Chicago, “Long Time No See” from Chicago VIII (1975): Saturdays in the Park

Share this:

“Long Time No See,” from 1975’s Chicago VIII, is about a friend who is lost in two ways: He hasn’t not been around for awhile, and seems to have lost his way in life. However, the lyrics have never been on my mind when listening to this Robert Lamm track, because of the very interesting musical arrangement.

The song proves that Lamm could still come up with something unique when he was motivated. “Long Time No See” is not traditional Chicago in any way. It doesn’t sound like their early, alt-rock records nor does it fit in with the pop-oriented road Chicago turned onto later. Despite the downer subject matter, “Long Time No See” is a loud, rocking song that makes full use of the low end of the musical scale. Walt Parazaider’s flute and one of my favorite instruments, the baritone sax, provide a deep, low end accompanied by the full horn section blasting away in assistance. Terry Kath and Peter Cetera add some fine bottom-end work, too.

There is no jazz or R&B to be found here. A fast rocker, “Long Time No See” can come off a bit gimmicky at times, partially due to a Robert Lamm vocal that sounds like he’s singing through a megaphone. But he makes the whole affair sound more fun than the subject matter would suggest.

“Long Time No See” is a Chicago obscurity, except to its die-hard fans, but well worth the time you’ll spend listening to it.


‘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.

Charlie Ricci

Charlie Ricci

Charlie Ricci maintains Bloggerhythms, where he talks about music, concerts, and a wide range of other musical topics. In August 2008, his site placed at No. 87 on a list of the Top 100 music-related blogs according to Alexa, a web ranking service. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Charlie Ricci
Share this:
Close