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Chicago Live in Japan album cover
3.98 | 31 ratings | 3 reviews | 35% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Live, released in 1972

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Dialogue, Pt. 1 & II 6:55
2. A Hit By Varese 4:43
3. Lowdown 4:14
4. State Of The Union 8:14
5. Saturday In The Park 4:19
6. Make Me Smile 3:17
7. So Much To Say, So Much To Give 0:59
8. Anxiety's Moment 1:02
9. West Virginia Fantasies 1:32
10. Colour My World 3:22
11. To Be Free 2:17
12. Now More Than Ever 1:36
13. Beginnings 6:36
14. Mississippi Delta City Blues 5:38
15. Song For Richard And His Friends 7:54
16. Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? (Free form Intro) 6:15
17. Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? ( 3:53
18. Questions 67 and 68 4:51
19. 25 Or 6 To 4 9:14
20. I'm A Man10:43
21. Free 6:31

Line-up / Musicians

- Robert Lamm / keyboards, vocals
- Terry Kath/ guitar, vocals
- Peter Cetera / bass, vocals
- Danny Seraphine / antique bells, congas, drums
- Lee Loughnane / trumpet, background vocals, percussion
- Walter Parazaider/ woodwinds, percussion
- James Pankow / trombone, percussion

Releases information

CBS/Sony SOPJ 31-32XR Japan 2 x LP
recorded over the course of 3 days at the Osaka Festival Hall on the band's tour in support of Chicago V in 1972

Re-released on CD by Chicago Records CRD-3030 (1996)

Thanks to snobb for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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CHICAGO Live in Japan ratings distribution

(31 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(35%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (6%)
Collectors/fans only (13%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

CHICAGO Live in Japan reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Japanese questions (67 and 68)

Recorded in 1972, "Live in Japan" was only originally released in that country, and even then not until 3 years later in 1975. The album did eventually secure a release in the band's homeland USA, but not until 1996 by which time they had established their own record label. "Live in Japan" is therefore notable for being a rare official release which does not bear a sequential number (it should probably by "VI", "VIII" or "IX").

The concerts from which the recordings are taken took place in Osaka, Japan over three days when the band were touring to promote the then new "Chicago V" album. There are therefore quite a number of additional songs available to the band when compared with the earlier "Carnegie hall" live box set. Some of the songs on the first three albums which did not make it onto the "Carnegie hall" set are played here instead. Overlaps between the two releases are therefore relatively few, being largely confined to the latter part of the set when the band play their best known singles and album tracks from the first two albums.

The most noticeable thing about this release is the much improved sound quality when compared with the "Carnegie hall" box. The horns especially come across much better, sounding crisp and sharp. Tracks such as "Saturday in the park" and "Make me smile" have a vitality to them which makes them worthwhile variants on their studio counterparts. James Pankow's "Ballet For A Girl In Buchannon" also sounds much better here, indeed this is arguably the definitive version of that suite.

The version of "Questions 67 and 68" is worth hearing, as it is sung in Japanese! How well delivered it is in linguistic terms is for others to decide, but their audience must surely have been impressed by the effort at least.

There is no doubt that on their day, Chicago could be a truly awesome live act. The bloated "Carnegie hall" box largely failed to capture that magic. Thankfully, "Live in Japan" is now more widely available, at least in digital format, so the true might of the band in the early 1970's can now be witnessed by all.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars The songs on this double live album are culled from CHICAGO's three concerts held in Osaka, Japan in 1972.This tour was in support of the "Chicago V" album. It wasn't released until 1975 but only in Japan until the re-release world-wide in 1996. Thanks Bob ! It's listening to a recording like this that makes my appreciation for this band sky-rocket. I mean they had three amazing singers who sounded quite different from one another, and instrumentally these guys were "lights out". I felt a lot of different emotions as I journeyed through this two disc affair.

