Chicago, “Happy ‘Cause I’m Goin’ Home” from Chicago III (1971): Saturdays in the Park

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Chicago’s “Happy ‘Cause I’m Goin’ Home” opens with Terry Kath counting the listener in to his rhythm guitar. He’s then joined by Danny Seraphine on drums and Peter Cetera on bass, before Robert Lamm comes in with some “la da das” that breezily dance over the tight rhythm laid down by Chicago’s rhythm section. Lastly, the horns get their chance to shine as they punctuate Lamm and Cetera’s singing, as Walt Parazaider exercises his chops with a delightful flute solo, this is largely a showcase for the rhythm section.

I’ve long thought Peter Cetera was underrated as a bass player, while I consider Chicago V to show Peter at the peak of his talents, “Happy ‘Cause I’m Goin’ Home” from 1971’s Chicago III provides a preview of that musical brilliance and features some of the best bass playing in Peter’s long tenure in Chicago.

There are some amazingly subtle acoustic rhythm guitar fills by Terry throughout the song that truly illustrate the idea that sometimes “less is more.” While Terry Kath was more known for his lead playing, “Happy ‘Cause I’m Goin’ Home” is a showcase of his talents playing guitar not as a lead but as a rhythm instrument. He shows restraint and allows his guitar playing act as an accent to the rest of the band, rather than the driving force his playing was more traditionally known for.

On a personal note, this is one of my “go to” songs for my Friday afternoon/evening commutes home from work. While the song was inspired more by the feel of a return home after a long tour, its relaxed feel lends itself to a bit of mental decompression after a full and productive work week. After all whether we love or hate our jobs, by Friday, aren’t we all “Happy ‘Cause We’re Goin’ Home?”

‘Saturdays in the Park’ is a multi-writer, song-by-song examination of the music of Chicago. Find it here on Something Else! each Saturday.

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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