On this day in music history: May 14, 1984 – “Chicago 17”, the seventeenth album by Chicago is released. Produced by David Foster, it is recorded at The Lighthouse in North Hollywood, CA, The Record Plant in Los Angeles, CA and Sunset Sound Studios in Hollywood, CA from Mid 1983 – Early 1984. Hitting the reset button on their career with “Chicago 16”, Chicago look to continue their new found success. Though the other band members are pleased with their renewed popularity, there also comes a dramatic shift in Chicago’s creative dynamic. With producer David Foster at the helm, greater focus is put on bassist and vocalist Peter Cetera and keyboardist and vocalist Bill Champlin. In their first era, Robert Lamm and James Pankow had a more dominant creative presence. They find their roles diminished further as Foster brings in additional musicians including Jeff Porcaro (Toto), John Robinson (Rufus), Carlos Vega (James Taylor) (drums), Paul Jackson, Jr., Michael Landau (guitars), and Paulinho Da Costa (percussion). Cetera dominates the album, vocally as well as co-writing five songs, with Lamm and Pankow co-writing one and two songs respectively. Though some long time fans are not happy with the decidedly slicker, more polished sound, it wins them a whole new fan base. “17” spins off four singles including “Stay The Night” (#16 Pop), “Hard Habit To Break” (#3 Pop and AC), “You’re The Inspiration” (#3 Pop, #1 AC) and “Along Comes A Woman” (#14 Pop, #25 AC). It is also released as a video album on laserdisc (two music videos, w/ the audio of the full album). Though it earns a pair of Grammy nominations and becomes Chicago’s biggest selling album, it also marks the end of Peter Cetera’s tenure in the band. The animosity created by Cetera becoming the public’s focus point, as well as taking more creative control, comes to a head in the Summer of 1985. He tells his band mates that he is not interesting in touring, but wants to record as a solo artist, and remain a member of Chicago. The other members flatly refuse, leading to Peter Cetera to quit after nearly eighteen years in the band. Sadly, the bad feelings between Cetera and his former band mates last to this day. The bassist refusing to perform at or attend the ceremony, when Chicago are finally inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 2016. Their first album to be simultaneously released on CD along with the vinyl and cassette formats, it is remastered and reissued in 2006, with one additional bonus track. It is also released as a high resolution SHM-CD by WMG Japan in 2010, with Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab reissuing it as a 24K gold CD in 2011. Out of print on vinyl since 1989, it is reissued as a 180 gram LP by Friday Music. “Chicago 17” peaks at number four on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 6x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: April 28, 1969 – “Chicago Transit Authority”, the debut album by the Chicago Transit Authority is released. Produced by James William Guercio, it is recorded at Columbia Recording Studios in New York City from January 27 – 30, 1969. Formed in 1967, the band are originally known as The Big Thing before changing their name to the Chicago Transit Authority in 1968. That same year, they meet record producer James William Guericio who also becomes their manager, helping them to secure a deal with Columbia Records. Relocating to Los Angeles, CA, they go through months of intensive rehearsals and writing sessions, before going to New York in early 1969 to record their first album. Recorded in just three days, they will have enough material for not only one, but two albums. CBS initially balks at the idea of releasing a two record set on new band. Insistent on releasing the album as it was originally conceived, the band and Guericio have to agree to take a cut in royalty payments, as well as allow the label to price the album at a slightly lower rate, than the normal list price for a double LP set. Once released, the twelve track double album initially gets off to a slow start, but finds success through heavy touring and support, from FM underground radio. It spins off four singles including “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?” (#7 Pop) and “Beginnings” (#7 Pop). Reissued numerous times since its original release, most recently the album is remastered and reissued as a limited edition hybrid SACD by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab. “CTA” is also reissued as a 180 double vinyl LP by Rhino in 2010 (along with a DVD-A disc featuring the original quadraphonic stereo mix in DTS surround sound), and by Friday Music in 2015. “Chicago Transit Authority” peaks at number seventeen on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
Help support the Behind The Grooves music blog with a donation by clicking on the link at:PayPal.Me/jharris1228
(Original Caption) 12/10/1955 – Sugar Ray Robinson and his wife, Edna, radiate smiles as they look over the newspaper stories and pictures of Sugar’s great victory over Bobo Olson in Chicago last night. Sugar, a 3-1 underdog, won back his middleweight championship title from Olson with a clean knockout in the second round of the battle at Chicago Stadium.
On this day in music history: March 24, 1975 – “Chicago VIII”, the eighth album by Chicago is released. Produced by James William Guercio, it is recorded at the Caribou Ranch in Nederland, CO from August – September 1974. The bands eighth album in just six years, compounded by non-stop exhaustive touring finds them short of new material. Many of the new albums songs are written in the studio during the sessions for “VIII”. The album is also the first to feature percussionist Laudir de Oliviera. It spins off three singles including “Old Days” (#5 Pop) and “Harry Truman” (#13 Pop). The original LP package comes with an iron on decal of the album cover art and a poster. It is also released as a quadraphonic stereo LP in 1976, which remains in print only briefly before being discontinued. The album makes its CD debut as a Japanese import in 1987, not being released in the US until 1993. In 2002, the album is remastered and features two previously unreleased tracks recorded during the original sessions but were left off of the original release. In 2009 it is released as an SHM-CD in Japan, in a mini-LP sleeve replicating the original vinyl LP package, including the custom label artwork and miniature versions of the iron on decal and poster. “Chicago VIII” spends two weeks at number one on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
Help support the Behind The Grooves music blog with a donation by clicking on the link at: PayPal.Me/jharris1228
On this day in music history: March 11, 1974 – “Chicago VII”, the seventh album by Chicago is released. Produced by James William Guercio, it is recorded at the Caribou Ranch in Nederland, CO from August – December 1973. Their first double album since “Chicago III” in 1971, the initial intent is to record a heavily jazz influenced album. When disagreements within the band over this direction break out, a compromise is reached, with the jazzier material (favored by Robert Lamm and James Pankow) being combined with more pop/rock oriented songs (favored by Peter Cetera and producer Guercio). It spins off three singles including “Call On Me” (#6 Pop), “(I’ve Been) Searchin’ So Long” (#9 Pop), and “Wishing You Were Here” (#11 Pop), the latter featuring Beach Boys Carl Wilson, Dennis Wilson and Al Jardine on background vocals. Original vinyl LP pressings of the album feature a gatefold sleeve with embossing on the front and back designed to give it the look and feel of hand tooled leather. First reissued on CD in the early 90’s, it is remastered and reissued in 2002 with one bonus track added. “VII” is also reissued on 180 gram vinyl by Friday Music in 2014. “Chicago VII” spends one week at number one on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.