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VIII (Expanded) Original recording remastered, Import

3.7 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Nov. 5 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered, Import
  • Label: Rhino-Atlantic
  • ASIN: B00006LJ6Z
  • In-Print Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
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1. Anyway You Want
2. Brand New Love Affair - Part I & II
3. Never Been In Love Before
4. Hideaway
5. Till We Meet Again
6. Harry Truman
7. Oh, Thank You Great Spirit
8. Long Time No See
9. Ain't It Blue?
10. Old Days
11. Sixth Sense (Rehearsal)
12. Bright Eyes (Rehearsal)
13. Satin Doll (Live, 1974)

Product Description

Another release, another #1 album-their fourth in a row! Includes unreleased rehearsal takes of Sixth Sense and Bright Eyes and a live performance of Satin Doll .

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
When this disc was released in 1975, Chicago was at the peak of their popularity. After coming off of the success of the two-disc Chicago VII in which the band which explored true jazz styles while pulling off three great hit singles (Wishing You Were Here, Call On Me & Searchin' So Long) Chicago was criticized for returning to a one-disc format and settling into a pop-rock style. The group released Chicago IX-Greatest Hits later in 1975 which was a huge hit and, in 1976, Chicago X was released which included the meg-hit "If You Leave Me Now".
Thus, this CD is sometimes forgotten in this legendary band's immense catalogue, but it shouldn't be. Although I bought Chicago VIII On vinyl as a kid in 1975, I still pull this disc out often as it is really quite good.
"Old Days" may be Chicago's defining pop radio hit in the 1970's (I know, there are many, so don't shoot me!!) and still sounds great and innovative when it comes on the radio today. The blend of of Tery Kath's distortion power chords kicking open the tune, with the song's incredibly infectious melody, and Peter Cetera's soaring tenor just breezed through everyone's radio in the summer of 1975, at a time when long-since-forgotten bubble gum pop ruled the air. Chicago's "secret weapon", however, separated this tune from everything else that was popular on the radio: drummer Danny Seraphine. Unlike guitarist Terry Kath, who never received proper music industry recognition as a true stylist and innovator on his instrument, Danny has gone down in history as one of rock's all-time great drummers. He appraoched "Old Days" with "no holds barred" and just rips through this song with his incomparable stylistic drum fills.
Danny does some amazing work on the rest of VIII as does the rest of the band.
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Format: Audio CD
Chicago have many albums that are underrated by even their own fanbase (as well as several that are deservedly maligned), but this one has to be their most underrated release of all. Until this Rhino reissue it has suffered from the worst sound quality of any of their albums, but that can only partially account for its reputation.
For me this is the first great single disc the band released. V was a near miss, and VI had some great moments, but this album proved that they didn't need two whole discs to stretch out on to create a masterpiece. "Harry Truman" was a questionable choice for first single, but Robert Lamm's other contributions are very strong, especially the neglected gem "Long Time No See". Terry Kath contributes two very different compositions, the 2 minute ballad "Till We Meet Again" and the 7 minute Hendrix-inspired rocker "Oh Thank You Great Spirit", surely the albums centrepiece, despite the absence of the horn section.
James Pankow's efforts, the chart entries "Brand New Love Affair" and "Old Days" are also superb, the latter one of the last uptempo songs to be a true hit for the band. And generic or not, it's nice to hear Peter Cetera rock out on "Hideaway".
This is definitely high up on my Chicago top ten. And unlike on their reissues of CTA, II, or III Rhino have improved the sound so much that this edition should be the only one you should seriously consider buying. The bonus tracks are a nice addition too.
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Format: Audio CD
Chicago VIII is probably the most overlooked of the Terry Kath-era albums. It was their fourth straight Number One album, but it had the shortest chart run of anything up to this point. Critics viewed it as just more "product" and a lot of fans were probably turned off by a subtle change in the band's sound. While it still sounded like Chicago, this album pretty much does away with the experimentalism they had been known for when they started out. Still, Chicago VIII shows definite signs of artistic growth (despite what the critics said). There is a good mix of everything from R&B to hard rock to ragtime to string-drenched balladry. Songs like "Hideaway" and "Oh Thank You Great Spirit" were probably a bit heavy for the average Chicago fan's taste (I can't even imagine what someone who came on board in the 80's would think!). "Harry Truman" and "Long Time No See" employed the horns in ways that were very different from the by-then traditional "Chicago Horns" style. And, most surprisingly, "Hideaway", "Till We Meet Again", and "Oh Thank You Great Spirit" had no horns at all. Overall, VIII is a good album, but it definitely reflects the fact that Chicago was a very tired band (they had been touring or recording almost constantly for the past 7 years or so). There is a certain mellowing of the band, which actually started with VI and continued on VII. But, hey, it was the mid 70's, after all. Even Zeppelin mellowed out.
Tired or not, Chicago was definitely on a creative roll. They were often unfairly labeled as "slick" or "uninspired" because it was almost too easy for them to turn out great music. Standout tracks on VIII are "Hideaway", "Harry Truman", "Oh Thank You Great Spirit", "Ain't it Blue?", and the #5 hit "Old Days". But all of the songs are of good quality.
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