CHICAGO 19 [Japanese SHM-CD remastered +3] Out Of Print
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.
Appeared in 1988, “Chicago 19” deepens even more into the Eighties blistering AOR sound thanks to masterful Ron Nevison’s engineering and production, helped by guru Chas Sanford co-producing half of the tracks.
This Japanese reissue on high quality SHM-CD with a fully remastered treatment is a must for aficionados of this genre.
“Heart In Pieces” opens things up and it’s a continuation of the large-scale production mindset that made Chicago’s previous album so awesome. The layered harmony vocals are stacked up to the stratosphere blended into an ocean of synthesizers and heavily processed electric guitars. This is what ’80s AOR is all about!
Penned by Canadian Tim Feehan – who also contributes backing vocals and recorded his own excellent version in 1990 – “Heart In Pieces” is one of the essential songs from the ’80s AOR colorful palette.
Next, “I Don’t Wanna Live Without Your Love” is a wonderful midtempo AOR featuring a terrific chorus with support from hard riffing in the verses and a punchy rhythm sitting alongside the singles Heart were coming up with around the same time.
Despite of being an album oriented to the charts and Adult Contemporary listeners, 70% of the tracks in “Chicago 19” have an in-your-face guitar solo, played by co-producer Chas Sandford and ‘some’ session cat named Dann Huff…
The song became a hit single, as the great “Look Away” (#1) and the velvety “You’re Not Alone” (#10). This album is the first Chicago effort to spotlight keyboardist/singer Bill Champlin on lead vocals, who sings all these hit singles.
But there’s more pearls. “I Stand Up” blends AOR with some funky melodic rock, then “We Can Last Forever’ (beautifully sung by Jason Scheff) is a superb midtempo semi-ballad with a chorus to knock you over.
“Come In From The Night” continues with a masterclass of driving AOR spiced with killer guitar riffs and a top notch production. Same with “What Kind Of Man Would I Be”, crowned by an excellent chorus. How Chicago crafted this many monster choruses on a single album remains a wonder… this is why I love “Chicago 19” so much.
Many AOR fans inclined to the more rocking side of the genre never properly heard “Chicago 19” perhaps due to the band’s initial musical style (which I like too) or because their more famous songs, mostly ballads.
But this record is what ’80s AOR was all about: awesome layered harmony vocals, huge choruses, synths galore and sharp guitar work. And… production, yes, a lush, exuberant pristine production to die for.
This Japanese remaster on SHM-CD brings all that to the forefront with a crystal clear quality.
A Must Have
You’ve seen it first here, at 0dayrox
シカゴ19 -<紙ジャケ SHM-CD> | WPCR-13790
01 – Heart In Pieces
02 – I Don’t Wanna Live Without Your Love
03 – I Stand Up
04 – We Can Last Forever
05 – Come In From The Night
06 – Look Away
07 – What Kind Of Man Would I Be
08 – Runaround
09 – You’re Not Alone
10 – Victorious
11 – Look Away (CHR Mix)
12 – We Can Last Forever (Remix)
13 – What Kind Of Man Would I Be? (Single Edit / Remix)
Bill Champlin – keyboards, lead & background vocals
Jason Scheff – bass, lead & background vocals
Robert Lamm – keyboards, lead & background vocals
Lee Loughnane, James Pankow, Walter Parazaider – horns
Danny Seraphine – drums, percussion, programming
Dawayne Bailey – guitar, background vocals
Phillip Ashley, John Campbell, Charles Judge – keyboards
Chas Sandford, Dann Huff – guitars
Mike Murphy – programming, cowbell
Peter Kaye, Peter Maher – programming
Kiki Ebsen, Efrain Toro – programming & keyboards
Tamara Champlin – additional background vocals
Tim Feehan – additional background vocals on “Heart In Pieces”
Out Of Print