‘We’re just trying to grow the legacy’: Sample every song on the forthcoming Chicago XXXVI: Now

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Chicago has announced a title, offered additional samples of its new music and revealed the cover art for its first album in eight years. Featuring 11 original tracks, Chicago XXXVI: Now finds the band in the midst of an entirely new way of creating.

Lee Loughnane, one of the band’s original horn players, helped customize a new traveling rig that allowed the band to record at various stops along their seemingly never-ending tours — including Nashville, Cleveland, Toledo and elsewhere.

“The ultimate goal was to make music — and now we’re doing that,” Loughnane says. “We’re going to see how far we can go with this. Thank goodness we have 46 years of track record behind us. We’re just trying to grow the legacy even more.”

Chicago XXXVI: Now is available for pre-order through the band’s web site. Each individual member served as a producer on his own songs, with Hank Linderman (who’s previously worked on co-founder Robert Lamm’s solo projects, as well as those by Eagles members Don Henley Timothy B. Schmit) serving as a project co-producer.

In the end, that finally broke the logjam for a group that hadn’t put out an album of original material since 2006’s Chicago XXX. “It’s a very sort of disjointed way to work,” Lamm admits, “but the songs seem to be coming together.”

Advance clips of songs from the album are also available at chicago-now.com — including the title track, co-written by Jason Scheff; “Love Lives On,” by Scheff and James Pankow; “Free at Last,” by Lamm, Keith Howland and Tris Imboden. Other new songs include “More Will be Revealed” by Lamm; “Nice Girl” by Scheff, Howland and Imboden; and Lamm’s “Another Trippy Day.”

Chicago has already previewed several tracks along the way, including “America” by Loughnane; “Crazy Happy” by Scheff; “Watching All the Colors” by Lamm and Lou Pardini; and Lamm’s “Something’s Coming, I Know” and “Naked in the Garden of Allah.”

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