Chicago II – Chicago

The MARK’S VINTAGE VINYL page features something from Mark’s collection of recordings from over the years. Most of it is on vinyl – hence the name – though there will be a few entries from his CDs (remember those?).

Chicago II, by Chicago

  • Second studio album by Chicago, released in 1970.
  • While I haven’t blogged specifically about Chicago yet (I will someday), early music by Chicago is among my all time favorite. My November 8 AWESOME! post featured my picks for the greatest double albums of all time, and Chicago’s debut album was my choice of the #2 greatest of all time (go check out that post after reading this). Chicago II, also a double album, rivals the first album.
  • While their first album was successful, Chicago II is considered their breakthrough, in that 3 songs made it into the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart – Make Me Smile reached #9, Colour My World reached #7 and 25 or 6 to 4 peaked at #4.
  • The album received 3 Grammy nominations, including Album of the Year, but it did not win.
  • The “Chicago” logo has been used in nearly all of their album covers, and it has become iconic. The band would use the logo in various forms. Chicago II is the first album to feature the logo – it is referred to as “silver bar.” Later album covers used the same logo as part of a flag, wood carving, chocolate bar, computer chip, and numerous others clever things. This particular artwork is part of the permanent collection in the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
  • Most of side 2 is a string of 7 songs, collectively called Ballet for a Girl in Buchannon. Two of the songs imbedded in the suite are Make Me Smile and Colour My World. The band often performs the entire suite in concerts, even today, nearly 50 years later. Only thing missing today are the vocals of their guitarist Terry Kath, who died accidentally in 1978 at the age of 31. Here is a 2014 performance – it still has the same amazing horns, with the original 3 men still performing with the band.

 

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