Chicago - VII (1974)

Posted By: v3122
Chicago - VII (1974)

Chicago - VII (1974)
Vinyl Rip | 32-bit/384 kHz | WavPack(Tracks) > 6.1 Gb | Artwork(jpg) > 11 Mb
or 24-bit/192 kHz | Flac(Image + Cue) > 2.59 Gb
or 24-bit/44.1 kHz | Flac(Image + Cue) > 783 Mb
2LP | Columbia, C2 32810 | US | Jazz-Rock, Pop Rock, Fusion, Soft Rock

Although commercially successful, Chicago's previous long-player, Chicago VI (1973), had not been received as warmly from both the critics as well as from some bandmembers. Both parties expressed their dissatisfaction with the lighter fare and significantly shorter material. In response, the combo briefly returned to their previously tried and true methodology on their follow-up album. As such, Chicago VII (1974) was not only a double LP, but much of the effort likewise returned them to their former jazz/rock glory while continuing the middle-of-the-road (MOR) ethos that was concurrently impacting the pop charts. Nowhere is this more evident than the trio of sides extracted as singles – including the Top Ten hits "(I've Been) Searching So Long," "Call on Me," and "Wishing You Were Here." The latter of which features some stunning backing vocals from Beach Boys Dennis Wilson, Carl Wilson, and Alan Jardine. The group were continuing in their incorporation of additional musicians, most notably Laudir DeOliveira (percussion) and David J. Wolinski (ARP synthesizer) – both of whom are prominently featured throughout the sides. The opening instrumentals, including "Prelude to Aire," "Aire," and "Devil's Sweet," reflect Daniel Seraphine's (drums) tremendously underrated skills as a writer as well as the combo's recently underutilized talents as ensemble musicians. All three tracks provide a brilliant showcase for the brass/woodwind section(s) to flex their respective muscles, drawing heavily upon the styles of Weather Report and to some extent Miles Davis and Santana. The nature of their seemingly experimental fusion is stretched out even further on "Italian From New York." The cut includes some interesting ARP interjections from Robert Lamm, whose decidedly free-form contributions weave alongside some rubbery and liquefied fretwork courtesy of Terry Kath (guitar/vocals). His lead bobs around Lamm's synthesizer and an equally prominent cool-toned Fender Rhodes keyboard bed. The second half of Chicago VII directly contrasts the less structured instrumentals with more inclusive sides such as the previously mentioned hits "Call On Me" and "Wishing You Were Here." Other highlights include Lamm's funky mid-tempo "Life Saver," Peter Cetera's (bass/vocals) laid-back and unencumbered "Happy Man," and a double shot from Kath in the form of two serene ballads, "Song of the Evergreens" and "Byblos" – which features some stellar acoustic strumming. This collection would be Chicago's final two-disc set by the original lineup and offers the best of the band as improvisational instrumentalists as well as concise, emotive vocalists and song crafters.

by Lindsay Planer, allmuic
Chicago - VII (1974):


A1 Prelude To Aire
A2 Aire
A3 Devil's Sweet
B1 Italian From New York
B2 Hanky Panky
B3 Life Saver
B4 Happy Man
C1 (I've Been) Searchin' So Long
C2 Mongonucleosis
C3 Song Of The Evergreens
C4 Byblos
D1 Wishing You Were Here
D2 Call On Me
D3 Woman Don't Want To Love Me
D4 Skinny Boy

Original ripper: uta5erika5
Original format: 32/384
Vinyl Condition: NM
Direct Drive Turntable: Denon DP-A100
Cartridge: Soundsmith Aida MKII ES
Amplifier: Manley Labs CHINOOK Special Edition MKII
Processing: iZotop RX7

Downsampled to 24/192 & 24/44.1

Chicago - VII (1974)

Chicago - VII (1974)

Chicago - VII (1974)

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