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II

4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 22.95
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II + Chicago Transit Authority + Aja
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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who is that guy...???? March 2 2004
Format:Audio CD
Oh brother - someone who wants to review an album but obviously has tin ears and no sense of real taste! (Exactly who is Thomas F. Redmond and why would he want to review an album by a band he doesn't like???)
Anyway,this is my favorite Chicago album of all time - and I'm not going to go on and on about every inch of it but I do believe that there are a few things here worth mentioning.
#1 - 25 or 6 to 4. Who can deny this is one of the biggest classics of the early 70's??
#2 - Wake Up Sunshine & Make Me Smile. Really takes off with The late Terry Kath's Joe Cocker-like vocals. Wonderful get up and feel good in the morning songs. (I remember playing these former three in high-school band as a medley - I played drums...too cool!)
#3 - Colour My World. Aside from "We've Only Just Begun, wedding song of the decade. Terry Kath's gruff voice actually make is beautiful.
#4 - In The Country. Another Terry Kath vocal number and just cool. Rocks but not too rock-y - keeps the jazz in "jazz-rock".
There you have it. All the tracks are fab but again - This Chicago album is not for pop-only ears. You will find something new instrumentally every time you listen. Timeless and Classic.
'Nuf said.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 stars - excellent progressive pop album May 6 2004
Format:Audio CD
Chicago (AKA Chicago II.) Chicago's second album, and the first to be released under the name Chicago.
In 1969, the Chicago Transit Authority released their self-titled debut album, which was one of the greatest progressive pop-rock releases of its time. The band gained almost instantaneous fame from its release. Unfortunately, following its release, the actual Chicago Transit Authority (the real life organization that bares that name) threatened legal action if the band didn't change its name. Not wanting to face such heat, the band shortened its name to Chicago. After a good deal of time recording in late 1969, the band released its second, self-titled LP in 1970. Read on for my review of it.
This album can really be divided into four different sections (I'm using the original LP designations for ease of reference.) They are Sides A, B, C, and D. Sides A and C are sets of tracks that follow similar stylings but aren't really related, while sides B and D are medleys. Side A, which is mostly blues-inspired pop rock, starts the album off. I had often wondered how blues rock that implemented horns would sound, and here Chicago answers that question - it sounds damn good! These first few tracks are, for the most part, severely underrated. Side B is the first of the two medleys present on the album. The medley as a whole is known as Ballet For A Girl In Buchanan. Tracks six through twelve make up this medley, and each one fades right into the next. This medley is nothing short of excellent. It includes Make Me Smile, which the band also released as a single. Side C is another set of tracks that aren't really related to one another, but they follow similar stylings. Inside this set of tracks is 25 Or 6 To 4, by far the most popular song to emerge from this LP.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THOUSANDS THOUGHT THIS ALBUM WAS FOR THEM Dec 31 2003
Format:Audio CD
After all this time, Chicago II still remains their best-loved album. While I believe Chicago's first album, Chicago Transit Authority, was in fact a better record, it is not hard to see why most choose this one.
The great horn experiment continues with first side (as it appeared on vinyl) with a good set of songs. "Movin' In", ":The Road", "Poem For The People", "In The Country" and "Wake Up Sunshine". While these songs rarely make it to anyone's "greatest hits" list, they are a solid opening, memorable, and quite well done.
However, it is the series of songs on the second album side (again, as it appeared on vinyl) that cemented Chicago's status as a popular band. Labeled "Ballet for a Girl In Buchanan" suite, we recognize it better as "Make Me Smile". This "suite" is a series of movements which opens with the above mentioned hit and then changes moods through "So Much To Say, So Much To Give", "Anxiety's Moment", "West Virginia Fantasies", "Colour My World", "To Be Free" and finally "Now More Than Ever" which is actually a reprise of "Make Me Smile". Each of these "movements" have their own pacing and moods which build toward the exciting conclusion of "Now More Than Ever". "Colour My World" was a popular single in its own right and frequently was used as a "slow dance" number at parties and weddings because of its dreamy character. For the most part, I advise the casual listener to purchase any one of the "greatest hits" or "retrospective" packages if they wish to have some Chicago in their music library; but "Ballet for a Girl In Buchanan" suite is worth the purchase of Chicago II all by itself.
