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Chicago Chicago XIV album cover
1.82 | 42 ratings | 4 reviews | 2% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1980

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Manipulation (3:45)
2.Upon Arrival (3:48)
3. Song for You (3:41)
4. Where Did the Lovin' Go (4:06)
5. Birthday Boy (4:55)
6. Hold On (4:15)
7. Overnight Cafe (4:19)
8. Thunder and Lightning (3:32)
9. I'd Rather Be Rich (3:08)
10. The American Dream (3:19)

Total time 38:58

Bonus Tracks on 2003 remaster:
11. Doin' Business (Outtake) (3:31)
12. Live It Up (Outtake *) (3:23)
13. Soldier Of Fortune (Outtake *) (3:50)

* Previously unreleased

Line-up / Musicians

- Robert Lamm / keyboards, lead (1,2,8,9,11,13) & backing vocals
- James Pankow / trombone
- Lee Loughnane / trumpet
- Walter Parazaider / woodwinds
- Peter Cetera / bass, lead (2-8,10,12) & backing vocals
- Daniel Seraphine / drums
- Laudir De Oliveira / percussion

- Chris Pinnick / guitar
- Mark Goldenberg / guitar
- David Wolinski / keyboards
- Ian Underwood / programming

Releases information

Artwork: Gerard Huerta

LP Columbia ‎- FC 36517 (1980, US)

CD Columbia ‎- CK 36517 (1989, US) Remastered by David Mitson & Joe Gastwirt
CD Rhino Records ‎- R2 76183 (2003, US) Remastered with 3 bonus tracks

Thanks to snobb for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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CHICAGO Chicago XIV ratings distribution

(42 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(2%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(12%)
Good, but non-essential (12%)
Collectors/fans only (31%)
Poor. Only for completionists (43%)

CHICAGO Chicago XIV reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Kazuhiro
2 stars At that time, at the time of having been announced this album the situation of the band in respect of sales of the album on the inside was not a good situation at all. Albums of men who were sending works of men who have acquired the album called platinum and gold one after another experience a no crown for the first time in this album.

The beginning where the situation of this album and the band faces the time of depression might agree at the time of "XI" that they announced. It is a part of a money problem happening between James Guercio and the band having done both with the band 1977 since then as for the activity. And, the death of Terry Kath that had to be called the face of the band might have greatly shaken the base of the band.

And, the band takes the means to lecture on a bold plan and to give the major break. Phil Ramone is appointed to the producer. And, it was Donnie Dacus to be chosen as a successor of Terry Kath. However, respect of sales in "Hot Street" and "13" has not expanded so much. In addition, the event from which the band is dismissed because the behavior of Donnie Dacus that offers the topic by the new joining was bad multiplies the additional blow by the band.

This album is an album that was produced from the situation so not good by the passage of about one year and announced. It was Chris Pinnick to participate in the band in place of guitar player's Donnie Dacus. At this point, he was not a formal member. However, "16" is registered to him back as a formal member in "17" with the exchange. Tom Dowd was appointed to the producer. The union of Tom Dowd and Chicago related to the work of R&B and Southern Rock might have given an unexpected impression for the fan. However, the union of Tom Dowd and Chicago did not continue long as a result. This album might be an album that engages one's interest if it considers it in that sense for the history of various albums of the band. It is likely not to approve as a novel work.

If the respect is considered, this album might be a content to draw out the music character that Chicago originally has. Especially, the interest of the point that Peter Cetera is related to half of tunes of this album might be deep. And, it flows of the music character of Peter Cetera being demonstrated as directionality since this album. Or, it is likely to be able to catch as an album at the time of a few conversions.

"Manipulation" is a tune by Robert Lamm. Rhythm that makes complete dash feeling. The section of the wind instrument that plays a song to get on the keyboard that produces Groove and a complex melody will excite the listener. Guitar Solo of Chris Pinnik that joins newly rages intensely to wipe out the existence of Donnie Dacus.

"Upon Arrival" is a work of the cooperation of Peter Cetera and Robert Lamm. It is a tune to which the music character of Peter Cetera is drawn out well by the performance of the band. The flavor of an original band might go out a little. The relief will be given as a gently advanced ballade.

"Song For You" is a single tune of Peter Cetera. The song with which the melody and the sense of relief of a beautiful guitar overflow might have the flavor of pastoral good Folk. This tune also gives the relief as much as possible. The rhythm is introduced and a transparent feeling that you may join the keyboard further is added in the progressing part.

"Where Did The Lovin' Go" is a tune by Peter Cetera. It is a tune where the melody that there is expression of feelings in a powerful song exists together. The impression to which the music character that Peter Cetera has had since this time is refined further might be given to the listener. The sound of the guitar also indeed gives the impression of the soft sound.

"Birthday Boy" is a work of the cooperation of Danny Seraphine and David Wolinski. Chicago and David Wolinski have the exchange since the time of "VII". Peter Cetera takes charge of lead Vocal to this tune. It puts on the melody with the sense of relief and a gentle song gets on. The rhythm and the melody of a few Blues are made to be introduced and the soundscape is made to be constructed. The tune gives a grand impression as much as possible.

