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The Very Best of Chicago: Only the Beginning
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The Very Best of Chicago: Only the Beginning

ChicagoAudio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (293 customer reviews)

Price: $13.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 39 Songs, 2002 $18.99  
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Disc 1:

Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Make Me Smile/ Now More Than EverChicago 4:27$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. 25 Or 6 To 4 (Remastered)Chicago 4:49$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?Chicago 3:19$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Beginnings (GH Edit Remastered Version)Chicago 6:26$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Question 67 And 68 (Remastered)Chicago 5:01$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. I'm A Man (New Edit Remastered Version)Chicago 5:41$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Colour My World (Remastered LP Version #2/GH)Chicago 3:00$0.69  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Free (Remastered LP Version)Chicago 2:16$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Lowdown (Remastered LP Version)Chicago 3:35$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. Saturday In The Park (Remastered)Chicago 3:55$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen11. Dialogue (Part I & III) (Remastered Single Version)Chicago 5:02$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen12. Just You 'N' Me (Remastered)Chicago 3:42$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen13. Feelin' Stronger Every Day (Remastered)Chicago 4:14$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen14. (I've Been) Searchin' So Long [Remastered]Chicago 4:28$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen15. Wishing You Were Here (Remastered)Chicago 4:35$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen16. Call On Me (Remastered)Chicago 4:02$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen17. Happy Man (GH2 Edit Remastered Version)Chicago 3:15$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen18. Another Rainy Day In New York CityChicago 3:01$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen19. If You Leave Me NowChicago 3:55$1.29  Buy MP3 

Disc 2:

Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Old DaysChicago 3:29$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Baby, What A Big SurpriseChicago 3:02$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Take Me Back To Chicago (Remastered Single Version)Chicago 2:57$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Alive AgainChicago 4:08$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. No Tell LoverChicago 3:49$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Love Me Tomorrow (Single Remastered Version)Chicago 3:58$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Hard To Say I'm Sorry/Get AwayChicago 5:06$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Stay The NightChicago 3:51$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Hard Habit To BreakChicago 4:44$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. You're The InspirationChicago 3:50$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen11. Along Comes A Woman (Single Version)Chicago 3:48$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen12. Will You Still Love Me? (Single Version)Chicago 4:13$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen13. If She Would Have Been FaithfulChicago 3:51$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen14. Look AwayChicago 4:01$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen15. What Kind Of Man Would I Be? (Album / Single Version)Chicago 4:16$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen16. I Don't Wanna Live Without Your LoveChicago 3:57$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen17. We Can Last Forever (Album / Single Version)Chicago 3:44$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen18. You're Not Alone (Album / Single Version)Chicago 4:00$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen19. Chasin' The WindChicago 4:18$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen20. Sing, Sing, Sing, (Remastered LP Version)Chicago with The Gipsy Kings 3:21$1.29  Buy MP3 

Amazon's Chicago Store


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Image of Chicago


According to Billboard chart statistics, Chicago is second only to the Beach Boys as the most successful American rock band of all time, in terms of both albums and singles. Judged by album sales alone, as certified by the R.I.A.A., the band does not rank quite so high, but it is still among the Top Ten best-selling U.S. groups ever. If such statements of fact surprise, that's because ... Read more in Amazon's Chicago Store

Visit Amazon's Chicago Store
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The Very Best of Chicago: Only the Beginning + Complete Hit Singles + The Best of Bread
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 2, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B000068ZVQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (293 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #839 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

From the perspective of 15 subsequent platinum albums and 20 top-10 hits, it's hard to imagine that Chicago began their career as a bona fide prog-fusion act, an early FM radio favorite whose jazz-tinged, album-length suites found them a hip cult following even as they confounded label execs. Ironically, when the pioneering horn band (a contemporary of Blood, Sweat & Tears and inspiration for one-hit wonders like Lighthouse, Ides of March, and Ten Wheel Drive) relented and allowed their music to be edited down to single length, their success was explosive. Most of the "single edits" on disc 1 of this 39-track anthology provide ample evidence of that de facto formula: a catchy riff ("25 or 6 to 4," "Saturday in the Park," "Color My World") develops into a hook-filled, pop-savvy production rife with the band's trademark horn perfection. One could argue that that sensibility--and a midcareer tilt toward producer David Foster, songwriter Diane Warren, and the MOR ballads that became some of their biggest successes--degenerated into formula. Indeed, there's much on the second disc to support that notion. This set spans it all, showcasing newly refocused edits of some their biggest early hits and lesser-known tracks like their lively '95 cross-cultural collaboration with the Gipsy Kings on a cover of Louis Prima's swing classic "Sing, Sing, Sing." --Jerry McCulley

Product Description

Out-of-print in the US. Subtitled - Only The Beginning. Double disc with 39 hit singles spanning Chicago's complete 35-year history. Including the #1 singles 'If You Leave Me Now,' 'Hard To Say I'm Sorry' and 'Look Away'. Booklet features detailed liner notes by Bill DeYoung. Rhino Records

