Chicago, “Movin’ In” from Chicago II (1970): Saturdays in the Park

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Continuing the autobiographical trend started with “Introduction” on Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago’s self-titled seconnd album (retroactively known as Chicago II following the release of Chicago III) opens with the similarly autobiographical “Movin’ In.” Where lyrically the similarities are unmistakable, almost to the point of feeling like a re-tread of the prior album’s opener, musically this James Pankow-penned story is decidedly different than the Terry Kath-penned “Introduction.”

“Introduction” starts with more of a bang, while “Movin’ In” has more of a slow build. It gives the overall effect of the song a different feel. “Introduction” bursts out of the gate making a statement; “Movin’ In” eases in and tells a story. Much like in “Introduction,” different musicians get a chance to shine. Chicago’s horn section in particular takes turns with brief but strong solos. Perhaps the biggest difference between the two songs is Terry Kath’s guitar. In “Introduction,” it was a force to be reckoned with — and it made it somewhat obvious the song had been written by a guitarist. In “Movin’ In,” he’s decidedly subtler and more understated, but his guitar work is certainly no less enjoyable as there’s a brilliance in his subtlety. In fact, this song works a notable “introduction” to his subtle side that would showcase itself more on other Chicago songs in later years.

Danny Seraphine’s drumming also seems a bit more noticeable on “Movin’ In.” It doesn’t sound or feel as if his style has changed any, merely that the engineer mixing the album brought Danny’s drumming a bit more forward in the mix than it had been on Chicago Transity Authority. On CTA, his drumming would be brought front and center when percussion was being featured but on “Movin’ In,” even though the music is focusing on the drums and percussion, Danny’s drumming feels like a more cohesive part of the overall mix.

That cohesiveness sets apart “Movin’ In” and inevitably the entire album from its predecessor. Whereas Chicago Transit Authority took turns shining the spotlight on different members of the band, on Chicago II it feels as though the spotlight is shining on the whole band from start to finish and just shifts that brightness to different members as the musical direction of the material changes.

Chicago’s second album has a natural flow to it, some of the songs seemingly have “abrupt” endings if listened to on their own, but when coupled with the subsequent songs on the album, those “abrupt” endings are merely segues to the following songs. “Movin’ In” certainly falls into that category. On its own, the song feels as though it’s meandering along on a Sunday drive enjoying the scenery, taking in all of the sights and sounds then it suddenly notices there’s a stop sign and the song slams on the brakes …

That abrupt ending however is a brilliant segue into “Poem for the People,” which contributes to a natural flow to Chicago II that was missing from the band’s brilliant debut.

Perplexio

Perplexio

Perplexio also maintains a stand-alone blog called The Review Revue, where he explores music, movies and books. He spearheaded 'Saturdays in the Park,' our weekly multi-writer, song-by-song series focused on the music of Chicago. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelse reviews.com.
Perplexio
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