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Chicago — Listen
Album: Chicago Transit Authority
Avg rating:
7.1

Your rating:
Total ratings: 994









Released: 1969
Length: 3:21
Plays (last 30 days): 2
Listen,
If you think that we're here for the money
You couldn't be right, you know(owowow)
But the bread is not too good here
It could be so natural
I said all you got to do is listen
Listen,
If you don't hear what you can tell us
If it's good you can tell us all
Or you can smile, that's alright my friend
It could be so nice, you know
If only you would listen
Listen,
If you don't understand it, no no no no
You got to try to fly
And don't you put me down, please
For creating beyond your mind
I said all you got to do is listen
Comments (143)add comment
 ImaOldman wrote:

Simple, unfortunate answer: Terry Kath committed suicide...


not a suicide as much as a terrible, unfortuante gun accident.  but you are right, Ima, he was the heart and soul of the band and an amazing guitarist.  he's still under-rated, IMO.
 joejennings wrote:

The BEST Chicago album!!!!!!!  Starting with the 3rd album, they went Foo Foo TOP 40!!!!!!!!!!




I agree! ...totally!
The BEST Chicago album!!!!!!!  Starting with the 3rd album, they went Foo Foo TOP 40!!!!!!!!!!
The best Chicago Album--when the band had an appropriately different name. Appropriate because after this they were a different band. Same people, but with lobotomies. 
Not just cowbell, but panning cowbell - like the guy was running round the studio trying not to get caught!

'Chicago Transit Authority', as opposed to 'Chicago'.

The difference between chalk and cheese.
Peter Cetera's bass lines rule here!
 Flying_Donut wrote:
Needs MORE COWBELL.
 
my highschool marching band director/teacher organized a band outing to the chicago concert in greensboro nc in 1978.
we added several cowbells to our field show the next day!!!!
 michaelc wrote:
this Album was just sweet. What happened to these guys after this.
Like a chocolate bunny on a very hot day, just all turned to slop. 
 
The guitarist Terry Kath accidentally shot himself in the head. He died and they never recovered from it.
Needs MORE COWBELL.
And then David Foster came along and fixed the band! 🤣🤣😢
 robin_at_domani wrote:


agreed!
 
Strong strong disagreement! Chicago 1,2,3,5,6, and 7 were fucking brilliant albums - especially V, where they decided to do a jazz-tinged single album, and the focus shows.

They begin to lose it after that, sure, but for that period they were mind-blowing, but then David Foster took over later, convinced Cetera that HE was the star (wrong) and got rid of Seraphine (WTF?) and told Lamm that his contributions were no longer welcome (although he wrote their greatest songs)...and then they were an embarrassment. How the mighty fell...
Chicago Transit Authority is to Chicago
as
Jefferson Airplane is to Jefferson Starship
as
George Washington is to Donald Trump
 eileenomurphy wrote:
The 1st and BEST Chicago album! ...like a runaway freight train! ...it is too bad that they went to top 40 dribble after this album!
 

agreed!
    
Peter Cetera's on fire
The 1st and BEST Chicago album! ...like a runaway freight train! ...it is too bad that they went to top 40 dribble after this album!
Wouldn't argue with having the three Chicago tracks in the playlist played consecutively!
 dmellis wrote:
Canadese wrote: Let's blame Peter Cetera forever

 
You got that right! He turned the band to mush.
 SquiddlyDiddly wrote:
 

I can't agree with you more.  This gif describes the song 100% and I love it. Sadly I had to dislike your post because some people listen to radioparadise at work and have networks that are monitored by AIs that look for this type of content.
intro sounds like Zappa
 ImaOldman wrote:

Simple, unfortunate answer: Terry Kath committed suicide...
 
It was unintentional, he didn't check for one in the chamber.
Still kinda dumb putting an "empty" gun to your head and pull the trigger.
Earned him a posthumous Darwin Award.
Not the same without Terry Kath.
Looks like the 50th anniversary edition of this is horrible by all reviews I've read.
Stick to the 2002 Remix.
  
COWBELL!
 linden wrote:
I love some crunchy old Chicago!
 

Dig it, Very Much!
I love some crunchy old Chicago!
 michaelc wrote:
this Album was just sweet. What happened to these guys after this.
Like a chocolate bunny on a very hot day, just all turned to slop. 
 
Simple, unfortunate answer: Terry Kath committed suicide...
This was my absolute favorite album of theirs. And then with each successive album, my interest declined. By Chicago V, almost gone. VII, one song.

Sad how they were so seduced by pop. Last time I saw them they were basically a nightclub act.
“This is not a sappy ballad, but it's still Chicago.” — ROFL!
You know all that Brit stuff Bill likes? This load of old bollocks is the reason.
 kcar wrote:
I agree with the first part but severely disagree about Blows Against the Empire. I think it was one of the best albums of that era. 
 

