicago's career, but it ignores Chicago III, Chicago Live at Carnegie Hall (IV), and Chicago VIII. There are some nice songs that are also missing from the other CDs, such as "Where Do we Go From Here", and "I'm a Man". While it may seem that you could go easily elsewhere in the Chicago library and find the selections on this CD, it is worth noting there are 11 songs on the collection. Keep in mind that this album was released in 1975 and an 11 song album (without being a double album) was not especially common during that time.

The songs themselves speak for themselves - these are legendary songs and need no introduction. They are: "25 or 6 to 4", "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is", "Colour My World", "Just You and Me", "Saturday in the Park", "Feelin Stronger Every Day", "Make Me Smile", "Call on Me", "(I've Been) Searchin So Long", and "Beginnings". The ordering of the song does disappoint me as well. The songs are basically mixed up with no logical order. I usually prefer my greatest hits to be in chronlogical order. (It is ironic that the song "Beginnings" is the last song)

There are some very interesting facts to consider. The great songs on this collection had three different singers - Robert Lamm, Terry Kath, and Peter Cetera. Another amazing fact is that the band didn't have a number one single until the late 1980s with"Chicago 19"'s "Look Away" (almost 20 years into their careers) - yet this was probably Many say that it is the late Terry Kath who was the champion of the "Chicago Sound" and once he passed away in 1978, the balance of power started to shift to the likes of Peter Cetera who would begin to transform them into a ballads band.

The "Chicago Greatest Hits" CD has some real poor liner notes. The band members are listed - there are little in the way of production credits. I know many of the band members play multiple instruments depending on the song - I still would have liked to have seen this included. No lyrics are included. A nice thing is that the original album for each of the 'greatest hits' is listed. Normally, I would have given this 2 stars - but there is some good quality material on here and probably contains the best stuff the band did. My advice would be to only pick this album up if you can get it at a significant discount - otherwise look at some of the more recent compilations or boxed sets the band has done. You probably will get more value for your money.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An ALMOST-perfect hits collection!, October 12, 1999
By A Customer
Without question, one of the best "Greatest Hits" albums I've ever found! In this rare case, EVERY SONG deserves to be here-- there's not a clunker in the bunch. And even if you have every other CHICAGO album, this is the place to hear the edited "hit" versions of "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is", "Beginnings", "25 Or 6 To 4"; or "Colour My World" as a stand-alone song; or both ends of "Make Me Smile" edited together. WOW!!! Now-- IF ONLY they'd have included "Questions 67 & 68" and "I'm A Man"... It happens this was my first CHICAGO album-- need I add I went on to buy ALL the others?
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding compilation of their best songs, May 21, 2001
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.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So many collections from which to choose!, October 19, 2004
By 
Westley (Stuck in my head) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Intro To The Band, October 19, 2002
By 
G. J Wiener (Westchester, NY USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This record was one of the first two album that I purchased as a teenager. It definitely bring back some fond memories from my youth. The varied vocal styles between Terry Kath, Peter Cetera, Robert Lamm, and the others in addition to the blend of rock instruments and brass helped make Chicago a memorable rock/pop band from the seventies.
Nonetheless, the edit work on some of the songs certainly hampers the effectiveness of this compilation. Many compelling instrumental passages from Make Me Smile, Does Anyone Really Know What Time It Is, and Beginnings were cut to fit this reocrd. I do feel a bit cheated with the single versions as Chicago has a very strong instrumental and arrangement prowess which is short-changed here.
Otherwise this is a nice compilation for newbies to Chicago or those who are not diehard fans.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic roots of an amazing career, August 11, 2001
I first heard of Chicago with the song "Hard To Say I'm Sorry", one of my favorite songs when I was in junior high school. I was a big fan from that song on and--yes--I got into all their '80's pop, ballad stuff. However, it was when I first heard "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" on adult contemporary radio in the mid-'80's that I realized that this band had quite a previous history before the '80's. To this day, I remain a huge fan of this stuff. "25 Or 6 To 4" was a classic rock staple for years, "Saturday In The Park" and "Just You 'N Me" are upbeat gems, and "Make Me Smile" is an example of founding member Robert Lamm at his best on vocals. I understand the "album fans'" point of view about certain songs being cut short--I have since heard such efforts as the first album "Chicago Transit Authority" to understand how this band really got started. Nonetheless, you have to admire this collection of songs. Hard to believe this band started up over 30 years ago now. Clearly this collection represents some of their earliest greats.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hits With Horns!, December 24, 2000
By 
David Hugaert (Honolulu, HI United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Greatest Hits 1 (Audio Cassette)
"Chicago IX-Greatest Hits" features 11 songs the band recorded from the early to mid-seventies, and every song featured here is a classic. You get Chicago's first major radio hits "Make Me Smile" and "25 Or 6 To 4". Melancholic ballads can also be found in "Wishing You Were Here" and "(I've Been) Searching So Long", although the fiesta-like horns feel found in "Call On Me" can also be classified as a ballad, as is "Colour My World". Please, by all means, have a rockin' good time with "Saturday In The Park" and "Feelin' Stronger Every Day". No need to be time-conscious with "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?". "Beginnings" is a rather fine tune as well, but the AM radio version heard here is not as good, considering the horns fade out at the end before the band is heard chanting. "Just You 'N Me" has that "relax in the park" type of feel. Much of the lead vocal tracks here were supplied by the late, great Terry Kath, who is sorely missed in the music industry, even almost 23 years after his death. Because of the fact "Chicago IX-Greatest Hits" has the roman numeral title in it, fans of Chicago will want to add it to their collection all the moreso.
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Chicago's Greatest Hits
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