"Hold On" is a tune by Peter Cetera. The condition of the tune has the composition of straight Rock And Roll. It takes charge of the obbligati to which the Brass section doesn't obstruct the tune as much as possible. The guitar constructs the sound in which the age is caught. Another respects except the ballade in which he is skillful as the fan of Free might be expressed as Peter Cetera is declared.

"Overnight Cafe" is a tune by Peter Cetera. It is a tune with the flavor of a little reggae and the flavor of Latin. The composition of the tune is steady as much as possible. Part of chorus who has them listen to extension of tune and part of solo of guitar that emphasizes individuality. Or, the part where the flavor of Rock is introduced will be a calculated composition.

"Thunder And Lightning" is a tune put on the market all over the U.S. as SingleEP. The tune is a work of the cooperation of Robert Lamm and Danny Seraphine. Part of emphasis of Brass section. The composition might have the element of POP as much as possible. The progress of Cutting and Chord of a steady rhythm and the guitar comfortably affects. An initial impression of the band might been introduced a little. However, it is a content where the tune caught the age as much as possible. Solo of the trombone is also impressive.

"I'd Rather Be Rich" is a tune of Robert Lamm. The usage of Minor Chord is an impressive tune. The song of Robert Lamm might be well versed in Funk. The introduction of six rhythms also has expanded the impression of the tune. The impression of the tune at this time might have feeling where Robert Lamm maintains the impression of an initial band compared with Peter Cetera. It is possible to catch as a tune that fuses Funk and Rock well.

"The American Dream" is a tune by James Pankow that only offers the tune to this album. It has development that gives the impression of straight Rock. The Brass section and the melody might be overall steady. It is good in the impression of this album each other.

The band is an album in this album made at time when the interpersonal relationship that enclosed surroundings was gradually changed. If the content of sales in respect is considered, the high appraisal might not be so received. However, the music character can be found everywhere of this album as a part where the existence of Chicago is always shown.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars The horns are in the pub

Following the release of the disappointing and critically panned 'Chicago 13', Donnie Dacus agreed with the rest of the band that he should move on. He had been faced with the futile challenge of trying to replace Terry Kath, but Kath's place in the band had gone far beyond simply that of vocalist/guitarist writer. Up until his death he had also been a long time friend of the other band members. Guitarist Chris Pinnick was brought in on guitar (but not vocals) although his role in Chicago was not initially as an equal member, but as a session contributor. He did though appear on stage with the band when they played live. The role of producer was also tinkered with again, with Phil Ramone being replaced by Tom Dowd.

The resultant album, Chicago's first for the 1980's, was a complete flop commercially. Quite why this is, is not immediately apparent, although there are no hit singles in the set. The opening 'Manipulation' appears to have plenty of the right ingredients, with brassy horns supporting an upbeat slice of commercial jazz rock. Thereafter though, there is certainly a feel of a band going through the motions. The songs are invariably 3-5 minute pop rock composition. The brass section seem to have spent most of the sessions in the pub, their contributions generally being limited to the odd backing toot. The best place to hear them here is on 'Thunder and lightning' but even here they are mercilessly faded in full flow!

Peter Cetera and Robert Lamm share most of the song-writing duties, with other band members either suffering writers block or offering material presumably considered inadequate.

Looking at the album some 30 years after its release, it is not nearly as bad as history might suggest, indeed there are plenty of positives here. Any vestiges of prog and indeed jazz rock may be gone, but seen as a collection of AOR songs, much of the material holds up well. Cetera's contribution is particularly strong, with songs such as the rocking 'Hold on' and 'Birthday boy', the latter with its slightly more adventurous arrangement, certainly standing well alongside tracks from the band's recent albums.

For me though, one track in particular, 'Song for you' is an absolute masterpiece. In essence it is another Cetera ballad, but the wonderful melody and modest lyrics are supported by a delightfully understated instrumental arrangement, including intriguingly subtle synthesiser. This really is a Chicago song which has flown under the radar for too long.

Perhaps it is the fact that this album does not sound much like Chicago which was its undoing. Whatever the reasons, it will forever be regarded a a real turkey in their discography. This would be the album which terminated the band's long term relationship with Columbia (CBS) records, the label choosing to drop them after its release, even paying them to go!

The Rhino reissue contains three bonus tracks from the same sessions. All three are no better or worse than those which made it onto the album. Note though that the song 'Soldier of fortune' is not the one of the same name recorded by Deep Purple a few years earlier.

Review by Chicapah
1 stars The fateful tale of Chicago's trek through the glorious 70s was a classic riches to rags story. They'd come bursting in as one of the most promising, adventurous American bands of the era by bravely melding rock & roll with a big band jazz mentality better than any ensemble ever had before and their music appealed to an amazingly wide spectrum of the population of the world. After a few years of a lot of blood, sweat and tears (wry irony intended) they arrived at the top of the heap. Slowly but surely, however, their escalating addiction to hit singles and the steady cash flow they brought with them eroded their rebellious, risk-taking attitude to the point where they no longer challenged themselves or their audiences. With the exception of their brilliant VII LP released in '74 they consistently played it so safe it got to the point where, by the end of the decade, they'd lost their fan base, their reputation as innovators and their reason to exist. Losing the fiery Terry Kath along the way was a tragedy but rather than honoring his legacy by using his death as a spark to reignite their original flame of creativity they responded by becoming even more conservative. As the 80s began some (but not all) of the aging 70s groups facing the end of their viability and the onslaught of the New Wave and Punk movements simply called it quits and wisely left the "biz" for good. Considering what a waste of time XIV turned out to be, perhaps Chicago should've done the same.