 Canadese wrote:Let's blame Peter Cetera forever. 
 

I was just wondering if RP ever played early Chicago. CTA their best album ever. The album sound was ahead of its time in those years with its Jazz influenced rock. I still have that vinyl copy as well as a CD. It's a pity what happened to them later after the death of Terry Kath when they went in a 'pop' music direction.
I’m listening while working and stop to see who this is. Chicago? Wait, that Chicago? Time to follow the other commenters’ advice and listen to this whole album.
Terry Kath was a god!
 kingart wrote:
Smoking hot Chicago I and II. 
 
 
Except the brass section can't keep up with the music they are supposed to be playing and fall apart here and there, otherwise it is "nearly perfect."
Terry Kath was the original driving force and had the edge.  When he died, the band chose a softer direction.   Like Apple losing Steve Jobs.  
Cowbell BABY!
 kingart wrote:
This whole album is a classic. The 2nd one comes close. After that, it was a gradual (or faster) downhill slide to a Top 40 act. I understand that they lost their guitar wizard, and the money may have beckoned more than the passion of crafting thrilling music, but still...this first album is perhaps the gold standard of big band jazz rock fusion. It's a long way from the blast of Beginnings to bland Baby, What a Big Surprise. 

 


I remember laughing every time a new Chicago album came out with the Roman numeral name. They got up to "Chicago XXXVI"


{#Roflol}{#Roflol}{#Roflol}



But yes, the first album was amazing. Don't remember the second one as much, but I'll take your word that it was great too. Chicago's decline into FM pap was as mysterious and unwelcome as Jefferson Airplane's devolution into sci-fi-rock Jefferson Starship. 

I've been a fan since the beginning. If you like these guys, be certain to watch the movie "Now More Than Ever." Deals with a lot of what went wrong (David Foster + Peter Cetera).

Very much worth the time!
 michaelc wrote:
this Album was just sweet. What happened to these guys after this.
Like a chocolate bunny on a very hot day, just all turned to slop. 

 
Good analogy. I saw what was left of Chicago a few months back and they played all their radio hits. I was glad to get out of there. 
love chicago whatever  they did
I saw these guys in early 1970 and they ROCKED! Saw them in 1990 and not so much...
this Album was just sweet. What happened to these guys after this.
Like a chocolate bunny on a very hot day, just all turned to slop. 
hahaha, great driving song.
 Eric_J_Hebert wrote:
What exactly did Bill mean when he said this was recorded when Chicago was "still a Rock and Roll band."???

What did they become in your eyes Bill???


"If You Leave Me Now", "Baby, What A Big Surprise",  "Hard To Say I'm Sorry", "You're The Inspiration", etc...
This whole album is a classic. The 2nd one comes close. After that, it was a gradual (or faster) downhill slide to a Top 40 act. I understand that they lost their guitar wizard, and the money may have beckoned more than the passion of crafting thrilling music, but still...this first album is perhaps the gold standard of big band jazz rock fusion. It's a long way from the blast of Beginnings to bland Baby, What a Big Surprise. 
As with many I concur, early stuff by FAR their best. Such is life, we move on! {#Bananasplit}

TERRY KATH
"With this album, we dedicate ourselves, our futures and our energies to the people of the revolution. And the revolution in all of its forms."

Liner notes on their second album.  Safe to say that they became a bit "softer" as they aged.
 Eric_J_Hebert wrote:
What exactly did Bill mean when he said this was recorded when Chicago was "still a Rock and Roll band."???

What did they become in your eyes Bill???

 
Pop band.

And I feel the same way.  I've always loved this album.  It's a shame they couldn't continue in this direction
 Eric_J_Hebert wrote:
What exactly did Bill mean when he said this was recorded when Chicago was "still a Rock and Roll band."???

What did they become in your eyes Bill???

 
soft
What exactly did Bill mean when he said this was recorded when Chicago was "still a Rock and Roll band."???

What did they become in your eyes Bill???
 kingart wrote:
Smoking hot Chicago I and II. 
 

 
Sure were, then after that.....  well, not so much.  I can listen thru IV, but that's my limit.
Smoking hot Chicago I and II. 
 
 martinc wrote:
1969 and this is Chicago Transit Authority. I always though everything feel off the tracks when they became Chicago and their original guitarist committed suicide

 
They changed their name when the "real" CTA threatened lawyers.

Terry Kath was simply the victim of the stupidest accident in rock and roll, shooting himself after reassuring someone "it's not loaded." 
 dejapete wrote:
I have an early version of the LP where the brass are on one stereo channel and drums on the other...very old sounding. I think on later remasterings, you don't hear that separation.

