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Chicago at Carnegie Hall
Live album by Chicago
Released October 25, 1971
Recorded April 5 - April 10, 1971
Genre Rock, jazz fusion[1]
Length 1971: 2:48:33
2005: 3:43:59
Label Columbia
Producer James William Guercio
Professional reviews
Chicago chronology
Chicago III
(1971)
Chicago at Carnegie Hall
(1971)
Chicago V
(1972)

Chicago at Carnegie Hall is the first live album by American band Chicago and was initially released in 1971 as a four LP vinyl box set on Columbia Records. It was also available for a time as two separate 2-record sets.

While touring in support of Chicago III, Chicago booked themselves into the Carnegie Hall for a week in April 1971 and recorded all of their shows. Deciding that most of the songs performed there (virtually, the first three double albums, together with the new "A Song For Richard And His Friends") were worthy of release, producer James William Guercio compiled a mammoth four-LP box set collection for release as Chicago's fourth album (that distinction being responsible for the album's nickname of Chicago IV).

Columbia were very skeptical on the risk the extended set posed, and with a decrease in royalties to counter that fear (a similar situation befell their 1969 debut The Chicago Transit Authority), Chicago released Chicago at Carnegie Hall that October to a mixed reaction. While the set sold very well, reaching #3 in the US (but failing to chart at all in the UK), the critics found the album too long - and even indulgent with its moments of tune-ups. The band themselves have remained divided over the years to the merits of the album.

Despite poor sound quality, Chicago at Carnegie Hall went on to become the best-selling box set by a rock act, a record which stood until the release of the Live/1975-85 5 LP live box set by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band in 1986. It is still the best-selling 4 LP set.

The original LP release of this set contained two giant posters of the band, a poster of Carnegie Hall's exterior, an insert about voting information, and a 20-page softcover booklet containing photos of the band members playing during the concert and a full touring schedule from their first tour through their 1971 U.S. tour on the back.

In 2005, Chicago at Carnegie Hall was remastered and re-issued on three CDs by Rhino Records with much improved sound quality, a bonus disc of eight tracks of alternate takes and songs not on the 1971 edition, plus recreations of nearly all the original posters and packaging.

One member of the band, James Pankow didn't like how the band sounded at Carnegie Hall:

I hate it. The acoustics of Carnegie Hall were never meant for amplified music, and the sound of the brass after being miked came out sounding like kazoos.[2]

Contents

Track listing

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Volume one

Side one

  1. "In The Country" (Terry Kath) – 10:35
  2. "Fancy Colours" (Robert Lamm) – 5:15
  3. "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" (Robert Lamm) – 9:47

Side two

  1. "South California Purples" (Robert Lamm) – 15:35
  2. "Questions 67 and 68" (Robert Lamm) – 5:36

Volume two

Side three

  1. "Sing A Mean Tune Kid" (Robert Lamm) – 12:54
  2. "Beginnings" (Robert Lamm) – 6:27

Side four

  1. "It Better End Soon" - 15:55

Volume three

Side five

  1. "Introduction" (Terry Kath) – 7:10
  2. "Mother" (Robert Lamm) – 8:21
  3. "Lowdown" (Peter Cetera/Danny Seraphine) – 3:58

Side six

  1. "Flight 602" (Robert Lamm) – 3:31
  2. "Motorboat To Mars" (Danny Seraphine) – 3:00
  3. "Free" (Robert Lamm) – 5:15
  4. "Where Do We Go From Here" (Peter Cetera) – 4:08
  5. "I Don't Want Your Money" (Terry Kath/Robert Lamm) – 5:23

Volume four

Side seven

  1. "Happy Cause I'm Going Home" (Robert Lamm) – 7:56
  2. "Ballet for a Girl in Buchannon" - 15:25
    1. "Make Me Smile" (James Pankow) – 3:31
    2. "So Much To Say, So Much To Give" (James Pankow) – 1:00
    3. "Anxiety's Moment" (James Pankow) – 1:09
    4. "West Virginia Fantasies" (James Pankow) – 1:31
    5. "Colour My World" (James Pankow) – 3:26
    6. "To Be Free" (James Pankow) – 1:22
    7. "Now More Than Ever" (James Pankow) – 3:26

Side eight

  1. "A Song For Richard And His Friends" (Robert Lamm) – 6:58
  2. "25 or 6 to 4" (Robert Lamm) – 6:35
  3. "I'm A Man" (Jimmy Miller/Steve Winwood) – 8:51

Bonus Disc (2005 Rhino edition)

  1. "Listen" (Robert Lamm) – 4:16
  2. "Introduction" (Terry Kath) – 6:37
  3. "South California Purples" (Robert Lamm) – 12:41
  4. "Loneliness Is Just A Word" (Robert Lamm) – 2:44
  5. "Free Form Intro (Naseltones)" (Robert Lamm) – 5:58
  6. "Sing A Mean Tune Kid (Robert Lamm) – 10:51
  7. "An Hour In The Shower: A Hard Risin' Morning Without Breakfast/Off To Work/Fallin' Out/Dreamin' Home/Morning Blues Again" (Terry Kath) – 6:00
  8. "25 Or 6 To 4" (Robert Lamm) – 6:21

Chicago at Carnegie Hall (Columbia 30865) reached #3 in the US during a chart stay of 46 weeks. It did not chart in the UK.

Personnel

References

  1. ^ [1] allmusic - At Carnegie Hall, Vol. 1-4
  2. ^ Chicagotheband.com: "History, Section VII"

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