Considering just how huge this band would become over time, it is interesting to note that their debut album, which is also their strongest and most consistent, was slow to be recognized.
In 1968, Columbia Records already had Blood, Sweat and Tears on their roster, and CTA were seen by the label as something of a ‘duplicate’ of that band. When the band announced that it wanted its debut to be a double album, Columbia only allowed it by cutting the band’s royalties. Of course, double albums (and larger) would become commonplace for Chicago (their named edited after a potential lawsuit from the ‘real’ CTA), and their fame would eclipse not only Blood, Sweat and Tears but just about everyone else as well.
This album never charted higher than #17, but retained its popularity for four years and in its time, was the longest charting album on Billboard. Chicago’s style would change over the years, softening to mush, but on their debut they were a tougher outfit, evoking Jimi Hendrix, covering Stevie Winwood, and adopting the youthful politics of the era.
Featured tracks include:
Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is
Questions 67 and 68
Free Form Guitar
South California Purples
I’m a Man
Prologue, August 29,1968
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