Worst Chicago song

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by MikaelaArsenault, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. Dougd

    Dougd Forum Resident

    Lamm lost his wife, Karen Lamm, to Dennis Wilson, drummer (hell raiser- alpha male) of The Beach Boys.
    I believe Karen Lamm left after she heard about Lamm's cheating during a European tour, according to what I'd read.
  2. Dougd

    Dougd Forum Resident

  3. Comet01

    Comet01 Forum Resident

    It would be hard to imagine Karen Lamm choosing a man less capable of fidelity than Dennis Wilson.
    Lonesurf and videoman like this.
  4. videoman

    videoman Forum Resident

    Lake Tahoe, NV
    Listen to majority of his songs at the end of the "classic" period and you'll know he didn't just give up. He was out of juice. As big of a Chicago fan as anyone here---anyone who doesn't think "You Get It Up", "Gently I Wake You", "Scrapbook", "Policeman", and "Vote For Me" are as bad as anything that they did later just because Terry Kath is playing guitar on the tracks?

    Puh-leeze. I'd have been phoning up Diane Warren too if that's the best the band was bringing in themselves
  5. videoman

    videoman Forum Resident

    Lake Tahoe, NV
    Why must have he been huge into Kath's work? Because he married his widow?

    Pretty much the last person I want in the room with me and any girl I've ever dated (including the one I married) is the man who traversed there before me.

    The Kath-worship on this forum just reached a new level of creepiness...
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
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  6. Dougd

    Dougd Forum Resident

    "The Night Chicago Died" is the worst "Chicago" song :)

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  7. Terrapin Station

    Terrapin Station Forum Resident

    NYC Man
    Only the first thirty-six albums are good.

    (As of this date, at least.)
  8. videoman

    videoman Forum Resident

    Lake Tahoe, NV
    Definately the worst song ever written about the East Side
    Hall Cat likes this.
  9. Terrapin Station

    Terrapin Station Forum Resident

    NYC Man
    I like "Skin Tight" because it's a super-funky banger with a really hip horn chart.
    Randon Ton and AudiophilePhil like this.
  10. Dougd

    Dougd Forum Resident

    Wow. The real Chicago had a hit single on the chart the week The Night Chicago hit No. 1.
    CALL ON ME was @ No. 6, its chart peak, IIRC.

    Also note how a (then) unknown Billy Joel charted... @ No. 87.
    Anyone remember Travelin' Prayer?

    Dig this... The BEACH BOYS' Surfin' USA (a song from 1963 !!!) also "debuted" @ No. 84. :)

    US Top 40 Singles Week Ending 17th August, 1974
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    TW LW TITLE –•– Artist (Label)-Weeks on Chart (Peak To Date)

    1 2 THE NIGHT CHICAGO DIED –•– Paper Lace (Mercury)-10 (1 week at #1)
    2 1 FEEL LIKE MAKIN’ LOVE –•– Roberta Flack (Atlantic)-9
    3 13 (You’re) HAVING MY BABY –•– Paul Anka (with Odia Coates) (United Artists)-7
    4 10 TELL ME SOMETHING GOOD –•– Rufus (ABC)-10
    5 5 PLEASE COME TO BOSTON –•– Dave Loggins (Epic)-12
    6 6 CALL ON ME –•– Chicago (Columbia)-9
    7 7 WATERLOO –•– Abba (Atlantic)-12
    8 9 WILDWOOD WEED –•– Jim Stafford (MGM)-7
    9 19 I’M LEAVING IT (All) UP TO YOU –•– Donny and Marie Osmond (MGM)-7
    10 8 SIDESHOW –•– Blue Magic (Atco)-14

    11 11 KEEP ON SMILIN’ –•– Wet Willie (Capricorn)-13
    12 12 TAKIN’ CARE OF BUSINESS –•– Bachman-Turner Overdrive (Mercury)-14
    13 23 I SHOT THE SHERIFF –•– Eric Clapton (RSO)-6
    14 18 SHININ’ ON –•– Grand Funk (Capitol)-6
    15 20 ROCK ME GENTLY –•– Andy Kim (Capitol)-9
    16 16 SURE AS I’M SITTIN’ HERE –•– Three Dog Night (Dunhill)-8
    17 21 YOU AND ME AGAINST THE WORLD –•– Helen Reddy (Capitol)-10
    18 3 ANNIE’S SONG –•– John Denver (RCA)-12
    19 4 DON’T LET THE SUN GO DOWN ON ME –•– Elton John (MCA)-9
    20 25 RUB IT IN –•– Billy “Crash” Craddock (ABC)-8

