Chicago, “Now That You’ve Gone” from Chicago V (1972): Saturdays in the Park

Why “Now That You’ve Gone” was not released as a single from 1972’s Chicago V: is beyond me. The song leaps out of the gate with Danny Seraphine’s stellar drumming, then Robert Lamm joins in on the organ and Peter on the bass, and Terry Kath on guitar followed shortly by the horns, and finally Terry’s vocals.

One of the highlights of this track is that it’s a whole band effort. No one member of Chicago shines more than any other. All members take a turn at the spotlight giving the song a strong cohesive sound. The band was still only 5 years old and it was still about making a musical statement. The egos hadn’t yet started to rear their ugly heads with one-upmanship and pettiness. There’s a purity to the music that fans would miss in later years.

The rhythm is a tidal wave the rest of the band rides like a pro surfer throughout the song. As is the case with the rest of Chicago V, the rhythm section is a bit more noticeable in the mix than they were on prior albums (or on albums since for that matter). I’d argue that V may be one of the best produced of all of Chicago’s albums as all of the instruments have the proper focus put on them at any given moment. The layering of the songs, starting with one instrument then adding instruments one or two at a time before the vocals come in also contributes to the listener’s appreciation of all of each individual musician.

On an album as strong as Chicago V, “Now That You’ve Gone” still manages to stand out, that in and of itself is a testament to what a great song it is. The failure to release it as a single I consider to be a missed opportunity.

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

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
  • sparky

    This was always my favorite track from the fifth album. Besides the set up that narrator provided, another fine spot was the middle section, the brass interlude, in which begins in 5/4 for a stretch, before going back into the 3/4 where it had started.

  • dlb67

    I remember having Chicago V, or “the wood album” as I call it, in my household growing up. Not sure if it was mine or someone else’s. It’s funny I didn’t remember much about that album except for Saturday in the park and Dialogue. I’m rediscovering early Chicago music on youtube and I’m currently obsessed with this song. I like it better than “Goodbye” and that’s saying a lot because “Goodbye” is outstanding. As a child, Saturday in the Park was my favorite.

    • perplexio

      This and “Goodbye” are my 2 favorite songs on V. But, to be fair, there’s not a weak cut on it! It’s also imho one of the better produced and mixed albums in their catalog. The instruments are perfectly isolated so you can appreciate all of the little nuances of their playing. As a bass player I think this was Peter’s best album! This, Dialogue and State of the Union in particular really show off Peter’s bass chops!

      • dlb67

        Yes, Peter is an underrated bassist for sure!