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CHICAGO 17

Chicago

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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Chicago Chicago 17 album cover
2.60 | 31 ratings | 3 reviews | 13% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 1984

Songs / Tracks Listing

1.Stay the Night (3:49)
2.We Can Stop the Hurtin' ( 4:11)
3.Hard Habit to Break (4:44)
4.Only You (3:53)
5.Remember the Feeling (4:28)
6.Along Comes a Woman (4:14)
7.You're the Inspiration (3:49)
8.Please Hold On (3:41)
9.Prima Donna (4:33)
10.Once in a Lifetime (4:11)

Bonus track on Rhino re-release
11.Where We Begin (3:53)

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians


Peter Cetera - bass, vocals
Bill Champlin - guitars, keyboards, vocals
Robert Lamm - keyboards, vocals
Lee Loughnane - trumpet
James Pankow - trombone
Walter Parazaider - woodwinds
Chris Pinnick - guitar
Danny Seraphine - drums
Additional personnel

Michael Landau - guitar
Paul Jackson Jr. - guitar
Mark Goldenberg - guitar
Paulinho da Costa- percussion
David Foster - synthesizer programming
Jon Van Tongeren - synthesizer programming
Erich Bulling - synthesizer programming
Marcus Ryle - synthesizer programming
Gary Grant - horns
Greg Adams - horns
Kenny Cetera - background vocals
Donny Osmond - background vocals on # 2
Richard Marx - background vocals on on # 2

Releases information

1984: Warner Bros. records (U.S.); WEA International Inc (outside of the U.S.)

Thanks to 1967/ 1976 for the addition
and to easy livin for the last updates
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CHICAGO Chicago 17 ratings distribution


2.60
(31 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(13%)
13%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(6%)
6%
Good, but non-essential (26%)
26%
Collectors/fans only (39%)
39%
Poor. Only for completionists (16%)
16%

CHICAGO Chicago 17 reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Tom Ozric
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars CHICAGO XVII (oh, wait a minute, that's '17' - by 1984, we weren't supposed to understand Roman numerals, right ??). O.K. I didn't intend on submitting a review of this POP album, but its strong parts are, well, strong, so any reader/listener with an open mind may find something to appreciate here. I strongly admire their brand of inventive Brass-Rock so it's interesting to hear how the band have evolved to (unfortunately) cater for the masses during these rather 'plastic' times - I'll try and nudge their (somewhat) syrupy reputation in a positive direction. Chicago have endured the loss of a very strong part of their chemistry with the accidental death of guitarist Terry Kath in 1978, indeed a sad, sad blow to their existence, future and inspiration. How to recover from such a sad blow ???..... Former 'SONS OF CHAMPLIN' leader Bill Champlin has been integrated within their ranks as second Keyboardist/guitarist/vocalist, and Bassist Peter Cetera has emerged as a strong composer/performer in his own right (for better or worse....). On this album we have the incredibly POPular hits 'Hard Habit To Break' (which I find to be a superb, catchy, multi-layered track, unfortunately penned by outsiders) and Cetera's own 'You're The Inspiration' (a tune he originally wrote for C & W icon Kenny Rodgers), both featuring excellent vocals from himself (and Champlin), but he doesn't contribute much Bass Guitar throughout because "when (producer) David Foster pulled out those Moog bass-lines, they sounded so good I put my Bass back in the case" (seemingly forever). There were 1 or 2 more decent tunes which garnered radio-play (the MTV clip to 'Stay The Night' is well done), but overall, the exciting creativity and jazzy twists were by now gone long gone. On a positive, this album is an incredible POP album and precursor to much of those over-the-top 80's productions (even a certain Richard Marx contributes backing vocals on a track) which could be considered as a forward-pushing move, but sadly, CHICAGO were now an idol of die-hard followers and a new crowd of POPsters who would probably regurgitate breakfast upon hearing Kath's mini-suite 'An Hour In The Shower' (from Chicago III). 2 stars. Nothing 'Prog' here, but a credible Pop/Rock album.

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Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars David Foster, you're the inspiration

With their name firmly back in the charts following the success of the single "Hard to say I'm sorry" and of the album "Chicago 16", Chicago achieved their biggest commercial success ever with "Chicago 17". The album included two more huge hit singles "Hard habit to break" and "You're the inspiration". Much of the renewed success was in their native USA, but their name was once again becoming known in other countries, the two singles for example making the top 20 in the UK too, and the album making the top 30 here for the first time since "Chicago V".

Ironically, it was Peter Cetera who was becoming increasing dominant in the band, yet this would be his last album with them, since he would leave to pursue a solo career thereafter. Here though, the line up remains unchanged, and David Foster once again occupies the producer's chair.

It probably goes without saying then that this is another album of ballads and AOR. We can immediately remove any thoughts of the jazz rock and pioneering prog of the early albums, and simply hope for some quality music. With that strong proviso, the album delivers reasonably well. The opening "Stay the night" would be unrecognisable as a Chicago song were it not for Cetera's vocals, the heavy drum beat and typically adult rock lead guitar virtually guaranteeing a hit single (albeit a minor one). Thereafter, the 3-4½ minute songs are all radio friendly and profoundly safe. That said, there is a diversity to the collection as a whole which retains the interest of the casual listener.

Overall, there is an energy to the tracks which was missing on "16", with even ballads such as "Hard habit to break" having a stronger bite. The mushiest of the ballads is the heavily orchestrated "Remember the feeling" but even this is notable for a really fine vocal performance by Cetera. On the other hand, the rocky "Along comes a woman" is very dance era Bee Gees, complete with falsetto vocals and thumping drums.

Perhaps the most intriguing of the writing credits is on "Please hold on", where band member Bill Champlin is assisted by producer David Foster and Lionel Richie ("Hello", "Three times a lady" etc.). The song has Richie's trademark all over it, and as such is the least Chicago like on the album. "Prima Donna" was used by Foster on the sound track of the film "Two of a kind", where he was music director. The film saw Olivia Newton- John and John Travolta reuniting, but was a box office flop. Not the best track on this album by any means either!

In all, a much more enjoyable album that its recent predecessors. This is very much a David Foster album, the band adapting to his way of working rather than the other way round. In fairness, the commercial success will be seen as vindication for such an approach.

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Latest members reviews

3 stars THIS ALBUM WAS PART OF MY CHILDHOOD. AND FOR THAT REASON THIS ALBUM REALLY PLEASE ME! Well, OK... 'Chicago 17' is only a perfect AOR album with perfect ballads and good 80's feelings. But this album was part of my childhood and for these reason please me also today. Since Journey and Toto p ... (read more)

Report this review (#252769) | Posted by 1967/ 1976 | Thursday, November 26, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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