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Chicago's Greatest Hits

4.6 out of 5 stars 236 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 4, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

Chicago IX: Greatest Hits '69 - '74 was the band's first greatest hits collection. Originally released 30 years ago in November of 1975, it spent five weeks atop the Billboard album chart and has been certified four times platinum! Still to date, it is the biggest selling album of their career. Chicago IX features signature favorites the band still performs on tour today, such as '25 or 6 to 4', "Beginnings,' 'Saturday in the Park,' 'Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is', and 'Call On Me'. It was the first Chicago album to feature pictures of the band on the cover, incorporated into their trademark logo. Chicago IX: Greatest Hits '69-74 completes Rhino's reissues of the band's signature early recordings. Rhino. 2005.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 4, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B000AYEI90
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (236 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,341 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
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.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
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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Format: Audio CD
"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.
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Format: 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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