CHICAGO 17 [Japanese Forever Young Series remastered +4] Out Of Print
As requested by many, here’s the out of print remastered Japanese edition of CHICAGO 17, as part of the ‘Forever Young Series Remastered’ including 4 bonus tracks. This is exactly the same release appeared the same year pressed on SHM-CD. The sound quality is outstanding.
Originally released in 1984, ‘Chicago 17’ was the group’s second release for Full Moon/Warner Bros. Records, their second album to be produced by David Foster, and their last with founding bassist / vocalist Peter Cetera.
‘Chicago 17’ is certified six times Platinum, and remains the biggest-selling album in the band’s history.
Given that success of the previous Chicago album, it’s no surprise that band teamed with David Foster again for ‘Chicago 17′. It’s also no surprise that Foster took an even greater control of 17, steering the group further down the adult contemporary road and pushing Peter Cetera toward the front of the group, while pushing the horns toward the back.
It did make for the biggest hit album in Chicago’s history, going six times platinum and peaking at number four on the Billboard charts.
A big reason for its success is the pair of hit ballads in “Hard Habit to Break” and “You’re the Inspiration,” two big and slick dramatic ballads that each peaked at number three on the charts and helped set the sound for adult contemporary pop / AOR for the rest of the decade; the likes of Michael Bolton and Richard Marx are unimaginable without these songs existing as a blueprint (Marx sang backup vocals on “We Can Stop the Hurtin'” here).
Midtempo tunes and ballads are a big part of ’17’ — in fact, these hits and album cuts like “Remember the Feeling” are among the first power ballads, songs that were given Arena Rock flourishes and dramatic arrangements but never took the focus off the melody, so housewives and preteens alike could sing along with them.
Power ballads later became the province of hair metal bands like Bon Jovi and Poison, but Foster’s work with Chicago on 17 really helped set the stage for them, since he not only gave the ballads sweeping rock arrangements, but the harder, punchier tunes here play like ballads.
Even when the band turns up the intensity here — “Stay the Night” has a spare, rather ominous beat that suggests they were trying for album-oriented rock; “Along Comes a Woman” has a Hi-Tech vibe — the music is still slick, shiny, and soft, music that can appeal to the widest possible audience.
17 did indeed find the widest possible audience, as it ruled radio into late 1985, by which time there were plenty of imitators of Foster’s style.
There may have been plenty of imitators — soon, solo Cetera was one of them, making music that was indistinguishable from this — but nobody bettered Foster, and Chicago 17 is his pièce de résistance, a record that sounded so good it didn’t quite matter that some of the material didn’t stick as songs.
Production wise, it was the pinnacle of his craft and one of the best adult contemporary records of the ’80s, perhaps the best of them all.
Certainly, it’s hard to think of another adult contemporary album quite as influential within its style as this — not only did it color the records that followed, but it’s hard not to think of ‘Chicago 17’ as the place where soft rock moved away from the warm, lush sounds that defined the style in the late ’70s and early ’80s and moved toward the crisp, meticulous, synthesized sound of adult contemporary Rock&pop.
This Japanese edition features as bonus Robert Lamm’s previously unreleased ‘Where We Begin’, plus different mixes / versions of ‘Only You’, ‘You’re The Inspiration’ and ‘Prima Donna’.
ＷＡＲＮＥＲ ＭＵＳＩＣ ＪＡＰＡＮ 【WPCR-13788】
01 – Stay The Night
02 – We Can Stop The Hurtin’
03 – Hard Habit To Break
04 – Only You
05 – Remember The Feeling
06 – Along Comes A Woman
07 – You’re The Inspiration
08 – Please Hold On
09 – Prima Donna
10 – Once In A Lifetime
11 – Where We Begin
12 – Only You [Edit version – 2010 Bonus Track]
13 – You’re The Inspiration [Original Mix – 2010 Bonus Track]
14 – Prima Donna [Long version – 2010 Bonus Track]
Peter Cetera – bass, lead and background vocals
Bill Champlin – guitars, keyboards, lead and background vocals
Robert Lamm – keyboards, lead and background vocals
Lee Loughnane, James Pankow, Walter Parazaider – horns
Chris Pinnick – guitar
Danny Seraphine – drums
Jeff Porcaro – drums (uncredited) on “Stay the Night”
Carlos Vega – drums (uncredited) on “You’re the Inspiration”
John “JR” Robinson – drums (uncredited) on “Please Hold On”
Michael Landau – guitar
Paul Jackson Jr. – guitar
Mark Goldenberg – guitar
Paulinho da Costa – percussion
David Foster – keyboards, synthesizer programming, synth bas
Richard Marx – background vocals on “We Can Stop the Hurtin'”
David Pack – duet vocals on “Here Is Where We Begin”
Out Of Print