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Hot Streets Original recording remastered, Import

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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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Hot Streets + Chicago XI + Chicago XIII: Remastered And Expanded
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Product details

  • Audio CD (26 Mar 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered, Import
  • Label: Friday Music
  • ASIN: B0073US7EQ
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,147,069 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By MORTEN AASTAD on 11 Sep 2007
Format: Audio CD
Musical historians condemn this album as something worse than the plague. I think part of the reason for that, beyond their dislike of the music on this album, comes from all the upheavals Chicago went through during the recording of this album. The tragic accidental suicide of their singer guitarist, the dropping of the roman numerals for a straightforward album title, showing the band members on the cover, breaking away from their long time producer and so on.

I personally think this is a pretty groovy album. I like the time period (I'm a fan of the 1970's in popular culture), I enjoy the mood of the album, which is slick, but also quite sombre. It's an adult album, like Chicago albums usually are. It might not be as inovative as earlier stuff, but it's a solid piece by real professionals.

Like I said in my title, this is a good album to just kick back and listen to. Close your eyes and relax after a long day at work, have a cold or warm beverage and just let the music wash over you.
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By S. C. Trump on 24 Nov 2012
Format: Audio CD
This Rhino reissue includes some interesting notes regarding the recruitment of guitarist Donnie Dacus in the aftermath of the tragic death of founder member and lead guitarist Terry Kath in a shooting accident. The band evidently knew Dacus was the right person for them - but he only lasted for two albums (this one and the following album 13).

