Top positive review
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The Last Great Double
on 20 July 2007
This is the album that got me through my `O' Levels (remember them?) and was accordingly played to death, so it is great to hear it again in pristine condition.
Chicago III is the last great double album in a trilogy of doubles that kick-started Chicago's career way back in the early 1970s. After this came the slow descent into MOR and 1980s balladeering, but it is the first three albums that contain the spirit of Chicago and should be how they are remembered.
What really becomes apparent listening to this album today is the sheer breadth of style and diversity contained within it, something today's bands seem to struggle to produce, almost without exception. In loose terms the four sides of the original vinyl album can be labelled, `Rock', `Jazz', `Folk/Blues' and `Film Soundtrack'. Within these categories we are treated to complex instrumentals, simple acoustic songs, full-blown rock `n' roll with Terry Kath's rampant guitar to the fore and delicate `chamber' music using combinations of brass and woodwind instruments in addition to the usual rock fare.
In addition to the variety and quality of the writing and arrangements, the standard of playing is exceptional. Make no mistake these are talented individuals. Anyone looking for some energetic jazz rock in a variety of forms, look no further than this album and its two predecessors. Those used to `If You Leave Me Now' may be in for a shock!