Disc one begins with "Dialogue (Part One & Two)" which is a good upbeat song as Kath and Cetera trade off vocally. Nice bass before 3 minutes. "A Hit By Varese" has an urgent vibe to it with organ. Vocals and horns join in too. I like this. It settles before 2 minutes as the horns come and go. Trippy section and I love it. Vocals are back before 4 minutes. "Lowdown" is a catchy mid-paced tune with vocals. Some nasty guitar after 1 1/2 minutes as the bass throbs. Horns come in blasting. Vocals are back before 3 minutes. "State Of The Union" has a nice heavy sound as the horns and vocals join in. They then jam without vocals until 4 1/2 minutes in. Then they do another prolonged jam but with some ripping guitar this time. Nice. "Saturday In The Park" is such a good summer-time track. Can you dig it ? "Make Me Smile" opens with the horns blasting. How good is this ? Woo hoo ! "So Much To Say, So Much To Give" is surprisingly dark and heavy as the vocals join in. These next few tracks are short and blend into one another.

"Anxiety's Moment" is mostly piano, horns, chunky bass and drums and it blends into "West Virginia Fantasies" another short instrumental. Amazing sound here. "Colour My World" makes it difficult swallow. Gulp. "To Be Free" kicks in right away and hard. Just a killer instrumental that blends into "Now More Than Ever" and i'm smiling wide here. Nice drum work too. "Beginnings" is an emotional track. "Time passes much too quickly when we're together laughing". I miss that. "Mississippi Delta City Blues" ends disc one. It's an alright tune but that's all'

Disc two starts with "Song For Richard And His Friends" which is a political rant against Nixon and his cronies(haha). It turns experimental 1 1/2 minutes in with guitar feedback and craziness. A melody arrives before 4 minutes. The intro is reprised to end it. "Does Anyone Know What Time It Is ? (Free Form Intro)" is a very cool display of piano which is avant at times from Lamm. Drums do come in at 4 1/2 minutes then bass and more. It ends with piano only. "Does Anyone Really Know What Time It Is ?" kicks in right away and it's such a feel good tune. "Questions 67 And 68" is one the crowd recognizes right away. Some killer guitar.

"25 Or 6 To 4" is probably my favourite CHICAGO song. It kicks ass and is about an acid trip. Just an amazing instrumental display half way through. The crowd goes nuts when it's over asking for an encore. They get it with "I'm A Man" and "Free". Love the bass and percussion to open "I'm A Man" and later before 3 1/2 minutes. Check out the drum solo before 7 minutes right to the end of the song. So impressive.

In my opinion this is the best live document you can buy for this band. A must for fans.

Review by GruvanDahlman
4 stars Well, here I go again, ranting about my distaste of live albums. "Distaste" might be a bit harsh, really. Let's just say I do not think that they are essential part of my collection. Let's just leave it at that. I would like to add, though, that some live albums really are wonderful. This one is, for sure.

Chicago is a band i grew up with. My father loved them and played their albums on occasion. When I say "their albums" I mean some of the later stuff, when the music grew a bit more sophisticated and pop oriented, although with a strong jazz-rock feel to it. I, for one, have always hailed their second album as their greatest achievement. I would even call that album the greatest jazz-rock album of all time. It is that good. Apart from that, Chicago was between 1969-1972 a real force to be reckoned with, playing adventurous and hard jazz-rock wth a real gritty and raw edge. They were phenomenal.

This live album really sounds like they did in the studio, albeit a bit more free flowing and loose. It is impossible to reproduce every single aspect of a studio recording, so here they play the songs with all the talent possible in a live setting, which in parts boils the material down to their bare necessities. It is really hard rocking stuff, capable of destroying a small country. The musicianship is extremely tight and I cannot be anything but amazed at the marvelous performance.

Favorite tracks are "State of the union", "Dialogue Pt. 1 & 2" and "25 or 6 to 4". These are amazing renditions. The remainder of the album is impressive as well. Too bad this album seems to be an anonymous one. It deserves to be listened to, no matter your feelings towards live albums.

No live album is essential in my book, except for Rick Wakeman's "Journey to the centre of the Earth" which really is more than a live album. This one, however, lifts my spirits and is a great testimony to one of the greatest jazz rock bands of all time and that band's most progressive and impressive period. Top stuff.

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