On this day in music history: June 14, 1976 – …

On this day in music history: June 14, 1976 – “Chicago X”, the tenth album by Chicago is released. Produced by James William Guercio, it is recorded at the Caribou Ranch in Nederland, CO from March – April 1976. Taking a year and a half off from recording, the band return to the studio rejuvenated after a five year long non stop cycle of recording albums followed by extensive tours to support them. The albums biggest hit, the Peter Cetera penned and sung ballad “If You Leave Me Now” (#1 Pop) is nearly left off of the new record. While half of the band like the song, the others feel that the lush string laden track sounds out of place on the album. Producer Guercio overrules the others and it is slotted into the final running order. It becomes Chicago’s first number one pop single, topping the charts in the US and the UK, as well as winning two Grammy Awards including Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals in 1977. The album wins a third Grammy for its iconic cover artwork designed by John Berg of CBS Records’ art department, with the gatefold cover designed to look like a Hershey bar but with the trademark “Chicago®” logo on the front. “X” spins off two other singles including “Another Rainy Day in New York City” (#32 Pop), and “You Are On My Mind” (#49 Pop). It is remastered and reissued on CD in 2003 with two additional bonus tracks. Out of print on vinyl since the late 80’s, it is reissued as a 180 gram LP by Friday Music in 2016. “Chicago X” peaks at number three on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.