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

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.”

[amazon_enhanced asin=”B00F9FMAUY” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B000CR76HQ” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B0000A0DVG” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B00EAZ5DHG” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B0018DPC7O” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /]

Something Else!

The Something Else! webzine, an accredited Google News affiliate, has been featured in The New York Times and NPR.com's A Blog Supreme, while our writers have also been published by USA Today, Jazz.com and UltimateClassicRock.com, among others. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
  • RicoSuaveGuapo

    Creating full albums generally provide a crappy return on investment these days, particularly when you’re talking about nostalgia acts. Few people besides the diehard fans wants to hear new material, so why waste time and money on it?

  • eknirb

    In fairness, they went from 21 in 91…to SOS in 93…to Big Band in 95. But they’ve been coasting on their past for a long time, and this album won’t sell 10 copies.

  • jon ramis

    I think Jason is writing well, I really like his songs. Robert Lamm songs have not made sense to me for a long time. To me the lyrics are terrible. The horns still rock And Jimmy Pankow need to write his own songs.

  • RicoSuaveGuapo

    They tried with Stone of Sisyphus – the label wouldn’t even approve it for release! Between that and the commercial failure of 21, If I were them I’d be feeling pretty whipped. The public didn’t want their Adult Contemporary stuff any more, the labels didn’t want them experimenting. Rock and a hard place, you know? Short of reuniting with Cetera, there simply wasn’t any interest in Chicago outside of the summer nostalgia tour circuit. Why waste time/effort/money recording new material no one is interested in?