 
I wish they had recorded the drums differently, with more resonance and low end. They're very dry sounding. Same for the bass. But a lot of albums were done that way then and into the '70s.
Kath-period Chicago was such a behemoth.

Now:
Cetera and Seraphine (and even Laudir DeOliveira) are still alive. How about a REAL reunion, guys?

Lamm posts on his public web pagethat he's just paying the bills, and his songs aren't welcome. WTF with that?

"A conference with Chicago’s manager, Howard Kaufman, suggested clearly that going forward, on the singles, the band would be featuring neither my songs, nor my voice. I knew I had to, now, concentrate on solo projects, to find fulfillment and expression."
brass
This tune cooks - love those dissonant notes the brass plays.
CTA yeah{#Bananapiano}
More Cowbell.
 Alexandra wrote:
You know, EVERY TIME a Chicago song is played, BillG has to talk about how wimpy the later version of the band got. But I liked a lot of their later material, as well as the early stuff. I know he's the owner of RP and all, but that is an awfully strong opinion to utter as the ultimate musical truth. 
 
Just sayin....
 


 
Sorry. Bill is right, you are out-to-lunch...
 80poundsOfFury wrote:
everytime this song comes on it makes me appreciate RP.
f***ing down-right awesome track from a f***ing down-right awesome album that was recorded a decade before i was born.

 
Notice, carefully, the complete lack of autotune. these guys were good back then. You had to be.
I don't dislike the use of brass instruments in other bands, but I have always hated them in Chicago. Not sure why. 
Weird. I never thought I'd hear Chicago again, and that was fine. Not bad, though.
When they were the CTA. Awesome
Never too much of Chicago as long as Terry Kath is on the record!
More please! 
everytime this song comes on it makes me appreciate RP.
f***ing down-right awesome track from a f***ing down-right awesome album that was recorded a decade before i was born.
Crunchy old Chicago. Love it.
Just an incredible debut album - nothing like this today, that's for sure!! {#No}
I have an early version of the LP where the brass are on one stereo channel and drums on the other...very old sounding. I think on later remasterings, you don't hear that separation.
 blotto wrote:
more cowbell.
 
OR...

Christopher Walken in "Pulp Fiction": "For five long years he wore this watch...up his ass" 
More Early Chicago! 

The complete "Ballet for a Girl from Buchannon" is always good!

{#Clap}
Love the bass line. Peter Cetera gets brickbats these days for his balladeering of yore, but he played a mean ass bass.
Great song from a great (for a period of 3 or 4 years at least) band
more cowbell.
 Keef wrote:

makes me horny
 
keep calm and hobo tapioca
 oldviolin wrote:
horns
 
makes me horny
 ricmo wrote:
Anyone who doesn't think much of Chicago (and that's understandable now) please listen to virtually anything from their first 3 or 4 LPs.
Just amazing stuff! 
 
10/4
 martinc wrote:
1969 and this is Chicago Transit Authority. I always though everything feel off the tracks when they became Chicago and their original guitarist committed suicide
 
um, no offense but you have been misinformed on both counts...
Anyone who doesn't think much of Chicago (and that's understandable now) please listen to virtually anything from their first 3 or 4 LPs.
Just amazing stuff! 
1969 and this is Chicago Transit Authority. I always though everything feel off the tracks when they became Chicago and their original guitarist committed suicide
horns
 drsteevo wrote:
This is one of the very few bands that make me turn off RP.  Those frenetic horns sound very dated, I even hated listening to them when I was kid.

 
Indeed. I have not really tried to like Chicago (what's the point of trying if it does not appeal?), but repeated exposures through the years have not improved the product. Frenetic horns says it well. Anyway, the city of Chicago has given us so much more interesting and better music than this.
When they were good, they were VERY good and deserving of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Ist time seeing these guys was 1969 at Tanglewood in MA, last time outside in baseball park at Portland, OR in 2000 (?).
 Darlington wrote:


I don't know...during the Peter Cetera era they DID get pretty wimpy.....
 
umm Cetera's playing on this one...
DAVID FOSTER is the issue....
Chicago Live at Carnegie Hall is one of my all time favorites. Early Chicago = GOOD
This is one of the very few bands that make me turn off RP.  Those frenetic horns sound very dated, I even hated listening to them when I was kid.

 ThePoose wrote:
Saw them play in summer 1969 at Expo 67 before they were famous and 
before they lost the litigation brought on by the real Chicago Transit Authority
and had to truncate their name to Chicago.

I knew immediately they were gonna hit the big time.

