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Chicago are still touring with 3 original members from 1967 and this lavish box set celebrates their survival & 50th year together. The real revelation is the 1969 - 1970 (Isle of Wight) live performances anyone who saw the band live during that halcyon period will know the legacy of front man Terry Kath. The first three discs once again show what a extraordinary guitarist and singer he was and how much the band suffered from his early death. By the end of disc 3 we are hearing 'If You Leave Me Now' on the same disc as the blistering 17 minutes of 'Liberation' from CTA clearly showing where the band were in 1969 and where they were heading by the late 70s. There are some gems here as the early set lists include two Chicago classics 'Goodbye' & 'Hit By Varese' - it's great to hear these relatively obscure songs live. By disc 4 we have the watered down MOR, David Foster & Bill Chumplin insipid ballad led years - this can be cast aside. Disc 5 is a live DVD from Rockaplast 1977 which is excellent but where on earth is the The Tanglewood show 1970? Widely available on you tube but not here - swap disc 4 for Tanglewood and this would have been perfect.Sound quality varies but surprisingly good on the early recordings I should give it 4 stars for the dreadful later stuff - but if this box set changes some of the preconceptions of this band then it has to be 5 stars.
This is on odd package. Firstly, it's great to see the Rockpalast show, as the band are on fine form. Save for some of the glittery clothes and sometimes rather camp set up, the band are 'on', and it is a mixture of the early stuff and the newer 'softer' stuff. I must say, having never really taken notice of Terry Kath as a guitarist, his playing is excellent and I can see why some fans regard him as underrated. While he is no Garcia/Leslie West/Dickey Betts etc, he certainly should be recognised. Some of the funk playing I especially liked. The IOW is the highlight of the audio stuff. Apart from a slightly loose ending, they are solid and it's good to hear early live Chicago. The other 2 discs have good music however, I'm sure there are better sounding tapes in the vaults. Some of the recordings make the Dead's Dick's Pick's 2 tracks sound 'warm'. That being said, from the early stuff to the newer stuff, it is still a good listen. Big fans will lap it up. I am just a 'casual fan.' I'm glad I bought it, yet given the price, they really could have found better sounding stuff! If it wasn't for Rockpalast, I'd probably have given this a 3 or 3.5.
Beau coffret avec 4 CD et un DVD. Intégralité du concert de l'Ile de Wight en août 1970. Terry Kath domine largement les débats. C'était la locomotive et l'âme du groupe. Sur les autres CD, 2 morceaux de l'Olympia en 1969 et divers concerts de 1972 à 1977. Le son est correct sans plus; Je m'attendais à pire. Tous les fans de Terry Kath se doivent de posséder ce luxueux coffret.
The Isle of Wight concert is worth the price of admission alone on this one. Sound mixer Tim Jessup has done a masterful job of taking what was, by all accounts, a rough set of tracks to begin with and making it a powerful final recording that uses an "in your face" mix and makes it sound like you're standing right on stage with the band. It's tragic Chicago didn't stick to this musical philosophy for the remainder of their career, but instead drifted into commercialized ballad territory.
The non-IOW tracks are a mix -- Liberation and Goodbye are standouts, while Now That You've Gone, Takin' It Uptown, Hot Streets and Little One are valued additions.
The only real clunker is A Hit by Varese and that because of the very bad sound quality. It doesn't sound like the source was off the soundboard, but rather in the audience somewhere.
All in all, a set worth purchasing mainly because of the sterling Isle of Wight show. It would have been better for Rhino to release he live shows individually, rather than have them cut up as they were on the non-IOW tracks, but after suffering through years of buying greatest hits and other pre-released cuts on packages to get only one or two new things, we'll take it.
Hopefully, more re-mixed or re-mastered complete shows from the band will be forthcoming in the future.