Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Chicago The Chicago Transit Authority

The Chicago Transit Authority is the eponymous debut album by the Chicago-based rock band The Chicago Transit Authority, who would later be known as Chicago. It was recorded and released in 1969.

Upon the band's 1967 inception, they were initially called "The Big Thing", eventually taking on the moniker The Chicago Transit Authority when producer James William Guercio took them on in 1968. Fusing brass and jazz with a soulful rock and roll feel was their trademark and Guercio instinctively felt that their sound would prove successful, lobbying for his label to give them a shot.

The Chicago Transit Authority were signed to Columbia Records late that year and recorded their debut in late January. While Guercio had recently produced Blood Sweat and Tears' second album (which proved to be a huge smash), he did so to raise capital for his band. By the end of The Chicago Transit Authority's sessions, it was clear that the album would have to be a double. Very skeptical, seeing as the band had no track record, Columbia only agreed to the concept if the group would take a royalty cut.

Side one

1. "Introduction" (Terry Kath) – 6:35
2. "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" (Robert Lamm) – 4:35
3. "Beginnings" (Lamm) – 7:54

Side two

1. "Questions 67 and 68" (Lamm) – 5:03
2. "Listen" (Lamm) – 3:22
3. "Poem 58" (Lamm) – 8:35

Side three

1. "Free Form Guitar" (Kath) – 6:47
2. "South California Purples" (Lamm) – 6:11
3. "I'm A Man" (Jimmy Miller/Steve Winwood) – 7:43

Side four

1. "Prologue, August 29, 1968" (James William Guercio) – 0:58
* Actual field recording of protesters chanting "The whole world's watching!" during the 1968 Democratic Convention
2. "Someday (August 29, 1968)" (Lamm/James Pankow) – 4:11
3. "Liberation" (Pankow) – 14:38
* A live in-studio performance with no overdubs

* Peter Cetera - bass, vocals
* Terry Kath - guitar, vocals
* Robert Lamm - keyboards, vocals
* Lee Loughnane - trumpet, vocals
* James Pankow - trombone
* Walter Parazaider - saxophone, woodwinds, vocals
* Danny Seraphine - drums

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