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  • Chicago Transit Authority
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Chicago Transit Authority

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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

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Frequently Bought Together

Chicago Transit Authority + Chicago II + Chicago III: Remastered And Expanded
Price For All Three: £31.64

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • ASIN: B00000DRV7
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 498,344 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 72 people found the following review helpful By sweetalkinguy@aol.com on 10 Feb. 2003
Format: Audio CD
Chicago are one of the biggest-selling bands of all time in the U.S.A. Over here, they are known, if at all, for laid-back softrock balladry, but their true voice was in the way they started out, as a big-band power rock outfit.
This is the debut album of Chicago. Originally they called themselves "Chicago Transit Authority" but the real CTA, fearing possible confusion, ordered them to change the name. Well, just think now, if you called your band "London Transport", Ken Livingstone would not be best pleased, would he?
A very impressive debut it was too. Chicago leap from the traps kicking buttock like they mean business. It is obvious that this band was well organised and preceded their recording debut by playing lots of gigs. They are crisp, sharp, together and playing off each other. It is music-making of high standard, confident, brash and assertive.
At the time, Chicago were lumped together with Blood Sweat and Tears as "jazz-rock". This was not a valid comparison. Wheras BS&T really were jazzers, stretching out the frontiers in musical forms, Chicago were more akin to the Memphis Horns brand of soul music. It was power-rock with the drive and much of the melody coming from instruments other than guitars and keyboards.
Chicago were also considered bombastic ego-trippers, self-indulgently over-reaching themselves both in style and content. Verily, their first three albums were all doubles not lacking padding, and when it came to their "double live", sure enough Chicago IV was a four-record box set. But to my mind there was nothing in the field of rock music quite like early Chicago at their best. The sound, the style, the music were all distinctive and unique. It was an outstanding production job by James William Guercio.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By David B on 30 May 2010
Format: Audio CD
If you like powerhouse rock, featuring brass and keyboards as well as guitars and drums etc, played by gifted musicians and vocalists and have never heard the Chicago Transit Authority, you are in for a treat. Tracks 1 to 6 are exquisitly crafted songs with perfectly executed and timed layers of vocals, guitars, percussion and brass. Track 7 may be technically clever but, imho, is not in keeping with the previous tracks and is best passed over - but hey, you may disagree with me and find you love it! Tracks 8 & 9 bring the album back into line, followed by 10 and 11 which include recorded extracts from a civil rights protest - sits slightly odd now but possibly relevant in 1968 and, obviously, important to the band at the time. (Track 11 actually turns out to be quite good.) The album closes with a 14 minute jazz/rock improvisation. Although the album is over 40 years old, it still sounds to me as fresh and vital as it did when I first bought it in vinyl back in 1970.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By R. H. Ozzie on 21 Mar. 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
There was clearly so much talent in this band that the first album they produced is, at times, a bit too much. They almost 'over egg the pudding'. But the horn section is so tight, the guitar playing so good (even Jimi Hendrix said that Terry Kath was a better player than him!) that the music is a revelation, especially if your musical tastes don't stray further back than the 80's. There are lengthy guitar, piano and horn solos which allow the players to show the listener what they've got.
This album dates itself unapologetically with it's hippy lyrics and right on protest songs. But, in my opinion it's none the worse for that. It harks back to a time when bands were willing and able to say what they thought, unlike the corporate puppets of todays music scene (apart from Neil Young and a few notable others). In summary, its a long, challenging album, but remains an original masterpiece.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mark Barry HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 16 Sept. 2014
Format: Audio CD
Before they became the slick 'lurve' song unit of the mid to late Seventies (voiced exclusively by Bassist and Lead Vocalist Peter Cetera) - CHICAGO used to call themselves the all-together cooler CHICAGO TRANSIT AUTHORITY - and that's where this hip little CD reissue comes in.

Released July 2002 on Warner Strategic Marketing/Rhino 822-76171-2 (Barcode 081227617127) - the 12-tracks on here are a straightforward remaster of their debut "Chicago Transit Authority" - a double-album released in the USA April 1969 on Columbia GP-8 and September 1969 in the UK on CBS Records S 66221.

The gatefold card digipak repros the inner gatefold of the original American double-album - while the nicely laid out 16-page booklet has detailed liner notes by Rolling Stone's one-time editor DAVID WILD. There are a few publicity photos and a great colour repro of a 'Fillmore West' poster with the Windy City's finest proudly supporting The Moody Blues. This CD is like the Yes issues of "Fragile" and "Close To The Edge" by Rhino in that it also comes in a fetching card slipcase. But the best news is the superb DAVID DONNELLY remaster - giving the brass of JAMES PANKOW and LEE LOUGHNANE real prominence and clarity. This is a fantastic sounding CD - full of life and punch.

With Peter Cetera's voice now so synonymous with the band's sound - it's almost disconcerting to hear both Robert Lamm and Terry Kath as lead vocalists. After the brassy Rock'n'Roll of "Introduction" we get the excellent proper songs "Does Anybody Know What Time It Is?" and "Beginnings". Cetera arrives on "Questions 67 and 68" while "Listen" is frankly a bit of a Sixties mini-masterpiece (lyrics above).
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