Who sings Lead on these CHICAGO Songs?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by houston, Sep 25, 2006.

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  1. houston

    houston Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Dallas, Texas, USA
    I know CHICAGO had 3 lead singers, Cetera, Kath, and Lamm, up to 1985 or so, anyway, but I always thought Lamm did the early Hits, but then I read Kath sanf lead on "Colour my world"...right? if so, then I really don't know about the other pre-73 tunes...so, who sang lead on:

    Saturday in the Park?
    Dialouge (with Cetera)
    Make me smile
    Does anybody know what time it is?

    followup, while on the subject...Basically after "Dialouge" up untill He left in
    the mid 80's Cetera dominated...lead on virtually all the many Hits...why is that? I heard He left because the others were at odds over the band's musical direction and forced him out? Hello? why would it take about 12 years
    to decide they were unhappy with Cetera's Dominance?:rolleyes:
  2. David R. Modny

    David R. Modny Senior Member

    Beginnings - Lamm
    Saturday in the Park - Lamm w/ Cetera
    Dialogue - Kath & Cetera
    Make Me Smile - Kath
    Does Anybody Know What Time It Is - Lamm
  3. quentincollins

    quentincollins Forum Word Nerd

    Seattle, WA
    Bobby Lamm and Terry Kath have similar voices, I sometimes can't tell the two apart. That is, when Kath isn't adding a little rasp to his voice, then it's EASY to tell who's who. Otherwise, for instance, it may as well be Lamm singing Kath's parts early on in Dialogue.
  4. David R. Modny

    David R. Modny Senior Member

    It's definitely Kath duetting with Cetera. Though, Lamm wrote it.
  5. quentincollins

    quentincollins Forum Word Nerd

    Seattle, WA
    I'd never heard that they'd forced him out, I'd always read it as being that he left for a solo career, which makes sense given the time and place. "If You Leave Me Now" pretty much marked the future for Chicago. That song was rediculously successful. Hell, if it made them rich men, might as well keep the formula going, right? And they did just that ("Baby What a Big Surprise", for instance). Once Kath was dead, that was pretty much the nail in the coffin of any remaining traces of the Chicago of yesteryear. They'd become a ballads band, with Cetera as their voice. And given how well albums like Chicago 16 and 17 did, why NOT go solo, especially when he'd sang all the big hits. That's gotta go to your head, no?

    Just my thoughts and conspiracies :cool:
  6. quentincollins

    quentincollins Forum Word Nerd

    Seattle, WA
    I know it is. But I could see the confusion for a newbie or casual fan, as Kath does sound a little like Lamm early in the song. Sorta like how George and John kinda sound the same sometimes, what with the nasality.

    Oh crap, scratch that reference. I don't wanna derail the thread :shh: :unhunh:
  7. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    New York, NY, USA
    Funny . . . I thought Lamm sounded like a slightly lower (in vocal range) version of Cetera. 'Specially on the chorus of "Questions 67 and 68" ("I'd like to know / Can you tell me, please don't tell me . . . ")
  8. cincyjim

    cincyjim Forum Resident

    Cincinnati, Ohio
    In the liner notes of the Group Portrait box set Cetera says that in the early days of the group, he was told they didn't need his songwriting contributions because they already had three members writing songs (Lamm, Kath & Pankow). I'm guessing that remained a sore topic with Cetera through the years. I also read he didn't want to tour every year, but rather focus on recording.
  9. tspit74

    tspit74 Forum Resident

    Woodridge, IL, USA
    Cetera won't even talk about his time with Chicago. Apparently, he wanted to go solo from the mid 70's onward but management kept him under control. His 1st solo album was supposed to be his bid for a solo career but the record company buried it to keep him in the band. After his face exploded on MTV with 16 and 17, there was no reason to stay. He has said that he NEVER liked the horns, hated jazz, and was more into country music. His early writing reflects that, too. Where Do We Go From Here, Lowdown, In Terms of Two, are very countryish. He was going to split after IV stayed because he was appeased with that 1st solo album.

    I suspect he's a difficult guy to get along with. If you've ever seen any concert footage from '79, '82, or the Soundstage with orchestra thing, his personality is grating to say the least. On the Soundstage show, Amy Grant's body language suggested that she thought he was a creep. I thought she was going to jump out of her skin when they duetted. Really unfomfortable to watch. He's part of Chicago's original chemistry. Unfortunately, it's a chemestry that died with Terry. I'm always interested in what he does however much I don't like him.
  10. flashdaily

    flashdaily Active Member

    I've always had the feeling that Cetera was pretty much in love with himself. He does have great hair. Seriously though, I never really cared for any of Chicago's lead voices, though Lamm's was easiest to take. Cetera always sounded harsh and shrill (like his personality?) and I never "bought" him as a ballad singer. Kath's voice was, well, different.
  11. Post #2 answers are correct.

