Chicago VI Decades Live Boxed Set: Listen… Wow!

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Chicago fans are in for a huge treat. A 5-disc collection, Chicago VI Decades Live–using the band’s signature Roman numerals and the subtitle “This Is What We Do”–has been released by Rhino. The boxed set, including 4-CDs and 1-DVD, arrived April 6 and is available for order here. The collection features previously unreleased concert recordings, including several deep cuts that have never appeared on any of the band’s live albums.

The songs in the collection were recorded between 1969 and 2014, including the band’s entire performance at England’s Isle of Wight Festival in August 1970. The DVD features a concert that was originally broadcast on the German music television show Rockpalast (a WDR production) in 1977. The set comes with a 24-page booklet illustrated with rare images selected from the band’s vast archive.

The performances, selected from six decades, start with a trio of songs recorded in Paris in 1969: “Poem For The People,” “25 Or 6 To 4” and “Liberation.” Other highlights include tracks like “A Hit By Varèse” (1973), “Takin’ It On Uptown” (1977) and “Forever” (1987), in addition to songs from Chicago’s 1994 big band tour: “In The Mood” and “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore.”

Watch them play “Saturday in the Park” from the 1977 Rockpalast performance

Listen to the blistering version of “25 or 6 To 4” from 1969

Listen to “Beginnings” from the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970

The band’s current lineup recently announced a North American summer tour with REO Speedwagon. For these dates, the band will perform its historic Chicago II album in its entirety followed by the “world’s longest encore,” as the band jokingly refers to it, filled with their greatest hits. (In January, they replaced their longtime drummer as well as their bass player/lead vocalist.) Tickets are available here. and here.

On March 15, Best Classic Bands premiered another song from the collection, “Goodbye,” from 1971.

Chicago formed in 1967 and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016. They are the highest-charting American band in Billboard‘s Hot 200 All-Time Top Artists, earning the #15 overall spot (as of March 2018). The group’s extensive accomplishments include five consecutive #1 albums and record sales in excess of 100 million.

Listen to Chicago II‘s famous “Ballet for a Girl in Buchannon,” also from 1970’s Isle of Wight performance

Chicago has released many live recordings in their career, beginning with 1971’s 4-LP set, Live at Carnegie HallChicago VI Decades Live: This Is What We Do is a career-spanning collection showcasing what they have done so well in their five+ decades.

Chicago VI Decades Live Track Listing

Disc 1 (Isle of Wight Festival 8/28/70)
Introduction
South California Purples
Beginnings
In The Country
Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? (Free Form Intro)
Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?
Mother

Disc 2 (Isle of Wight Festival 8/28/70)
It Better End Soon
Ballet For a Girl in Buchannon
25 Or 6 To 4
I’m a Man

Disc 3
Poem For The People (Paris, France 12/8/69)
25 Or 6 To 4 (Paris, France 12/8/69)
Liberation (Paris, France 12/8/69)
Goodbye (John F. Kennedy Center for the Perf. Arts, Washington, DC 9/16/71)
Now That You’ve Gone (Hordern Pavilion, Sydney, Australia 6/26/72)
A Hit By Varese (Chicago Stadium, Chicago, IL 8/13/73)
If You Leave Me Now (Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, CA 12/1/77)
Takin’ It On Uptown (Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, CA 12/1/77)

Listen to “If You Leave Me Now” from 1977

Disc 4
Hot Streets (Greek Theater, Los Angeles, CA 8/11/78)
Little One (Greek Theater, Los Angeles, CA 8/11/78)
Forever (Pensacola Civic Center, Pensacola, FL 3/21/87)
Medley: In the Midnight Hour, Knock on Wood, I’m a Man, Get Away (Pensacola Civic Center, Pensacola, FL 3/21/87)
You’re Not Alone (Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, TX 5/30/92)
The Pull (Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, NV 3/20/94)
In The Mood (Caesar’s Palace, Atlantic City, NJ 7/28/94)
Don’t Get Around Much Anymore (Caesar’s Palace, Atlantic City, NJ 7/28/94)
Look Away (Acoustic) (A&E Network, Live by Request 9/5/02)
America (WHYY, The Grand, Wilmington, DE 5/7/14)

Disc 5 (DVD) (Rockpalast – Grugahalle, Essen, Germany 2/12/77)
Anyway You Want
Saturday in the Park
Skin Tight
Just You ‘N’ Me
Hope For Love
You Are On My Mind
Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?
Ballet For a Girl in Buchannon
Beginnings
Scrapbook
A Hit By Varese
Call on Me
Takin’ It On Uptown
If You Leave Me Now
Once or Twice
(I’ve Been) Searchin’ So Long
25 Or 6 To 4
Got to Get You Into My Life
I’m a Man

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The BCB team brings you the latest Breaking News, Contests, On This Day rock history stories, Classic Videos, retro-Charts and more.
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  1. Billy K.
    #1 Billy K. 4 March, 2018, 21:00

    Good to see these performances seeing the light of day on this new release.

    Especially the performances in Oakland 1977(Terry Kath’s last show) and L.A. 1978(first shows without Kath).

    Surprised to hear about “Get Away” getting tacked onto the end of “I’m A Man”….that surely would be interesting. Don’t ever recall the band doing that particular combination.

    Good to see a mix of various eras of the band, including the big band stuff.

    What else missing, and could have been issued? Perhaps the version of “Alive Again” done on that ’78 L.A. show.

    And the sets from the tour with the Beach Boys in ’75…….yes, Rhino did issue some Chicago recordings(alone) from that particular tour, but that one particular show they issued was not one of the better ones.

    Hopefully, once they can see what’s in the archives, get whatever legal and other issues fixed, perhaps it will see the light of day.

    But for now, it looks like we have a lot of great Chicago to enjoy soon….

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