 
Yeah, we saw them as CTA and no album at Fillmore West—the newly rechristened Carousel Ballroom. Blew us away. Big band. Big sound. 'Tude. And, I agree, we just knew they were hot. Man, they were accessible—jawed for a long time with a bunch of college long hairs, slightly stoned and still reeling from the onslaught. Great guys.

Had to turn this up to eleven. Have never heard this one played here until today........that I recall. 

Thanks! 
 More_Cowbell wrote:
Love that Cowbell!
 
LOADS of cowbell... {#Wink}

 wxman wrote:
Peter Cetera

You mean this later version of the band?

Alexandra wrote:
You know, EVERY TIME a Chicago song is played, BillG has to talk about how wimpy the later version of the band got. But I liked a lot of their later material, as well as the early stuff. I know he's the owner of RP and all, but that is an awfully strong opinion to utter as the ultimate musical truth. 
 
Just sayin....
 
 
 
Yeah, that guy doesn't look like a wimp.  Wait... well... 
 More_Cowbell wrote:
Love that Cowbell!
 
The Cowbell is strong in this one !!!

Saw them play in summer 1969 at Expo 67 before they were famous and 
before they lost the litigation brought on by the real Chicago Transit Authority
and had to truncate their name to Chicago.

I knew immediately they were gonna hit the big time.

Love that Cowbell!
 Darlington wrote:


I don't know...during the Peter Cetera era they DID get pretty wimpy.....
 
Acutually Peter was an original member, playing bass and singing on some great songs.  But yes he also played on some stuff as they slid down into mediocrity or worse.  And don't get me started on his solo career.

Has sufficient cowbell.
love that horns/bass combo...ahhhh...the good old chicago
 On_The_Beach wrote:
Chicago, before they started producing the musical equivalent of pancake syrup.
 
we talking about the processed supermarket stuff or we talking about real maple syrup?

Never ceases to amaze me how such an awesome band got so damn cheesy 
Peter Cetera

You mean this later version of the band?

Alexandra wrote:
You know, EVERY TIME a Chicago song is played, BillG has to talk about how wimpy the later version of the band got. But I liked a lot of their later material, as well as the early stuff. I know he's the owner of RP and all, but that is an awfully strong opinion to utter as the ultimate musical truth. 
 
Just sayin....
 

 



Lots of songs have a cow bell - but how many have a moving cow bell.
Panning left to right - right to left.

Useless trivia.


And then, knowing that everyone had their stereos cranked up to 10, Bill follows Copland's "Fanfare" with this. Priceless. Thanks!
These guys sure laid down solid jams and belted out some of the best sounds of an era, like a buoyant, life-attesting soundtrack of some Heavy Times we all went through and can look back on. I try to remember them for what they did before they got commercialized to death; they sure did a lot of stuff that still sounds good on hot summer days or cozy indoor nights no matter where I am in the wide, wild world.
 Alexandra wrote:
You know, EVERY TIME a Chicago song is played, BillG has to talk about how wimpy the later version of the band got. But I liked a lot of their later material, as well as the early stuff. I know he's the owner of RP and all, but that is an awfully strong opinion to utter as the ultimate musical truth. 
 
Just sayin....
 

  You make a valid point, but the fact is, Bill's opinion is shared by a great number of people. Their later material never reached the promise of their first album. Sure there is some fine material there, but nothing like the early stuff.


IMHO Free rocks.
 Alexandra wrote:
You know, EVERY TIME a Chicago song is played, BillG has to talk about how wimpy the later version of the band got. But I liked a lot of their later material, as well as the early stuff. I know he's the owner of RP and all, but that is an awfully strong opinion to utter as the ultimate musical truth. 
 
Just sayin....
 

 

I don't know...during the Peter Cetera era they DID get pretty wimpy.....
You know, EVERY TIME a Chicago song is played, BillG has to talk about how wimpy the later version of the band got. But I liked a lot of their later material, as well as the early stuff. I know he's the owner of RP and all, but that is an awfully strong opinion to utter as the ultimate musical truth. 
 
Just sayin....
 

1969 the year when many bands gave us their best.
 jwaters wrote:
Must agree with cmplus! Brilliant transition from Common Man to Listen!
 

The seasons have changed, but the segue still works at the beginning of summer. 

Totally forgot about this song. Amazing how good this band sounded early on, and how awful it became.  
Aaron Copland ==> Listen. Never gets old.

 On_The_Beach wrote:
Chicago, before they started producing the musical equivalent of pancake syrup.
 
Yes indeed. How the mighty fell, so far and so fast.

Oh Hells Yeah!
Those horns and that bass line.
 BigIslandBlues wrote:
Listen...Just listen....isn't that a cowbell! {#Dancingbanana}
 
Well, Bill IS in farm country! 

Pop fusion.

{#Wink}

In 1969, these guys were as raw and connected as anything you were likely to hear.