Chicago “Chicago V”

Posted 30 Jan 2012 in Albums of 1972, Albums of the 70s


Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#617 in the Series) is Chicago, Chicago V

The first time I really started getting into Chicago was with this album Chicago V. The first few albums were a little before my time, and the fourth one, that one was a little too “big” for me. A four album live set with long extended cuts for 12 or 13-year-old, I don’t think so.

Chicago V was just the right album at just the right time for me. It had a nice catchy, short, radio friendly single. That of course would be “Saturday in the Park.”

I clearly remember when this album came out, I also remember a show they did during that time. I remember it because the performance was broadcast live here in Chicago on local rocker WLS. Up to that point I don’t remember hearing many actual live concerts on the radio. So that concert may have very well been the first live show I ever heard. I also remember being jealous because my older sister was in attendance, and I’m not sure if she knew who they were. Looking back at it now was that WLS billed it as a “Homecoming” concert. I clearly remember that. Another thing I remember was that the opening act was The Pointer Sisters. They were hot at the time with their first hit, the Allen Toussaint classic “Yes You Can Can.” If I’m not mistaken their part of the show was broadcast also. I’m sure someone out there remembers this, it was really a big deal at the time.

The other major hit off the album was another Robert Lamm classic, “Dialogue (Parts I +2).  This was an extremely unique song for its time. Have you listened to it lately, really listened to it, the whole thing, the long version, in its entirety? It really is a spectacular piece. Go back and check it out one more time. You’ll be glad you did. Especially listening to it and its lyrics from a different generational standpoint. The lyrics really are timeless.

Once I fell in love with the two hit singles it prompted me to buy the disc. This introduced me to some musical stylings that I really wasn’t familiar with at the time. I had never heard of Varese? So why was Lamm calling the opening number “A Hit By Varese?” These days you could just Google him, back then you had asked questions.

At this point I became a huge Chicago fan. Now was is the time that I did go back and pick up Chicago Transit Authority, plus I, II and III.  The love then continued on through the releases of VI and especially VII. The latter being a real departure but I was ready for it at that point.

In closing, I’d like to tell you about a special project. The late Terry Kath’s sister is working on a documentary about her talented brother. Here’s the facbeook link with more info.

— Larry Carta

Track listing

Side One

  1. “A Hit by Varèse” (Lamm) 4:56
  2. “All Is Well” (Lamm) 3:52
  3. “Now That You’ve Gone” (JP) 5:01
  4. “Dialogue (Part I)” (Lamm) 2:57
  5. “Dialogue (Part II)” (Lamm) 4:13
Side two
  1. “While the City Sleeps” 3:53
  2. “Saturday in the Park” (Lamm) 3:56
  3. “State of the Union” (Lamm) 6:12
  4. “Goodbye” (Lamm) 6:02
  5. “Alma Mater” (Kath) 3:56


  • Peter Cetera – bass, vocals
  • Terry Kath – guitar, vocals
  • Robert Lamm – keyboards, vocals
  • Lee Loughnane – trumpet, flugelhorn, percussion, vocals
  • James Pankow – trombone, percussion
  • Walter Parazaider – woodwinds, percussion
  • Danny Seraphine – drums, congas, antique bells


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Posted by Larry Carta

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