Chicago has had quite a career. When they started out they were a jam oriented band which implemented horns heavilly into their sound. Their first three studio releases were loaded with lenghty suite level pieces with a few shorter songs here and there. Chicago V seems to be a great bridge between the jam oriented band and the more po oriented tunes with great jazz inflections thrown in for good measure. The lead off song, A Hit By Varese has some cool chord changes which both rocks and bops. Many great tones exist on this track from nearly every band member. The two part single Dialogue is an overlooked masterpiee. The high/low vocals of Terry Kath and Peter Ceterais very captivating. Throw in the wah wah guitar solo at the end and you have a true gem. Its a shame AM radio could not appreciate this single even more as its lyrics portrayed a true sign of the times coupled with snappy arrangements. If you ask me this is the crowning jewel on the recording.
This is not to say Saturday In The Park is is not a worthy single. Its a classic tune and its perfect structure seemed to fit AM radio to a tee. I guess I like the controlled jamming of Dialogue as well as State of The Union and Goodbye.
Chiago V has a great balance which just might be the groups based work of original material.
If all you knew of Chicago (the band) was based solely on their post-1982 output (which consisted primarily of monstrous, hook-friendly hits for the lovelorn that could put the population of many small countries into a Diabetes-induced coma) - than you are missing out on some of the most adventurous and experimental rock ever created by not digging deeper into their earlier catalog. There is little argument that at their creative peak (1967-1976) the horn-based ensemble … more
Though it may not have been clear at the time, Chicago's fifth album marked something of a turning point for the most successful American rock act of the 1970s.Vwas not only the band's first single-disc release, but, incredibly, its 11th LP worth of music in just three years. That Herculean workload may have watered down their previous studio album (III), but it also seemed to teach them a few important lessons as well. Here they manage not only one of their biggest hits (the joyous "Saturday in the Park"), but a stubborn, focused retrenchment of their most adventurous musical instincts in the bargain. That notion is clear from the intentionally ironic opening of "A Hit by Varese," through cuts like "While the City Sleeps," "State of the Union," and the autobiographical "Alma Mater," which bristle with the band's jazzy instincts and avant-garde influences. Even the album's other Top 30 hit, "Dialogue (Part I & II)," remains one of its more unusual chart entries. This digitally remastered new edition contains three bonus tracks (a Terry Kath noise-guitar-powered, previously unreleased studio take of "A Song for Richard and His Friends," the gritty outtake "Mississippi Delta City Blues," and the original single edit of "Dialogue") as well as Don Heckman's new liner notes, which feature insightful comments from several band members.--Jerry McCulley