The precence of Dacus is felt on some of the best tracks on the album. Opening up with James Pankow's superb 'Alive again' (unusual for James - his songs usually closed Chiagos albums) the catchy intro leads to an upbeat Peter Cetera led vocal with Dacus also contributing a 'talk box' guitar solo. 'Greatest love of all' is a lovely ballad co-written by drummer Danny Seraphine and another Cetera vocal features. Much more stroppy is 'Little Miss lovin', a Peter Cetera written song with backing vocals from none other than the Bee Gees who were recording their 'Spirits having flown' album at the same studio. Robert Lamms wonderful, multi tempo title track follows next with Dacus providing a superb guitar solo to counter Roberts lead vocal. It's just a great track with so many different sound textures. Also featuring Dacus's guitar is 'Take a chance' which closed the original side one of a very strong first side to this album. 'Gone, long gone' is a another staple Cetera track which is followed by, for me, the worst track on the album; the extremely dischordant 'Ain't it time' co-written by Dacus - one to skip! The narrative 'Love was new' is a lovely understated Robert Lamm track well sung by its writer - I love the lines about remembering the first Christmas together - very nostalgic. 'No tell lover' is one of those well known Chicago songs that is probably well liked but nobody's particular favourite.
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A Kid's Review on 18 Jan 2011
Format: Audio CD
Another of my teenage faves.The title track has a nicely-sustained instrumental break in 7/4 and the horn sectioning is brilliant throughout. I feel as a group they should have made more of this than the routine rocker/air guitar bit.(I suspect cloth ears at their record company precluded this). I notice they've been touring with Earth Wind and Fire. With Incognito as the 3rd corner of the magic triangle, horn-enhanced good songwriting is stuill hanging tight. The ballads here epitomise the feel of love affairs at the time,and the title track the backwash of a questing idealism that may return with the current generation, and that's important documentation.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mr. A. W. Riggs on 1 Jun 2007
Format: Audio CD
By the time of this release Chicago had thrown in the towel as purveyors of innovative music and became a schlock MOR band - they never reached the heights of the early 70s and this record is ALL you will for this statement to be validated.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 25 reviews
29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Chicago Survives a Tragedy 14 Jun 2003
By Rik22 - Published on
Format: Audio CD
"Hot Streets" is a solid effort by the great American group, and an impressive achievement considering what the band had experienced in 1978, the year of it's release. When founding member and guitarist Terry kath was killed in a gun accident at the beginning of the year, the group found itself at a crossroads, deciding whether or not to stay together.
Thankfully, they picked themselves up and chose to forge ahead. Numerous auditions for a replacement on guitar (although no one copuld ever really replace the great Terry Kath) resulted in Chicago bringing in Stephen Stills protege Donnie Dacus. Not a perfect fit, as the band would discover, but Donnie is an interesting and unique stylist in his own right and did help the group through a troubled time with good energy and solid vocals and musicianship.
"Hot Streets" opens with trombonist James Pankow's "Alive Again", and uptempo tune with a rock edge that was a top twenty hit. "Alive Again" displays, however, the flaw with this recording: producer Phil Ramone. Ramone is certainly an accomplished producer with solid credits, but his fine work with the likes of Billy Joel and Paul Simon did not translate well for Chicago.
While James William Guercio produced Chicago's previous nine studio recordings with a minimum of effects and a great deal of creative stereo mixing, Ramone opted for a lot of reverb and a more compressed sound. Now, in 2003, with "Chicago Transit Authority" through "Chicago XI" still standing the test of time and sounding fresh, "Hot Streets" has a dated sound. The band pretty much sounds like they're playing in a giant tin can, which is unfortunate since the performances and some of the songwriting are truly excellent.
Ramone's approach to the guitar mix and vocal arrangements is also lacking. On "Alive Again", Dacus' guitar solo can barely be heard in the mix, when it should be blazing away over the rhythm sections' excellent track. Throughout the disc, Peter Cetera and Donnie Dacus, both fine vocalists with distinctive tenors, sound like the Chipmunks, with the vocals placed in a very high range with little bottom support from Robert Lamm's baritone.
There are some truly high points on "Hot Streets". The title track is one of Chicago's all-time best recorded songs and finds the group experimenting with some unique time signatures. Written by Robert Lamm, the tune features Walt Parazaider on an inspired flute solo in 7/4 time and a guitar solo section at the end in 5/4 time. Throughout, Danny Seraphime's drumming is simply fantastic. In fact, Danny shines on every track on the disc, literally soloing on drums on every tune and dislays cutting edge chops and unparallelled talent for melodic fllls. And, to Phil Ramone's credit, Danny's drums never sounded better in terms of mix and sound.
Donnie Dacus does a reat job on guitar on his tune "Take a Chance". His style is nothing like Kath's, but his very unique percussive approach to the instrument and nice use of syncopation is actually pretty cool.
Other highlights include "No Tell Lover" and "Gone Long Gone", two melodic gems from Peter Cetera.
The bonus track on this re-issue is simply a version of Robert Lamm's latin-tinged "Love Was New" featuring Donnie Dacus on lead vocal instead of Robert Lamm. Mildly interesting.
While "Hot Steets" may not be definitive Chicago, it is still an important release from the legendary band as it shows the group in a critical time of transition, successfully survivng a death in the famliy with the founding members showing great dedication to their craft and to their legion of fans in their decision to continue on.
The disc is essential for anyone interested in the group's history and legacy. Save for the lackluster production as noted herein, "Hot Steets" is a fine release from Chicago and a worthwhile purchase.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Exceptional Album by Stellar Band 6 Oct 2003
By "perplexion" - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I've always felt Donnie Dacus got a bad rep. His vocals on this album are crisp and tight and his guitar style, while a departure from that of the late Terry Kath, works for this particular album.
The remixed version sounds so much crisper & cleaner than the original CD releases by Columbia and later Chicago records. The one thing that shines through on all of the Rhino remasters is Peter Cetera's exceptional bass playing. Known for his stellar stratospheric vocals, Peter's bass talents were often overlooked. The rhythm section is just as tight with Cetera, Seraphine, Olivera and Dacus as it was with Cetera, Seraphine, Olivera and Kath.
The title track really showcases the songwriting talent of Robert Lamm, the guitaristry of Donnie Dacus, and features a flute solo by Walt Parazaider that harkens back to his flute solo during "It Better End Soon" from the "Live at Carnegie Hall" album and left me begging for more.
Other stand-out moments on this fantastic album are Lamm's piano chops on the song "Gone Long Gone," Dacus all out wail and driving rhythm on "Ain't it Time," the fantastic vocal interplay between Cetera and Dacus on the catchy ballad "No Tell Lover," and the oft-overlooked vocals and guitar solo on the much underrated "Take a Chance."
Unfortunately this album is marred by a substandard bonus track, an alternate vocal version of "Love Was New" featuring Dacus on vocals instead of Lamm. Dacus is an exceptional singer and had he sung in his normal range it may have actually worked, his breathy falsetto really doesn't work for the song at all (the original album version of this song with Lamm's vocals is far superior). The other half strike (only a half-strike because some may see this as a plus not a minus) against this album is that it sounds decidedly dated as compared to some of the other albums in Chicago's back catalog.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Great Latter-Day Materail! 25 Sep 2003
By Andre' S Grindle - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Chicago survive the death of guitarist Terry Kath well as
new recruit Donny Dacus proves himself a funkier,more rhythmic
player for the most part of the majestic pop rocker "Alive Again"
,the jazzy funk-rock of the tital cut and the oddball closer
"Show Me The Way".And with another great Cetera ballad in
"No Tell Lover" to top off on,who can complain?I own this so I
18 of 24 people found the following review helpful
The Band's Lowest Point 4 April 2005
By Bill Fleck - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
They'd just split with long-time producer/mentor James William Guercio when guitarist Terry Kath accidentally shot himself. The rest of the band thought about packing it in. TONIGHT SHOW bandleader Doc Severensin talked them out of it.

