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Chicago - Hot Streets CD (album) cover

HOT STREETS

Chicago

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

2.06 | 28 ratings

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Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer
2 stars CHICAGO's Hot Streets - aka '12' appeared in the (generally) dreaded year of 1978, and it's the first project after former guitarist Terry Kath's fatal accident, shows the band moving ever towards radio-friendly, commercial A.O.R. territory, although the band are firing on all cylinders - their playing is really tight, but the songs are generally shorter and simpler, something which had become a trend since Chicago X. Replacement guitarist Donnie Dacus is a decent player although he's not as versatile, flexible or as inventive as Kath. Nor does he have that great a voice - he borders on the 'teeny-bopper' side of things. Bassist Pete Cetera is becoming an increasingly dominant force at this point, racking up more credits and more lead vocals, and steering the band even further away from its jazzy/brassy inclinations. He also allowed The Bee Gees to contribute backing vocals, but thankfully his playing hasn't suffered. Most songs are not that great to be honest - the absolute rear-end-of-a-donkey award going to the track 'Little Miss Lovin''. I know that sounds harsh, but it just doesn't sit well with me at all. Best track is by far keyboardist Robert Lamm's 'Hot Streets' (easily a 4 star song), the only more complexly structured tune here opening with some funky verses, a wistful chorus, then launching into a 7/8 section with a playful flute solo from Walter Parazaider, back into another verse, then a 5/4 passage with a tasteful, almost spacey guitar solo. Cetera's bass throughout this song is quite impressive. Next best song would have to be 'Take a Chance' - a jazz-pop ditty full of 'feel- good' progressions, credited to trumpeter Lee Loughnane and an outsider. It's graced by Dacus' candy-floss vocals, and features a surprising outburst during the closing passage where the band cut loose, especially drummer Danny Seraphine - something possessed him to hit his china on the 'off' and it sounds great. There was a minor hit with the A.O.R. ballad 'No Tell Lover', quite a pleasant and tranquil tune. The remaining tracks range between rather pedestrian rockers (Alive Again, Gone Long Gone, Ain't It Time, Show Me The Way) and ballads (The Greatest Love On Earth, Love Was New). I'm afraid this one's just for the collector.
Tom Ozric | 2/5 |

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