Disco de Chicago - The Very Best of Chicago: Only the Beginning
|Información del disco :|
||The Very Best of Chicago: Only the Beginning
Fecha de Publicación:2002-07-02
Análisis - Product Description :
Out-of-print in the US. Subtitled - Only The Beginning. Double disc with 39 hit singles spanning Chicago's complete 35-year history. Including the #1 singles 'If You Leave Me Now,' 'Hard To Say I'm Sorry' and 'Look Away'. Booklet features detailed liner notes by Bill DeYoung. Rhino Records
Análisis - Amazon.com :
From the perspective of 15 subsequent platinum albums and 20 top-10 hits, it's hard to imagine that Chicago began their career as a bona fide prog-fusion act, an early FM radio favorite whose jazz-tinged, album-length suites found them a hip cult following even as they confounded label execs. Ironically, when the pioneering horn band (a contemporary of Blood, Sweat & Tears and inspiration for one-hit wonders like Lighthouse, Ides of March, and Ten Wheel Drive) relented and allowed their music to be edited down to single length, their success was explosive. Most of the "single edits" on disc 1 of this 39-track anthology provide ample evidence of that de facto formula: a catchy riff ("25 or 6 to 4," "Saturday in the Park," "Color My World") develops into a hook-filled, pop-savvy production rife with the band's trademark horn perfection. One could argue that that sensibility--and a midcareer tilt toward producer David Foster, songwriter Diane Warren, and the MOR ballads that became some of their biggest successes--degenerated into formula. Indeed, there's much on the second disc to support that notion. This set spans it all, showcasing newly refocused edits of some their biggest early hits and lesser-known tracks like their lively '95 cross-cultural collaboration with the Gipsy Kings on a cover of Louis Prima's swing classic "Sing, Sing, Sing." --Jerry McCulley
146 personas de un total de 149 encontraron útil la siguiente opinión:
- + 1/2 stars: Excellent Compilation, But...
Don't throw out your copy of the 4-disc Portraits box set just yet. While Rhino does a terrific job of distilling Chicago's career from their 1969 debut (before shortening their name from Chicago Transit Authority) through their final Top 40 hit in 1991 ("Chasin' the Wind"), I do find fault with some of Rhino's decisions.
For starters, only 34 of the band's 35 Top 40 hits are here. Missing is 1975's "Harry Truman," which went to No. 13. Also, unlike 1991's box set, several of these songs are edits. Granted, if you remember these songs from AM radio, you won't notice the difference. These are, after all, the single versions of these songs. So on songs like "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" the piano introduction has been deleted. "Beginnings" has the percussion at the end edited out. "I'm a Man" does not include the drum and percussion interlude.
Other than that, this is a well chosen and thorough collection. Where the box set only covered the band's history through 1980, Rhino brings the band's history up to date with the inclusion of their thirteen hits from the Eighties and Nineties. The set conlcudes with the Louis Prima standard "Sing, Sing, Sing" which Chicago performed with the Gipsy Kings on their 1995 album Night & Day: Big Band. In addition, the 16-page booklet is informative, if not somewhat brief when you consider the band's 30-plus year history. [Note: When Columbia released the Portraits box set, it included an extensive booklet; the current Chicago Records version now in print contains no booklet at all.]
