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Chicago Transit Authority

4.7 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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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 (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 132,414 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A Blast from the past. I played this (as an LP) a lot of years ago. Never thought I would be able to buy it on CD. In my early years,as I say, I played this incessantly,as you did in those days. Surprise,surprise, I knew every note when I played the CD.This is the Chicago that I knew,not the current version. One of the top 3 all time biggest selling bands. I doubt that this would ever be recorded today. They went into the studio and pretty much,just laid down these tracks just as they wanted them to be. Generally described as "brass rock" by people who like to have labels on music, this is the definitive sound of a band of misicians on top of their game,doing something they obviously love. Track length varies,depending on how the mood takes them.
Anyhow, I would just say Listen, with your ears, to a masterpiece. Overstating the case? I don't think so.
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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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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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