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
179 of 183 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars + 1/2 stars: Excellent Compilation, But... July 7, 2002
Format:Audio CD
Don't throw out your copy of the 4-disc Portraits box set just yet. While Rhino does a terrific job of distilling Chicago's career from their 1969 debut (before shortening their name from Chicago Transit Authority) through their final Top 40 hit in 1991 ("Chasin' the Wind"), I do find fault with some of Rhino's decisions.
For starters, only 34 of the band's 35 Top 40 hits are here. Missing is 1975's "Harry Truman," which went to No. 13. Also, unlike 1991's box set, several of these songs are edits. Granted, if you remember these songs from AM radio, you won't notice the difference. These are, after all, the single versions of these songs. So on songs like "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" the piano introduction has been deleted. "Beginnings" has the percussion at the end edited out. "I'm a Man" does not include the drum and percussion interlude.
Other than that, this is a well chosen and thorough collection. Where the box set only covered the band's history through 1980, Rhino brings the band's history up to date with the inclusion of their thirteen hits from the Eighties and Nineties. The set conlcudes with the Louis Prima standard "Sing, Sing, Sing" which Chicago performed with the Gipsy Kings on their 1995 album Night & Day: Big Band. In addition, the 16-page booklet is informative, if not somewhat brief when you consider the band's 30-plus year history. [Note: When Columbia released the Portraits box set, it included an extensive booklet; the current Chicago Records version now in print contains no booklet at all.]
At any rate, this anthology will make redundant the three current greatest hits collections. If you're a fan of the hybrid music Chicago helped create by adding a full-time horn section to a rock band and you're still listening to your worn out vinyl records, this collection is a no-brainer. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
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134 of 148 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Tale of Two CD's December 27, 2002
Format:Audio CD
What a difference between two CD's. Well I guess that is what you get with a band that has evolved as much as Chicago.
The first CD is nearly flawless. All of it was recorded when Terry Kath was alive and the band recorded rock, blues, and a few ballads augmented by stunning horn arrangements. Terry Kath's guitar solos are oh so creative. Just listen to the wah wah infected solos on I'm A Man and Lowdown and the lightning fast soloing on 25 or 6 to 4 and Make Me Smile. The tone is oh so cool by Mr. Kath on Feelin' Stronger Everyday as well as the Peter Cetera sung Questions 67 and 68.
Robert Lamm's contributions on Saturday In The Park and Does Anyone Really Know What Time It Is are strong. Catchy tunes with good singing. Peter Cetera adds some nice songs as well. In moderation, Peter is just fine, tenor voice and all. Overall, this first CD is an easy five stars in spite of a few questionable edits.
The second CD is a horse of a diferent color. It starts off nicely with Old Days. Then we have Baby What A Big Surprise. Not Chicago's worst song, but certainly a sign of an unfortunate power struggle shift to Peter Cetera's sappy ballads. I actually like Take Me Back To Chicago as Robert Lamm's vocals are on the money and guest star Chaka Kahn contributes nicely as well. Afterwards its kind of hit and miss with the sappy Peter Cetera ballads. Some are more tolerable than others.
When Peter left, Chicago deteriorated even further with synthesizers dominating the scene and terribly uninspired vocals as well as horrible drumming(Why in the world did they can Danny Seraphine?). Also, whatever happened to the horn arrangements? Where is keyboardist Robert Lamm for that matter? They were the backbone of this fine band. Is this even Chicago or an imposter band?
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 or 34 to 2 July 8, 2002
Format:Audio CD
Once again, I must give my explanation of compilation packages. They are not designed for fans who have all the cds from the artist. A good package will include all the artist's top 40 hits plus key album cuts. "The Very Best Of: Only The Beginning" gets a high mark for including all of Chicago's top 40 hits with the exception of "Harry Truman". The five non-hits, though not what Chicago enthusiasts would select, are fine additions to this compilation. All tracks are digitally remastered, which is a plus on the 1969-1980 material, and a nice enhancement of the 1982-1991 material. I particularly liked Chicago's version of The Spencer Davis Group's "I'm A Man". For anyone who grew up in the 1970's, or like myself, the 1980's, this compilation is filled with memories. Unfortunately, as is documented here, Chicago became a slickly produced ballad factory beginning with "Chicago 16", but not glaringly apparent until "Chicago 18". At any rate, the power ballad never sounded so good. I think only Toto could rival Chicago for power ballad excellence (they need a two disc compilation!) This is a great way to introduce kids to a great band, or a great way to condense a collection on to cd, digitally remastered. Listening to this compilation just reminds me of the pitiful state of top 40 radio today. I can only think of the band Cake, offhand, that uses brass in their music currently. Rhino Records does a nice packaging job. I liked how they displayed all the album covers under the cd tray, and how they give track information in the cd jacket. The liner notes were nothing special, just brief career overview. All in all, the best two disc Chicago compilation under one roof thus far.
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