Their opening the record with the only decent tune they had at their disposal, Robert Lamm's "Manipulation," is the only thing positive I have to say about this album. It owns an energetic track that's built upon a forceful guitar riff played by session cat Chris Pinnick (the blasé Donnie Dacus had been jettisoned) and the number was decent enough to inspire a ray of hope in me that a reinvigorated Chicago might emerge. The horn section and Danny Seraphine's drums punch the accents with gusto and Pinnick shreds his fretboard with passion. Alas, the fun bus runs out of gas as soon as the song ends and is promptly looted and set ablaze before being abandoned on the side of the highway. The vague sense of optimism that first cut cultivated dies the second "Upon Arrival" reaches your ear drums. Lamm and bassist Peter Cetera penned this sappy-as-a-grove-of-Maple-trees ballad that's utterly devoid of anything even approaching passable status. They follow that odorous turd with Cetera's ridiculously mushy "Song for You," a 12-string acoustic guitar-dominated, gather-by-the-campfire love song that sours your stomach and demonstrates beyond a doubt that these guys had been neutered and were now as inert as elderly bulldogs. They'd brought in renowned producer Tom Dowd to oversee this album but he must've had second thoughts as soon as he heard the tunes they'd brought to him because they had so little potential. Peter's vapid "Where Did the Lovin' Go" lopes along like a high school orchestra's first rehearsal with absolutely no feel or emotion to be found. My reaction to Seraphine's "Birthday Boy" was one of disbelief that they'd string four slow, laborious numbers in a row. Holy moley, they'd flushed every semblance of their once-mighty mojo down the toilet! This song is a dirge-like turkey that shines a glaring light on the group's dearth of basic common sense and self-respect. They repeat the line "Good days are coming" but Chicago desperately needed them in the present tense at this juncture, not in the future.

One of the many problems with XIV stems from glamour boy Cetera having become the predominant songwriter. He was talented in many areas but not in the role of composer. His "Hold On" is an anemic "rocker" (I employ that term loosely here) that frankly made me embarrassed for the band. It makes them appear about as cool as middle-aged geezers wearing "hip" threads to attract the ladies but not having a clue as to how foolish they look. Next is Peter's "Overnight Café." I knew it was bound to happen and here it is. Chicago tried to be trendy by incorporating a New Wave vibe into their sound and it's a shameful disaster. It's yet another hefty file in the dossier of evidence proving that their well of creativity had run bone dry and they were accepting any material available from the members without discretion in order to fill up two sides of vinyl. Robert, Peter and Danny teamed up to concoct "Thunder and Lightning" and, this far into the swamp, I was at least grateful for an upbeat groove and a few jazzy inflections interspersed in the arrangement but the tune is still too weak to make a lasting impression or make much difference. Lamm's "I'd Rather Be Rich" is so lousy that I wouldn't be surprised to learn he'd tossed scraps of paper in a jar with chords written on them and put the piece together by pulling them out at random. It has no backbone or focus; it just lays there like a lump of dead notes. Trombonist James Pankow, formerly a river of interesting ideas and concepts, contributes the closer, "The American Dream." This political protest ditty lacks conviction or purpose and comes off as a bunch of high-rollers sitting around, complaining about how unfair life is. It's pathetic and demeaning.

I find the cover to be highly appropriate. Sometimes at a crime scene the victim's face is so disfigured or mutilated that the corpse can only be identified through fingerprint analysis. That's the case here. XIV is so dismal that it bears no resemblance whatsoever to being a product from the vibrant group that shook up the music scene when they broke out of the Midwest in '69. Whereas their earlier LPs had shot up into the upper regions of the charts like rockets this one struggled to reach #71 and then disappeared into oblivion. It was not only their last record with their long-time label but the story goes that Columbia actually paid them to leave! Ouch! While I still consider the pretentious "Hot Streets" to be the nadir of their career, this one seriously rivals it. The only good news I can convey about Chicago's state of the union in the summer of 1980 is that they were soon to do something smart and beneficial by hiring the multi-talented Bill Champlin to finally fill the gaping hole left by Terry Kath's passing. They'd never again be the influential force in progressive jazz/rock they once were but at least they'd start making R&B-flavored pop music that was listenable. XIV isn't. Half a star.

Latest members reviews

2 stars Much stronger that the previous two and even better than the previous 3 albums, Chicago reached the first bottom in 1979 to make a small comeback. Disco elements are gone and solid musicianship is on display. The opener "Manipulation" is one of the best openers of the recent albums - energetic a ... (read more)

Report this review (#2481084) | Posted by sgtpepper | Sunday, November 29, 2020 | Review Permanlink

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