I need not even close my eyes and I can hear Lee Loughnane's melodic trumpet solo from "Introduction," Terry Kath's soulful guitaritstry on "Liberation," and I can picture Robert Lamm reaching into his Steinway to pluck the piano strings for his adventurous Free-form intro to "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" This was Chicago at their finest hour- a group of young green boys from the Windy City getting their foot in the door of the LA music scene. With every remastered note you can hear their hunger, their drive, their creativity, and their humble beginnings.
Whether it's the thick yet melodic bass chops of Peter Cetera reminding you that he was, once upon a time, not only a fantastic vocalist-- but also a phenomenal bass player; the symbiosis of the horns playing with such tight and raw energy they sound as though they are one instrument; or the precision drumming of Danny Seraphine-- THIS is the CD to listen to when one wants to be reminded of why Jann Wenner and the Nominating Committee of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame are tone deaf. Chicago has a few other great albums in their catalog-- but on the merits of this masterpiece alone one can find plenty of reasons why Chicago belongs in the Hall of Fame.
After listening to this musical endeavour, it's sad to note that this fantastic group morphed into a band that played bubble-gum lover's lament prom songs and standard wedding fodder for the masses from the late seventies through the eighties.