    Cetera did not dominate the band's songwriting not until the time David Foster took over as the band's producer during the early 80's. The band allowed Cetera to sing lead in most of the songs that had strong potentials to become commercially successful singles because his voice is more recognizable for the casual fans than Lamm's and Kath's.
    If you will take a look at the songwriting credits on each of the Chicago albums on Columbia Rec. from 1969-1977, Cetera only wrote a few songs for the band. The most dominant songwriter was keyboardist Robert Lamm, followed by trombonist James Pankow. Kath ranks third and Cetera is fourth. The other band memebers more notably Loughnane (trumpet) and Seraphine (drums)contributed a few excellent songs for the band specially in the middle period of the band's career.
    According to Cetera, he quit Chicago (while the band was still enjoying a huge commercial success in sales for Chicago 16 and 17) because he was tired of touring. He wanted to divide his time as a Chicago member and at the same time as a solo artist like what Phil Collins exactly did with Genesis but the band members and managemant refused because some memebers of the band wanted to keep Chicago a faceless band.
    Cetera chose to quit the band so that he could have more time with his daughter and pursued a mildly succesful solo career.
  12. jblock

    jblock Forum Resident

    I remember reading an interview with Cetera where he said that Kath told him not to tell anyone he played guitar on one of Cetera's songs (I think it was Lowdown), which Kath didn't think highly of.
  13. scousette

    scousette Forum Resident

    Greenbrae, CA USA
    I've always preferred Lamm's and Kath's voices to Cetera's.
  14. tspit74

    tspit74 Forum Resident

    Woodridge, IL, USA
    Robert Lamm is my favorite Chicago dude. Check out the last track on his first solo album, Skinny Boy. The song is "Crazy Brother John" and it's great. Terry Kath played bass on the album. It's from '74; my favorite year BTW.
  15. I think you were referring to XIV (Chicago's unsuccessful 1980 album and the last album they recorded for Columbia label), the "thumbprint" album.
  16. The versatility of having 3 lead singers (Robert Lamm- smooth baritone, Terry Kath- soulful baritone, Peter Cetera- soaring tenor), has made Chicago so unique as a rock band in the late 60's and during the 70's.
    The death of Terry Kath in 1978 was a big blow to the band. They've lost one of the voices of Chicago and his songwriting contributions, his versatility (rock, blues, jazz style) and virtousity as a guitar player have been missed.
  17. tspit74

    tspit74 Forum Resident

    Woodridge, IL, USA
    That's exactly what I meant, the thumb print album. How did I type IV? Thanks for bringing that to my attention.

    Maybe he should have left before the 13th album and spared us all that Aloha Mama dreck.
  18. Jack White

    Jack White Forum Resident

    Cetera's was not initially a songwriter. His first song appeared on Chicago (aka II). It was his only song on that album. His role as a songwriter did not take off in a substantial way until "If You Leave Me Now", from X.

    It actually must have been difficult for all the individuals in that band: seven band members; four main songwriters, and three lead vocalists. There must have been a lot of clashing personalties, egos and talent; inter-personal politics; and disappointments when the pie is being cut into so many pieces. I am not an expert on the inner workings of the band, but just think about the songwriting royalites alone - that's where the real money is made. The band members who were not songwriters must have wanted to tour badly, to make some real money from their share of the performance fees. Then consider the effect of Kath's death, changes in management, their producer, and musical trends - especially video. Cetera became the face of the group with the advent of music videos and his lead vocals on all those ballads he wrote. It wasn't until this time that he became the dominant figure in the group.
  19. jwoverho

    jwoverho Senior Member

    Mobile, AL USA
    Kath's vocal on WISHING YOU WERE HERE (with the Beach Boys on backup) is one of my favorites. I think that Dennis (Wilson) could have done a tremendous version as well.
  20. bluemt

    bluemt Forum Resident

    Lincoln, MA 01773
    Mike Love
  21. NonoyBonzon

    NonoyBonzon New Member

    actually one of my favorite slow songs done by Chicago. although Cetera briefly
    makes a vocal appearance in the middle i think... also i think only two members of the beach boys were present in the backup section, but still carry that trademark beach boys vocal...
  22. :confused:
  23. Actually three of the Beach Boys joined Peter Cetera in the recording of the background vocals for "Wishing You Were Here."
    According to the liner notes of Chicago VII LP, the background vocals were done by Al Jardine, Carl Wilson, Dennis Wilson and Peter Cetera.
  24. I agree. :righton: For the kind of group like Chicago, the clashing of personalities and egos were under control when James Willaim Guercio was their producer. Chicago somehow lost directions and chaos sat in after they parted ways with him. The death of Terry Kath was also a big contributing factor to the band's loss of direction after 1978.
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