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4.7 out of 5 stars15
4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CDChange
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on 17 February 2004
Back in the 1970’s I had both this double LP and its’ predecessor ‘Chicago Transit Authority’. Through the years both remained firm favourites until my CD collection stared to push the vinyl into the background. Not long ago, on a Boy’s night in, playing my old LP’s, Chicago was rediscovered. Sure the sound was marred by crackles and pops and yes, my old stylus had difficulty keeping faithfully to the transients of Chicago’s brass and percussion sections. But the magic was still there.
What a joy to discover these early albums have now been digitally remastered and, instead of being contained on two LP’s they now come on a single CD. The recordings are clear, just how I remember them , when playing the virgin vinyl discs for the first time. Not only do you get the unabridged LP’s either, with Chicago II you also have two bonus tracks as well. (Both single versions released from the original LP.)
If you had and enjoyed Chicago II, on the original vinyl, do yourself a favour and get a new and invigorated blast by buying these new CD’s. The disc comes with a small booklet, providing you with information about the recording and the whole thing comes in a display sleeve.
If you like brass instruments with your rock. Appreciate a hint of jazz. Do yourself a favour and listen to the Chicago remasters.
22 comments53 of 54 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 7 March 2007
If American Rock music of the late '60's and early '70's is your thing then I'd consider this release an essential addition to your collection. Reining in some of the more wigged out excursions that were on the 'Transit Authority' album, it's a tighter affair and all the better for it.

There's a huge breadth of styles across the album, from ballsy rock to some delicate string arrangements, all threaded together by fine songs, a well-oiled rhythm section and some carefully constructed vocal harmonies.

With the whole original double album plus different edits of two of the tracks released as singles, remastered onto one disc it's an absolute steal at the price. Quality sounds indeed, yes sir !
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on 29 September 2012
This is the first album that I bought of Chicago. It knocked my socks off after hearing it the first time. Wonderful guitar work by the much lamented Terry Kath. Terrific angular horns just add to this great original mix of jazz rock. Very heavy in places, but none the worse for that. It's also balanced beautifully by some lovely songs. I still think that this double album is one of their best ( along with Chicago XII). It still sounds fresh today, and is much better than the power ballad driven Chicago of the 80's, which is where I think they lost their mojo.
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on 19 May 2007
Fabulous exciting music, fabulous exciting crystal clear sound! Chicago were one of the premier jazz rock bands in the early seventies, and among the best American artists along with Jimi Hendrix, CCR and Santana - a must have for any DVD-Audio rock collection - buy it now!
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on 6 February 2001
This album is one of the few great jazz-fusion albums that is best listened to as a whole. As a double-album it consists of a lot of shorter tracks (compared with their debut release 'Chicago Transit Authority') , some which show essence of the classic slow ballad which they are probably better known for as well as some fantastic examples of the big-band feel with a brass section of only 3 players. The sound at times is enormous and right from the outset the energy is full on with Movin In and charges through with a dip into big band , rock,slow jazz-type ballads and some very hippy /flowery tunes like 'Fancy Colours' taking in some early single releases on the way like 'Make me Smile' and 'Colour my World' before reaching the evergreen '25 or 6 to 4' complete with a killer guitar riff that every guitarist is sure to have tried! The 4th side of the double album is dedicated completely to a political concept track in 4 movements entitled 'It Better End Soon'. This was to be a start of many commentary tracks viewing political situations to appear on subsequent albums. If you thought Chicago was all about 'Hard Habit to Break' then you couldn't be more wrong. This is the best place to start discovering the jazz influenced first 10 albums, before it started to go abit 'disco' and more mainstream. Pour a bourbon, sit back and enjoy some fantastic musicianship!
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on 12 March 2012
This is the original and best. Their first recording as Chicago (no Transit Authority). They had become successful, but still had time for the extended tracks for which they are best remembered.
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Another mammoth album for the time, weighing in at well over an hour and another double album at a time when many records struggled to make the 30 minute mark. So was it quality or quantity? Originally entitled simply Chicago, the Roman Numeral was later added as the start of a series. It soon becomes obvious that the jazz/blues/funk influences are still there but perhaps there is a more stylised approach and less self indulgence than on the debut album.

The album gave birth to a number of hit records and band favourites such as Wake Up Sunshine, Make Me Smile and 25 or 6 to 4. There are also a number of extensive individual pieces divided into sub sections. Perhaps more than any other song Make Me Smile nods back to the first album but points to a future when the band would turn towards the hit factory of ballads and more accessible music. It is interesting that the song is part of the Ballet for a Girl in Buchannon suite. There is no doubting that Chicago II is a rambling record but that doesn't necessarily detract from its overall feel which features some very tender moments. There are also hints of classical influences pushing through as well in a nicely rounded record that is every bit as good as the band's debut album
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on 6 October 2006
Most people looking at this item are probably familar with the album and other reviews deal with its musical quality. This is just a FYI to point out that the DVD-A has 3 mixes on it 24 bit surround, 24 bit stereo and 5.1 surround all of which are excellent.
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on 21 November 2001
Chicago II initially held musicians spellbound by it's sheer tutored talent and production values. It then quickly became apparent to the rest of us that this was a 'must have' in 1970. This was mainly due to the massive impact of "25 or 6 to 4" as a single. It was totally taboo to have horns in a rock band it this time. The boys blew that little chestnut wide open by demonstrating that you don't need a 19-strong big band to envelope your listener in the most involving, intense and shimmering sound-cloud. The songs are utterly brilliant examples of pop culture writing and the horn arrangements put contporaries like Blood, Sweat and Tears to shame. Buy this and learn why your parents know Puff Daddy (or whatever he's called this week) is boring, boring, boring.
0Comment3 of 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
If you like Chicago then you should have this one as it's a classic. The remastered version is a good one.
0Comment1 of 1 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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