    21 29 THEN CAME YOU –•– Dionne Warwick and the Spinners (Atlantic)-4
    22 28 WILD THING –•– Fancy (Big Tree)-10
    23 24 HANG ON IN THERE BABY –•– Johnny Bristol (MGM)-8
    24 14 ROCK AND ROLL HEAVEN –•– The Righteous Brothers (Haven)-13
    25 31 NOTHING FROM NOTHING –•– Billy Preston (A&M)-6
    26 39 CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF YOUR LOVE, BABE –•– Barry White (20th Century)-3
    27 15 RIKKI, DON’T LOSE THAT NUMBER –•– Steely Dan (ABC)-15
    28 22 RADAR LOVE –•– Golden Earring (Track)-15
    29 32 MY THANG –•– James Brown (Polydor)-9
    30 36 CLAP FOR THE WOLFMAN –•– The Guess Who (RCA)-5

    31 17 THE AIR THAT I BREATHE –•– The Hollies (Epic)-18
    32 51 YOU HAVEN’T DONE NOTHIN’ –•– Stevie Wonder (Tamla)-3
    33 33 RIVER’S RISIN’ –•– Edgar Winter (Epic)-5
    34 79 IT’S ONLY ROCK ‘N ROLL (But I Like It) –•– The Rolling Stones (Rolling Stones)-3
    35 37 HAPPINESS IS JUST AROUND THE BEND –•– The Main Ingredient (RCA)-8
    36 26 ROCK YOUR BABY –•– George McCrae (T.K.)-12
    37 27 ROCK THE BOAT –•– The Hues Corporation (RCA)-13
    38 47 LET’S PUT IT ALL TOGETHER –•– The Stylistics (Avco)-4
    39 44 TIME FOR LIVIN’ –•– Sly and the Family Stone (Epic)-7
    40 50 BEACH BABY –•– First Class (UK)-5


    43 30 ON AND ON –•– Gladys Knight and the Pips (Buddah)-13
    49 35 ONE HELL OF A WOMAN –•– Mac Davis (Columbia)-21
    50 38 MACHINE GUN –•– The Commodores (Motown)-10
    53 40 FISH AIN’T BITIN’ –•– Lamont Dozier (ABC)-10
    54 34 IF YOU TALK IN YOUR SLEEP –•– Elvis Presley (RCA)-11


    41 52 DON’T CHANGE HORSES (In the Middle Of A Stream) –•– The Tower Of Power (Warner Brothers)-5
    42 63 ANOTHER SATURDAY NIGHT –•– Cat Stevens (A&M)-3
    44 56 SWEET HOME ALABAMA –•– Lynyrd Skynyrd (MCA)-4
    45 55 WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE –•– Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods (ABC)-4
    46 49 DON’T KNOCK MY LOVE –•– Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye (Motown)-6
    47 58 FREE MAN IN PARIS –•– Joni Mitchell (Asylum)-4
    48 66 I LOVE MY FRIEND –•– Charlie Rich (Epic)-3


    63 — I HONESTLY LOVE YOU –•– Olivia Newton-John (MCA)-1
    70 — CAN’T GET ENOUGH –•– Bad Company (Swan Song)-1
    81 — MIDNIGHT FLOWER –•– The Four Tops (Dunhill)-1
    82 — YOU LITTLE TRUSTMAKER –•– The Tymes (RCA)-1
    84 — SURFIN’ U.S.A. –•– The Beach Boys (Capitol)-18
    87 — TRAVELIN’ PRAYER –•– Billy Joel (Columbia)-1

    89 — CITY IN THE SKY –•– The Staple Singers (Stax)-1
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  11. Planbee

    Planbee Monk Or Wizard?

    "Scrapbook" is awesome (forget Kath, listen to Cetera's bass instead), and I'll fight you on the East Side of Chicago for saying it's bad. Bring your swim trunks, because the Chicago's east side is Lake Michigan. :laugh:

  12. videoman

    videoman Forum Resident

    Lake Tahoe, NV
    Sorry, but "Scrapbook" is junk from a songwriting standpoint. Nothing says "out of gas" more than throwing together some lousy lyrics recalling gigs you've played in the past. Decent playing from the band doesn't save it.

    And the East Side of Chicago is way too cold for this California boy. :)
  13. Planbee

    Planbee Monk Or Wizard?

    The lyrics were sort of the history of the band to that point, not sure what's wrong with them. :confused:

    We've had a mild winter, so the water should be fine... :D
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  14. videoman

    videoman Forum Resident

    Lake Tahoe, NV
    Nothing says "out of song ideas" more than recalling some of the band's history, I would suggest

    And musically? 5 bucks if you can hum the melody to that one.
  15. Dougd

    Dougd Forum Resident

    You feel the same about The Mama & Papa's Creque Alley (which tells their group history, as well as The Lovin' Spoonful, The Byrds' and Barry McGuire's)?
  16. videoman

    videoman Forum Resident

    Lake Tahoe, NV
    It's a better song

    "Scrapbook" is junk. The riff is lame, the melody is weak, and the lyrics make "Colour My World" sound like poetry.