At any rate, this anthology will make redundant the three current greatest hits collections. If you're a fan of the hybrid music Chicago helped create by adding a full-time horn section to a rock band and you're still listening to your worn out vinyl records, this collection is a no-brainer. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Jason Stein (San Diego, CA United States) - 08 Julio 2002
30 personas de un total de 32 encontraron útil la siguiente opinión:
Once again, I must give my explanation of compilation packages. They are not designed for fans who have all the cds from the artist. A good package will include all the artist's top 40 hits plus key album cuts. "The Very Best Of: Only The Beginning" gets a high mark for including all of Chicago's top 40 hits with the exception of "Harry Truman". The five non-hits, though not what Chicago enthusiasts would select, are fine additions to this compilation. All tracks are digitally remastered, which is a plus on the 1969-1980 material, and a nice enhancement of the 1982-1991 material. I particularly liked Chicago's version of The Spencer Davis Group's "I'm A Man". For anyone who grew up in the 1970's, or like myself, the 1980's, this compilation is filled with memories. Unfortunately, as is documented here, Chicago became a slickly produced ballad factory beginning with "Chicago 16", but not glaringly apparent until "Chicago 18". At any rate, the power ballad never sounded so good. I think only Toto could rival Chicago for power ballad excellence (they need a two disc compilation!) This is a great way to introduce kids to a great band, or a great way to condense a collection on to cd, digitally remastered. Listening to this compilation just reminds me of the pitiful state of top 40 radio today. I can only think of the band Cake, offhand, that uses brass in their music currently. Rhino Records does a nice packaging job. I liked how they displayed all the album covers under the cd tray, and how they give track information in the cd jacket. The liner notes were nothing special, just brief career overview. All in all, the best two disc Chicago compilation under one roof thus far.
21 personas de un total de 23 encontraron útil la siguiente opinión:
- Career-Spanning Chicago Set Sure To Make You Smile
Chicago's 35-year history is essentially that of two bands. The seven piece rock into pop group spent the 1970s touring nearly endlessly, scoring five straight #1 albums featuring Top 10 songs written by nearly all its members: trombonist James Pankow (the wedding ballad "Color My World," "Just You and Me," "I've Been Searching So Long,") trumpeter Lee Loughnane ("Call On Me," ) and keyboard player and acknolwedged group leader Robert Lamm ("Beginnings," "Questions 67 and 68.") Bassist Peter Cetera's high, emotional voice, showcased on lush ballads like "If You Leave Me Now" and the exquisite "Baby What a Big Surprise," became the group's calling card. After 1982's huge, welcome comeback hit "Hard To Say I'm Sorry," the group scored a second set of similar weepy power ballads sung mostly by Bill Champlin ("Look Away," "I Don't Want To Live Without Your Love," "Hard Habit To Break")
"Only The Beginning" covers this uneasy mix with typical, professional Rhino Records quality. Hearing "Now More Than Ever" back on the group's debut hit "Make Me Smile" refreshes that classic, and the group's early hits that follow recall how groundbreaking their sound was its first years. You get songs escaping previous one-disc hit collections ("Free," "Lowdown," "I'm A Man,") while others ("Beginnings," "Dialogue," butchered on the group's second greatest hits set from 1981) trim to managable lengths from the group's sometimes self-indulgent song suites (the band itself help produce and mix this set).
Cetera's acrimonious 1985 departure (replaced by the equally capable Jason Scheff) saw Chicago de-emphasize its horn strength and settle into a thudding synthesized ballad style which refueled many 1970s bands (Heart, the unmasked KISS). Produced by Ron Nevison, written mostly by Diane Warren, "We Can Last Forever" runs into "What Kind of Man Would I Be?" into "Chasing The Wind" until you turn up the sound seeing if Walter Parazaider or any band brassman even showed for the sessions. These songs, welcome when hits against the dance and girl group pop of the time, wear thin one against another. The group's rendition of Benny Goodman's "Sing Sing Sing" from 1995's "Night and Day" CD eases the tension and brings Chicago's story full circle. (That story, documented in Bill DeYoung's liner notes, glosses over the death of guitarist Terry Kath, and the circumstances of Cetera's departure and that of drummer Danny Seraphine in 1990.)
Chicago IX, its first best-of, remains the defintive timepiece of the first group incarnation and one of the 1970s best such sets. All those songs are included here, many expanded. Take what songs touched you from the rest and you're left with a recommended, not quite essential, collection from one of rock's least publicized yet Hall of Fame worthy survivor's stories.
johnr1note (Tinley Park, IL United States) - 26 Enero 2004
15 personas de un total de 17 encontraron útil la siguiente opinión:
- Great Band, Great Songs, but somthing's wrong here . . .
I'm a big fan of Chicago -- I wore out my vinyl albums as a youth, and played trombone in a "cover band" in high school that performed many Chicago arrangements. To be blunt, I lived for this music. I looked forward to the release of this compilation, as I had very little of Chicago's music on CD.
