Almost Hits: Chicago, “Questions 67 and 68” (1969)

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Back when the famous, classic, horn-rock band was known as Chicago Transit Authority, they released a top-notch single called “Questions 67 and 68,” off of a 1969 eponymously titled debut album. It didn’t do much on the charts, reaching only number No. 71 on the Hot 100.

Later, in 1971, with Chicago firmly ensconced as one of the hottest bands in the galaxy, they edited the original album version of the song down to a length that would please radio programmers and re-released it. This time it reached No. 24 which, at the time, was disappointing for an outfit of Chicago’s stature. Perhaps it was because “Questions” wasn’t filled with many of the friendly hooks radio coveted.

“Questions” benefits from a really terrific Jim Pankow horn chart. The three-man section he still leads today opens the song with some inspired Terry Kath guitar work on top. It’s immediately followed by one of Peter Cetera’s best vocals, with composer Robert Lamm assisting as the second lead singer. The tempo of the medium-paced song picks up considerably during the instrumental break. It too features the horns blaring away at full throttle on one of the best jazz-rock passages CTA ever put on vinyl. Then, the break ends and the arrangement returns to its original theme with Cetera still giving it his all.

The lyrics only mention the song’s title once, at the very end: It was allegedly written about one of Lamm’s girlfriends who asked way too many questions concerning relationships and commitment.

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Charlie Ricci

Charlie Ricci

Charlie Ricci maintains Bloggerhythms, where he talks about music, concerts, and a wide range of other musical topics. In August 2008, his site placed at No. 87 on a list of the Top 100 music-related blogs according to Alexa, a web ranking service. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Charlie Ricci
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