CHICAGO 18 [Japanese SHM-CD remastered +2] + rare unreleased track
During the ’80s CHICAGO created a string of really successful albums with their sound morphing to mainstream AOR / Adult Contemporary, something first time followers of the band disliked. But for AOR / West Coast fans like me, these records are pure gold. “Chicago 18” originally released in 1986 captures like few the classic mid-80s FM sound, and this Japanese reissue on high quality SHM-CD with a fully remastered treatment is a must for aficionados of this genre.
Additionally, we added here an unreleased track from the “Chicago 18” sessions, only available at the band’s website years ago and impossible to find now.
Having achieved their biggest commercial success ever with their previous album, Chicago were shaken to the core by the subsequent departure of vocalist Peter Cetera. If the death of original band member Terry Kath had previously caused the band to question their future the loss of Cetera, who wanted to pursue a solo career, was even more of a blow at a time when their star was rising high.
However, they found a diamond as replacement: a young, super talented singer & bass player in Jason Scheff.
David Foster was once again retained as producer, while songwriting duties were split between the band members and professional AOR hit makers such as Steve Kipner, Bobby Caldwell and Randy Goodrum.
The opening “Niagara falls” is one of the songs written by outsiders (Kipner and Caldwell). The blaring synths and lead vocals by new boy Scheff give the track a pure ’80s AOR feel – think Starship, REO Speedwagon or Foreigner.
From there, “Chicago 18” moves between such upbeat AOR / rock&pop and smooth West Coast ballads. Robert Lamm’s “Forever” is an example of the latter, with ‘that’ typical sweet synths and atmosphere.
The band recorded an updated ’80s high-tech remake of their hit classic “25 or 6 to 4” which ranked pretty well in the Billboard singles chart, then “Will You Still Love Me?” (#3) and “If She Would Have Been Faithful…” (#17) became hits as well.
Scheff is the lead vocalist on all three, and his vocals somehow redefined Chicago’s sound and all the West Coast stylings to come.
“Chicago 18” represents the true mid-80s American West Coast / AOR / Soft Rock sound, with smooth melodies, a pristine production and first class musicianship.
Top notch cats are involved in the recording, as monster guitarists Michael Landau, Howard ‘Buzz’ Feiten and Steve Lukather providing an awesome six-string work.
This Japanese remaster on SHM-CD is terrific, and as plus you have 2 alternate song versions as bonus tracks.
As extra, we added the song “When Will The World Be Like Lovers”, recorded during the Chicago 18 sessions but inexplicably didn’t make it into the final track list, and never appeared into any reissue / compilation.
Written by Jason Scheff, this is a terrific 1986-style AOR tune where Robert Lamm starts on the primary lead vocal, then Champlin comes in as the second voice. For the chorus, it’s Jason taking the higher vocal section, resulting in a charming 3-part harmony. Love Mike Landau’s awesome guitar solo too.
A Must Have for fans of the genre.
Only at 0dayrox
シカゴ18 -<紙ジャケ SHM-CD> | WPCR-13789
01 – Niagra Falls
02 – Forever
03 – If She Would Have Been Faithful…
04 – 25 Or 6 To 4 (1986 Version)
05 – Will You Still Love Me?
06 – Over And Over
07 – It’s Alright
08 – Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now
09 – I Believe
10 – One More Day
11 – 25 Or 6 To 4 (Alternate Version)
12 – Will You Still Love Me? (Alternate Version)
13 – When Will The World Be Like Lovers (unreleased Chicago 18 sessions)
Bill Champlin – vocals, keyboards
Jason Scheff – vocals, bass
Robert Lamm – vocals, keyboards
Danny Seraphine – drums, drum programming
Lee Loughnane, James Pankow,Walter Parazaider – horns
Michael Landau – guitar
Howard “Buzz” Feiten – guitar
Steve Lukather – guitar
David Foster – keyboards, additional arrangements
Tom Keane – keyboards, background vocals
Bo Tomlyn – synthesizer programming
Rhett Lawrence, David Boruff, Michael Boddicker – synths
Jeremy Lubbock – string arrangements
OUT OF PRINT