‘Chicago at Carnegie Hall’ Gets Complete 50th Anniversary Edition

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Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Chicago became the first non-classical group to perform six nights in a row at Carnegie Hall 50 years ago. Between April 5-10, 1971, the band played eight shows at the celebrated venue (including two matinees) and recorded every one of them. In October of that year, performance highlights were featured on the band’s first-ever live album, the four-record set, Chicago at Carnegie Hall.

To honor the 50th anniversary of Chicago’s historic concerts, the band will release all eight Carnegie Hall shows in their entirety for the first time in a new 16-CD deluxe boxed set. Chicago at Carnegie Hall Complete will be available on July 16, 2021, exclusively at Rhino.com. Listen to a previously unreleased performance below.

From the April 7 announcement: Chicago founding member and trumpeter Lee Loughnane and engineer Tim Jessup spent nearly a year meticulously going through more than 40 concert tapes at Loughnane’s new studio in Arizona to remaster each concert. Their hard work paid off with eight fantastic-sounding shows.

Chicago at Carnegie Hall Complete is presented in a white folio that’s embossed with the group’s trademark logo. The set beautifully commemorates the event through memorabilia that includes replicas of the three posters that accompanied the original vinyl release and images of the original concert program, tickets, and other memorabilia from the historic run. The collection also comes with a 28-page booklet illustrated with photos from the concerts, plus new liner notes with contributions by Loughnane; archivist Jeff Magid, writer/producer David Wild and comedy icon/Chicago fanatic Jimmy Pardo.

When Chicago arrived in New York City in April 1971 to play eight shows at Carnegie Hall, the band was at the peak of its early experimental period and riding high on the success of the group’s third consecutive platinum album, Chicago III. For these historic shows, the band played a cross-section of classic rock hits from their first three studio albums, including “Beginnings,” “Questions 67 and 68,” “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?” and “25 or 6 to 4.” The set also includes the previously unheard first songs from the first show, “Someday (August 29, 1968).”

Watch the official trailer for the set

The complete track listing is available here.

Listen to the previously unreleased performance of “Someday (August 29, 1968”

The performances showcase memorable contributions from every band member, including Terry Kath’s stellar guitar work, heartfelt vocals by Kath, Robert Lamm, and Peter Cetera, the vibrant horn work by Loughnane, James Pankow, and Walt Parazaider, as well as the jazz-influenced drumming of Danny Seraphine.

That original quadruple-LP reached #3 on the Billboard 200, was certified platinum, and is still the band’s best-selling live album.

Listen to the album’s “Questions 67 and 68,” uploaded by the band in 2014

Related: Our Album Rewind of Chicago’s eclectic debut

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  1. 122intheshade
    #1 122intheshade 8 April, 2021, 00:30

    One of the band members way back when said the horns sounded like kazoos on this. He wasn’t wrong then, and remastering hasn’t helped. I love Chicago (up to the chocolate LP anyway) as much as the next guy, but no thanks.

    Reply this comment
    • Billy K.
      Billy K. 5 June, 2021, 06:07

      I’m skeptical, too, of that could be fixed. Bought the LP-set when it first came out, and was extremely disappointed with the sound quality. Ended up selling it.

      Not too impressed with Carnegie Hall’s track record on certain other live albums, either. In the case of Kazantzidis(Greek singer, in 1966) and the Raspberries(1973), they were ready to record the shows….only to pull the plug on them at the last minute.

      By all accounts, from people who attended the shows, stellar performances that could have been captured……but weren’t.

      I don’t have any respect for that venue, after botching up live recordings of some of my favorite artists!

      Reply this comment
  2. Max
    #2 Max 5 June, 2021, 16:15

    If nothing else, these recordings proved the band could perform flawlessly live and recreate the magic of their vinyl efforts to date.

    Reply this comment

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