    I prefer "Chicago X" on LP than on CD because it's much easier to ignore Side 2. Five of Chicago's worst songs ever, IMO.

    Even Kath's "Hope for Love" is just a weak rehash of the same ballad he wrote many times before. Another sign the band was running low on ideas.
  17. SCRAPBOOK is the best album track from X in my opinion. It has a very fine guitar solo by Terry Kath, nice lyrics about the band's history up to that point, explosive horn part that reminds of the Tower of Power horn section, and the Elton John-like vocals by Robert Lamm.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
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  18. fitzysbuna

    fitzysbuna Forum Resident

    sounds like they were listening to Peter Gabriel or someone like that very 80's sounding .
  19. Regarding "Hope For Love" which serves as one of the two Kath-written bookend songs for "Chicago X", I think it has a better melody and a better song arrangement than any previous Kath-written slow songs. I actually prefer it over "Alma Mater" from V.
  20. videoman

    videoman Forum Resident

    Lake Tahoe, NV
    Retread. They were out of gas as songwriters. Kath included who had to resurrect the years-old "Mississippi City Delta Blues" for the next album.

    The weaknesses started showing out VIII and only became more apparent on X and XI. Lamm and Pankow were done. Cetera was only ever good for one song an album anyway. (VII excepted where he had two). Until he hooked up with Foster. And, of course, Kath never even wrote a single A-side, let alone an actual hit. Luckily they got a couple of nice contributions from Seraphine and Loughnane to prop up the songwriting on those late "classic" albums but by 13 it was obvious that nobody in the original lineup had any songs left.

    But that's a great run. Most songwriters only have a couple of good years anyway. One of Chicago's strengths was having enough songwriters that someone else was able to pick up the slack when needed. For the first 10 years or so, anyway.

    And "Scrapbook" was filler. :)
    Nostaljack likes this.
  21. That's your opinion. In my book, "Scrapbook" is one of the highlights in the award-winning album.
  22. videoman

    videoman Forum Resident

    Lake Tahoe, NV
    Yep. It's all about expressing our opinions, isn't it?

    In mine, "Scrapbook" doesn't come close to the quality of songwriting Lamm was doing earlier. It's basically a jam track with some lyrics that sound like he wrote them in the car on the way to the studio and made up the melody as he was going along.

    It's saved somewhat by some decent playing by the band, but that doesn't make it a better SONG. And we were discussing the decline of Lamm's songwriting.

    It's really the textbook definition of a "filler" track. "Let's just jam on this riff I just came up with for 3 minutes and I'll put together some lyrics for it". If you like the track, that's great. But it's FAR from an example of great songwriting.

    And I don't care how many "awards" the album received*. It's still their weakest from the "classic" period, IMO. Side 2 is barely listenable. "Scrapbook" IS probably the best song on Side 2, which really tells you just how much the other 4 tracks suck. "Hope for Love" is OK, but the other 3 are really, really bad. Probably the worst 3 tracks they recorded to that point that were intended to be songs. (We can probably all agree that "Free Form Guitar" isn't a 'song'?)

    *BTW, didn't the only Grammy award the album receive was for the artwork?
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
  23. Chicago X was Grammy nominated for album of the year and won three, two were for "If You Leave Me Now" such as "Best Arrangement Acompanying Vocalist(s) (strings) for arranger Jimmie Haskel; and producer James William guercio and Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus; and one for John Berg's trademark artwork. In addition, "If You Leave me Now" was nominated for "Record of the Year".

    A few months later, Chicago X won the AMA's "Album of the Year" award.

    We can argue endlessly without agreeing on something.
    My take is "Scrapbook" is one of the best album tracks on any album by this band.
    Although I prefer Side One of X, the only real filler on Side Two is "You Get It Up."
    Peter's "Mama Mama" has a haunting melody with great lush string arrangement by the Award-winning Jimmie Haskel.
    Lamm's "Gently I'll Wake You" has a nice Beatles-esque melody and like "Mama Mama" and "If You Leave Now" is enhanced by the intricate arrangements combining Jimmie Haskel's strings, Pankow's horn arrangement, Laudir de Oliveira's percussions, and great bass playing from Peter.
    Dougd likes this.
  24. Terrapin Station

    Terrapin Station Forum Resident

    NYC Man
    I disagree with a lot of your comments (including your comments on Chicago X), but this is the one I disagree with the strongest.
  25. bRETT

    bRETT Forum Resident

    Boston MA
    Musically I'd say "You Get it Up" is fine, the closest thing to a jazz-rock instrumental they did after VII. If you hate the lyrics, they only cover 30 seconds of a four-minute song.
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