They auditioned for Kath's replacement. They picked Donnie Dacus, former Steve Stills session-man and HAIR co-star. Rhino Records has recently released a remastered version of the results. Sad to say, time hasn't been kind. HOT STREETS gets my vote as the worst Chicago album. The production is often tinny, and many of the tunes wouldn't warrent a B-side.

Dacus traditionally shoulders much of the blame. And, yeah, I have to admit that I've done my share of Dacus-bashing in the past. But, truth be told, no one could've replaced Terry Kath in Chicago in that situation successfully (Bill Champlin said recently that he was called the day after Kath's death, but--wisely?--turned down the offer). This is not to say that I don't believe Dacus has his faults. His singing is strained, and his lyrics aren't good. But his guitar playing isn't as awful as reviewers like me may have lead you to believe. I guess it was tough for a Chicago fan to shake off the shock of losing Kath, and Dacus became the natural whipping-boy because he was no Terry (and because he was there). So, 27 years later, I'll finally accept what happened and move on. Here endeth my penance.

Dacus can't bear all of the blame for what's wrong with this album anyway. HOT STREETS features some weak work from the Chicago vets. Songs such as "Gone Long Gone," "Take a Chance," and "Show Me the Way" indicate that Lee Loughnane, Pete Cetera, and Dan Seraphine were battling creative demons (and, as the liner notes indicate, various addictions, too). Robert Lamm's "Love was New" is equally as bad. Dacus contributes "Ain't It Time"; while he pens a decent guitar riff, the song is done in by a weird melody and bad lyrics.

There are some good things happening. Jimmy Pankow's "Alive Again" and Cetera's "Little Miss Lovin'" are worth a listen, even though Phil Ramone's lite-rock production emasculates them. "No-Tell Lover" is a decent ballad, as is "The Greatest Love on Earth" (admittedly, not for all tastes). And Lamm's title track, though not one of my favorites, showcases some good horn lines and a decent Dacus guitar solo.

The bonus track is an alternate take on "Love Was New," featuring Dacus on vocals (Lamm sings the released version). The liner notes for this edition are well done, though perhaps too enthusiastic about the resultant work.

Your enjoyment of HOT STREETS will, of course, depend on your taste. It's certainly not the worst record ever made. On the other hand, fans like me, who like the heavier stuff from Chicago, will probably never consider this set a highlight.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By John P. Foote - Published on
Format: Audio CD
As a devout fan of the original line-up, one cannot imagine what the intense emotions were for the band when they entered the studio to cut this album. But what a TREMENDOUS energy and effort shine through! On the contrary to some other reviews, Chicago XI while sending some prophetic chills down the spine of those who love them stands up well as a 'maintenance' album, Hot Streets comes out of the box 'swinging', as the band channels their many emotions into the best effort they would put forth until '83's stellar XVI comeback. This is perhaps the best showing of the Cetera/Seraphine rhythm section since Chicago III and or VII, and the Robert Lamm compositions are never more complex or tighter (Hot Streets) throughout this late seventies period. This album is ENTIRELY listenable and NOT dated or TIRED as XI certainly is today, a pity the energy evaporated for the XIII and XIV albums. Hot Streets stands as a testimony to the Band's resiliency in the face of unfathomable tragedy, keeps the Mojo (Little Miss Lovin') working and sincere (Terry would be proud) and exemplifies how Chicago could be on top and stay ahead of the game with ALL the Seventie's vast musical evolution
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