This kind of pressure had side effects. Outside writers were brought in to write a “
When Peter Cetera left the band in 1985, the second replacement guitarist, Chris Pinnick, also left. Into the band came two fresh faces, Jason Scheff (bass and vocals) and Dawayne Bailey (guitars). Bailey was something to behold to suburban teenagers like myself. He looked like something straight out of
But on record, it was still the same old soulless thing everyone had come to expect. Until 1993.
What we now know is that the members of
The album that emerged was to be
Kick-butt rock songs and emotional ballads not enough for you? Well, how about funk? Mah-Jong, written by Jason Scheff but sung by the blue-eyed soul crooner Bill Champlin goes where no other
Lyrics. Remember back in the day when Chicago wrote songs wishing Richard Nixon would quit (“A Song for Richard and His Friends”), the plight of pollution (“Mother”), the burden of war (“Dialogue”) or the general dilapidated state of America (“What Is This World Comin' To?”)? Well, that’s okay. No one else does, either. They stopped recording those kinds of songs by the mid 70s. Sure, tunes like “We Can Stop the Hurtin’” surfaced every now and then but they were few and far between. Not on SOS. Those kinds of songs came roaring back, with “Cry for the Lost” and “All the Years.” The latter song has a bit of
So happy were the guys of
When it was all said and done, all recorded and put on tape, the album that was to have been
Give you one guess what the suits thought. Upon listening to this CD, the suits knocked
The next two releases, Night and Day: Big Band, and
The bootlegs began filtering out in the mid 1990s. I’ll admit that I acquired one. When some of the tracks made their way onto foreign CDs, I snatched those up, too. I did anything to get good sounding copies of these songs. And I took great joy, tremendous joy, in playing certain cuts of the album and asking people to guess who was singing. Even thought they knew me and my love of
I still consider
Next week I can. And I will. And I hope you do, too. Let’s show all those suits that they made a mistake back in 1993. Chicago 22 was the return of the Rock Band With Horns mentality.
Isn’t that what we want from our music anyway?