I just finished ripping Chicago X. “But wait! Didn’t you forget Chicago IX??” Not exactly. I don’t own Chicago IX. Why? I’m glad you asked. Chicago IX is a “greatest hits” album. I don’t buy “greatest hits” album, unless I don’t already own albums by that artist. What’s the point? I already HAVE all of those songs. And don’t even think about putting one “previously unreleased song” on a “greatest hits” album just to entice me to buy it. It won’t work. Anyway…Chicago X. Chocolate bar.
This was not one of their better albums. I thought there was only one single from this album, “If You Leave Me Now,” which made it to number one. Apparently, though, they released “Another Rainy Day in New York City,” as a single, as well. I don’t remember ever hearing that song on the radio. It made number 32. In my opinion, there really weren’t any other notable songs on the album. Here’s a video clip of the group performing “If You Leave Me Now.”
I can’t tell if this is from a TV show, where they’re lip-syncing, or if it’s a real live performance. But it does seem to be from the seventies…just look at the hair. Hah. I had hair like that, then, too.
Going further into 1000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die, I get to the “B” section. There are various recordings along the way that I are either not available on Rhapsody, or all of the tracks on the recording are not “listenable.” I’ll worry about those later. Yesterday, I listened to an obscure group called “Baby Huey and the Babysitters.” Really. I’m not making that up. And, if you are old enough, like me, when you saw “Baby Huey,” you thought this:
But no! It’s THIS:
Actually, there’s almost a resemblance, isn’t there? The caption in Tom Moon’s article says, “Bigger Than A Footnote.” This was R&B at its finest. Baby Huey could have been found in the club scene in Chicago in the late sixties, belting out R&B like nobody’s business. Says Mr. Moon, “…the four-hundred-plus-pound singer had a voice built for shouting and a gift for crooning intimate soul confessions as well as belting hard rock.” Indeed, Baby Huey could sing a ballad and shriek like a banshee. I found this recording to be very entertaining, and, for the most part, musically tight. Tragically, right after this young man had been discovered and signed by Curtis Mayfield, while his debut album was being produced, he dropped dead in a hotel room. He was only 26 years old.
The author’s key tracks were “Listen To Me,” “Hard Times,” and “A Change Is Gonna Come.” I also appreciated “California Dreamin’,” an instrumental. If I remember correctly, there was another straight instrumental on this recording, as well. It’s a shame he died so young. He could have had a great career. Here is a youtube of “Listen to Me.” (No video…just a picture.”
That’s it for today. Next up for ripping is Chicago XI. That one makes me sad, and I’ll tell you why in our next installment of “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit.” If you are a true Chicago fan, you already know why.