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Chicago Transit Authority (Remastered & Repackaged)

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4.6 out of 5 stars 372 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 16, 2002
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Frequently bought together

  • Chicago Transit Authority (Remastered & Repackaged)
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  • Chicago II (Steven Wilson Remix)
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Total price: $32.39
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Chicago was founded in 1967 by Walt Parazaider (woodwinds), James Pankow (trombone), Lee Loughnane (trumpet), Roert Lamm (keyboards and lead vocals), Terry Kath (guitar and lead vocals), and Danny Seraphine (drums). They called themselves The Big Thing. They added bassist-lead vocalist Peter Cetera and began working with their original producer-manager James William Guercio, subsequently becoming known as Chicago Transit Authority. Their self-titled 1969 debut release was an ambitious mix of free-form rock and horn-influenced jazz, the first of three double LPs that would start their career. The band dropped the "Transit Authority" and became known as simply "Chicago" on their second album in 1970, which was the first album to carry their trademark logo. CHICAGO II yielded some of the group's most enduring hits, which came from Pankow's suite "Ballet For A Girl In Buchannon," emulating the form of the great classical composers from a pop perspective. The album peaked at #4 on the Billboard charts. With the success of CHICAGO II, radio went back and discovered hits on the earlier CHICAGO TRANSIT AUTHORITY album. Their 1971 release CHICAGO III peaked at #2, driven by the success of the tracks "Free" and "Lowdown." These three classic Chicago albums can now be experienced from a new perspective with remastered sound and expanded liner notes.

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Having morphed--some would argue devolved--into a predictable ballad machine by the '80s, it's good to be reminded of Chicago's original artistic ethos and vibrant promise. And what better place to start than their spectacular 1969 debut? This digitally remastered edition compiles the double album on a single disc that retains the original LP artwork and features a 16-page booklet with a retrospective essay (based on new band member interviews) by David Wild. Chicago weren't yet the '70s hit-singles factory they would shortly become, and CTA showcases a band whose muscular musicianship and creative restlessness fostered two LPs worth of music that was as aggressive and far-ranging as its singles were friendly and inviting. Tellingly, the hits showcased here--"Does Anybody Know What Time It Is?" "Beginnings," "Questions 67 and 68," and their rhythmically pumped cover of the Spencer Davis Group's "I'm a Man"--were often edited down from the original collection's suite-heavy structure. But those familiar cuts belie the downright progressive and angular nature of much of the rest, which fuses Terry Kath's neo-psychedelic guitar (which careens to noisy, feedback-laden Hendrixesque extremes on "Free Form Guitar") to one of rock's pioneering horn sections with enough experimentalism ("Poem 58") that it frequently overwhelms their undeniable genius with a pop song. Chicago would seldom sound so adventurous after this, one of rock's greatest debut albums. --Jerry McCulley

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Product details

  • Audio CD (July 16, 2002)
  • Original Release Date: 1969
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rhino Records
  • ASIN: B000069KGM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 372 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,121 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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