The rest of Chicago II yields two more excellent songs "Fancy Colors" and "25 Or 6 To 4".
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4.0 out of 5 stars Chicago's excitement was their musical growth Dec 2 2003
Format:Audio CD
Like a lot of these guys writing here (girls never cared much for Chicago in the early 70's), I've been rediscovering some classic rock, and Chicago more than most of these bands NEEDS rediscovering, since they got misplaced somewhere in the 80's. Along the way they turned into a soft-rock band and lost their roots, but most of us remember them as real musical path-setters. It's almost hard to remember how dominant they were, one of the top bands for at least five years.
Many of us played in high school bands and knew something about music. I often compare them to Blood Sweat and Tears, who were the first rock band to feature horns. BS&T had better soloists and covered some great arrangements, they were slicker and more polished than Chicago, more New York, if you will. BS&T brought rock to the music of Broadway and Frank Sinatra, but then along came Chicago, who did their own thing. Here was real rock with brass and saxes to develop the music, adding extra colors and flavors that were often missing (and still are). And many people were VERY grateful. On top of this they had a top-notch drummer in Danny Seraphin, who more than any member helped bring the music to life, and Terry Kath, an exciting guitarist who knew the rock vocabulary and could absolutely burn.
Chicago II was definitely their BEST album. The first one, Chicago Transit Authority, had some good songs and jams. But Chicago II is where the band showed its real promise. They relied less on heavy jams and more on varied tempos and textures. Songs like Movin In, In The Country and the great suite on side 2 showed some arranging genius that tickled and kept you off balance. The biggest hit, 25 of 6 to 4 (has anyone ever learned where the title came from?
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars CHICAGO 2
This is a masterpiece when it comes to big band music. I like all the selections. 'color my world ' is one of my favorites. Read more
Published 3 months ago by JAYR
5.0 out of 5 stars Chicago II
Je ne l'avais pas acheté à l'époque en LP, je suis très content de mon achat, c'est l'album ultime de Chicago.
Published 3 months ago by JMB
5.0 out of 5 stars It was great then but even better now !
What a GREAT CD ; What a GREAT band !! And the bonus cuts take this album to new heights. Love it !
Published 5 months ago by michael nantel
5.0 out of 5 stars Make Me Smile....
Played this to death in the "TeenAge Daze".....circa 1971.
Just listened to it last night for the first time in ages. Read more
Published on Dec 26 2011 by Breadmanwalking
5.0 out of 5 stars great music
What can I say about Chicago that has not been said before
Just hearing Terry Kath sing those wonderful songs is pure
magic. great times
Published on Sept. 3 2011 by rickland
5.0 out of 5 stars Early Chicago
Great album! Includes the single of "25 or 6 or 4". How many versions are there of this song? Anyway, everyone is hot and at the top of their form, even for this second album of... Read more
Published on Oct. 26 2010 by Rudolf Penner
5.0 out of 5 stars Sounds as fresh as the day it was released!
My 19-year-old son came into the house the other day and heard Chicago II and said, "Dad, this is cool. What is this?"
"It's like nothing you've ever heard before," I said. Read more
Published on Aug. 6 2007 by D. J. Hryciuk
5.0 out of 5 stars Complex and varried -- One of Chicago's Best
On the inside liner notes to the album, the band writes, "With this album, we dedicate ourselves, our futures and our energies to the people of the revolution ... Read more
Published on June 29 2004 by Jason P. Gold
4.0 out of 5 stars Chicago in its prime... and when they mattered.
This is Chicago's second album, released in 1970, originally a double (vinyl) album, and released now with historical perspective by the fine folks at Rhino (is there a better... Read more
Published on June 21 2004 by Paul Allaer
1.0 out of 5 stars Ho Hummmmm....
I saw Chicago on TV the other day. They were playing on Entertainment tonight at Hugh Hefner's 50th or 60th anniversary (Who cares anyway) and they looked and sounded more like a... Read more
Published on June 8 2004 by Harlan Brown
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