My Number One AND Number Two – Chicago IX: Chicago’s Greatest Hits

The first concert I ever saw was Chicago and Orleans.  It was a camp trip and I believe the show was somewhere in upstate New York and would have been some time in the late 70s.  I was at Camp Weequahic in Lakewood, PA at the time.  I remember how much fun it was seeing the counselors let loose… and yes, seeing a few of them make out with each other was sweet… at least for this pre-adolescent kid just discovering girls.

I remember listening to the hell out of this album, so while it is another greatest hits collection, it is a pivotal one for me.  (Insert Bronx cheer here!)  Even the album cover and album art stood out back then!

Chicago – Chicago IX (Greatest Hits)

The great Rhino Records has this one and the whole Chicago catalog, so check them out.  So many of their discs get the special VIP treatment and actually make it worth your while to upgrade!!!

Thanks to Wikipedia for the following…

The band was formed in 1967 at DePaul University and was called The Big Thing.  They moved to LA in 1968 and changed their name to Chicago Transit Authority.

“Their first record (released in April 1969), the eponymous The Chicago Transit Authority (sometimes informally referred to simply as CTA), was a double album, very rare for a first release, featuring jazzy instrumentals, extended jams featuring Latin percussion, and experimental, feedback-laden guitar abstraction. It sold over one million copies by 1970, and was awarded a platinum disc.

The first job I had out of college was working for the Manhattan Theatre Club and their production of John Patrick Shanley’s Italian American Reconciliation.  One of the highlights for me was working with Mr, Shanley, of course, but also the beautiful and gifted Laura San Giacomo, the astounding John Turturro and the magnificent John Pankow… They all took me under their wings… and getting to talk to John about his brother James was pretty cool, too!

Chicago’s sound was so unique, at least to me… I do not recall hearing horns and rock together and I think I may have been listening to this even before I discovered Bruce.  I know there are a few Chicago 8-Tracks in my collection… unless my Mom tossed them… Hmmm…

The originals were:

Terry Kath on guitar, James Pankow on trombone, saxophonist Walter Parazaider, trumpet player Lee Loughnane
drummer Danny Seraphine, and keyboardist Robert Lamm.  All of them sang!!!

Peter Cetera came on board shortly thereafter.

When the CTA threatened legal action, they shortened the name to Chicago.

I do remember 1978 and the death of Terry Kath… freaky… but the band went on… I remember Peter Cetera hitting gold with “Glory of Love” the theme song for The Karate Kid, Part II and leaving the band in 1985… but they went on…

Jason Scheff came on board, and a friend of a friend, Steve worked for him for a while… That was cool.

The fact that they are still going so strong and so obviously love what they are doing is part of what makes Chicago so endearing and infectious… but great music and musicianship is what got me hooked and has kept me a fan.

So Chicago was my number one, and is my number two city in the US, behind my true love, New York.  Sorry Chi Town, I do adore you, and am so looking forward to seeing you next week… but NYC is NYC!  And yes, I know… Chicago is Chicago!

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1 Comment

Filed under Life... Plain and Not So Simple, Marc's Mixed Bag - A Little Of Everything, Marc's Playlist - Music That Moves Me

One response to “My Number One AND Number Two – Chicago IX: Chicago’s Greatest Hits

  1. Pat O'Connor

    My first ever “our” song with a girl was Beginnings. Kathy. Older woman. I was a junior, she was senior.

    Chicago was great for bringing horns back to rock with a heavy guitar emphasis. Saw them at the Fabulous Forum. 25 or 6 to 4 was awesome.

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