While the tune selection is great, and the trip down memory lane was most pleasant, there are two big disappointments.
First, many of the songs are edited down, the "radio" versions of the hits. i understand redacting "Make Me Smile" and "Colour My World," but "Beginnings" without the percussion break? "I'm a Man" without the drum solo? "Dialouge" whittled down? I can't see why they didn't include the album versions of all of these songs.
Second, the digital "remastering" of several of these tracks nearly ruined them. I knew these songs like the back of my hand, and to hear them with the balance and tonal settings radically altered in some instances was very unsettling. it made things sound almost cheap. Definitely not an improvement.
So if you're a devoted Chicago fan, I guess we should be glad its "Only the Beginning," because while I always enjoy thier music, this compilation left things a little flat.
Análisis de usuario - 13 Agosto 2004
8 personas de un total de 8 encontraron útil la siguiente opinión:
- Great Songs, Great Sound, Great Title
While not as influential as The Beatles and The Beach Boys or as notorious as The Rolling Stones, Chicago still managed to sell millions of records and become on the best known rock and roll bands of all time. And when you reach the level of success that Chicago has reached, countless unnecessary and incomplete hits collections are bound to pop up every so often. Fans were angry over these shoddy, single - disc sets but not angry enough to fork over the pricey boxed set. Rhino Records solved that problem in 2002 with "The Very Best Of Chicago: Only The Beginning", a 2 - cd set with nearly all their top 40 singles plus some nice obscurities.
Disc 1 contains all the big hits from their early years, 1970 - 1976. Chicago was a 7 - piece group of talented singers (most notably Peter Cetera), musicians (Danny Seraphine and Cetera are underrated; their rhythm work is excellent) and songwriters. Their blend of jazz, blues and rock was unique at the time but people took to it immediately, enabling the group to fire off a string of radio - friendly pop hits that were always fresh and different. Chicago alwasy opeened up themselves up to new sounds; their music ranged from hard rockers ("25 Or 6 To 4"), midtempo, poppish numbers ("Make Me Smile", "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is", "Beginnings", "Saturday In The Park") and tender love songs and ballads ("Wishing You Were Here", "Colour My World", their first number one "If You Leave Me Now"). Believe it or not, these were just a few of the songs that launched Chicago into the pop music stratosphere.
Disc 2 begins with "Old Days", a 1974 song that should've been on disc one but makes for a nice opener. This is followed by the gorgeous 1977 smash ballad "Baby, What A Big Surprise". This song effectively ended Chicago's first hit streak. "Take Me Back To Chicago" featured Chaka Khan and was a nice song, but missed the top 60. Group member Terry Kath accidently accidently shot and killed himself in 1978. Though badly shaken by his passing, the group pressed on. 1978's "Hot Streets" was a commercial disappointment. The top 20 singles, the disco - tinged "Alive Again" and the gorgeous "No Tell Lover", were hits but not big ones. It seemed Chicago was quickly going downhill. Then in 1982, Peter Cetera wrote the lovely ballad "Hard To Say I'm Sorry". Whymost didnt care for it, it was insisted that they record it and song went all the way to number one. With their fame bck to its old status, Chicago was criticized their old jazz/rock sound for more romantic, commercial ballads (I wouldn't call them power ballads, they more soft rock with a bit of an edge). And some people must have liked "Hard Habit To Break", "You're The Inspiration", "Will You Still Love Me", "I Don't Wanna Live Withut Your Love", "Look Away" (another number one single), "You're Not Alone" and "What Kind Of Man Would I Be", since they all became top 10 hits. This set closes with a nice, contemporary update of the Louis Prima song "Sing, Sing, Sing", a collaboration with the Gypsy Kings.
Some fans may complain tht, even though it's a high - quality compilation, that many tracks are missing. I personally would have liked to have seen the lone top 40 hit (Billboard # 13) missing, the odd tribute "Harry Truman". Other fans may have wanted to seen minor hits like "Brand New Love Affair", "Thunder And Lightning", "What You're Missing", "Niagra Falls" and "Hearts In Trouble". But in the end, if I may quote a line from "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is", "does anybody really care"?