Chicago’s Crowning Glory

I didn’t intend for it to be quite so long between entries, but we seem to have been busier lately. The next album in my ripping schedule was Chicago 17.
This album was released in 1984, and was their most popular and successful album ever. I believe that, currently, it has gone platinum seven times. It had four top twenty hits. “Stay the Night” reached 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and 7 on the mainstream rock chart. “Hard Habit To Break” (my personal favorite of Chicago’s ballads), reached number 3 on Billboard Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary. “You’re the Inspiration” reached number 3 on Billboard Hot 100 and 1 on Adult Contemporary. “Along Comes A Woman” reached number 14 on Billboard Hot 100, 10 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks, and 25 on Adult Contemporary. The album reached number 4 on the The Billboard 200. Other good songs on the album included “Remember the Feeling” and “Once In A Lifetime.”

It would be Peter Cetera’s last album with the group. I still believe that was a mistake for him.

Here’s a youtube clip of the official music video for “Hard Habit to Break.” It looks like someone recorded it from MTV. But it’s not terrible.

And, just for grins, here’s the official video for “Stay the Night.” It looks pretty silly in 2012.


Chicago 17 was followed up, of course, by Chicago 18. No surprises there, eh?

(I guess that’s the bottom of a swimming pool?) This one was released in 1986, and was the first album without bassist/lead singer Peter Cetera. He was replaced by Jason Scheff (and, frankly, I couldn’t tell the difference). The album had marginal success, but was disappointing after the “smash-hitiness” of Chicago 17. The album only reached 35 on the charts, and had three singles. “If She Would Have Been Faithful,” a different kind of take on a relationship, reached number 17, but “Will You Still Love Me” made it to number 3. The unnecessary remake of “25 or 6 to 4” only reached number 48. Here’s a video of “Will You Still Love Me.”


On from ripping to more of the albums/songs featured in Tom Moon’s 1000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die. First up is a song (if you want to call it that) called “Planet Rock” by Afrika Bambaataa and the Soul Sonic Force. It’s a cool group name, I have to give them that. But the song, itself, I didn’t find all that interesting. It was mostly rhythm and shouting. It was released in 1986, and categorized as Hip-Hop. The caption for the article says, “Hot Enough to Rock the Planet.” Meh. Apparently, according to Moon’s article, they sampled heavily from Kraftwerk’s “Trans-Europe Express.” Here’s a youtube clip of the song.

This made me laugh. They look like a mash-up of The Village People and Funkadelic.


The next album was, in my opinion, much better. But remember…this is all opinion. Next up was “The Band” by…The Band. Released in 1969 on Capitol Records, this album was chock full of hits. The caption for the article simply says, “Come Hear the Band.”
The first sentence in this article: “It’s as if an itinerant old-time medicine show somehow skipped a few generations, pulled off a two-lane Arkansas highway in 1910, and woke up in 1968, with its remaining potions turned to hallucinogens.” For key tracks, Moon says, “All of them.” I pretty much have to agree. However, my favorites are probably everyone else’s favorites, too. “Rag Mama Rag,” “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” (I think this was Joan Baez’s biggest hit), “Up On Cripple Creek,” and “Whispering Pines.” That’s about half of the album. It’s a wonderful journey back to a simpler time (that I actually remember, mind you, thanks to the fact that I did NOT participate in above-referenced hallucinogens). Here’s a video clip (home-made) of “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.”


That’s it for today’s installment. Now it’s on to my devotional blog, Revelling in the Overflowing Grace of God.

TTFN, y’all

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