Chicago, “Mama Mama” from Chicago X (1976): Saturdays in the Park

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Although “Mama Mama” may not be the best entry on 1976’s Chicago X, there are indeed enough redeeming qualities to make the song a pleasant listen. As well, the tune is perfectly compatible with the rest of the material on the album, which firmly represents the direction Chicago traveled in at the time.

Slotted as the first track on the second side of the album, “Mama Mama” was composed and sung by Peter Cetera. Sketched of syrupy sweet lyrics, the mid-tempo ballad purrs joy and gratitude in lines such as “You’re all I live for / Maybe that’s enough to say / And you’re the one I wrote this song for / Everywhere and everyday.” Nothing deep or profound to be sure, yet the sentiment is pure and sincere.

An easy-going delivery, secured by a soulful atmospheric vocal somewhat bearing the imprint of Marvin Gaye, combined with liquid-like textures and melodies, adds a touch of a jazz feel to the sonic valentine. The Chicago brass section is smooth and in the groove, and funky disco styled wah-wah guitars further punctuate the production.

More filler than thriller, “Mama Mama” still stands as a reasonably strong showcase for Cetera’s pretty pipes and Chicago’s dazzling chops.

‘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.

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 with "Stand By Me" -- which is actually one of her favorite songs, especially John Lennon's version. She's contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as Rock Beat International's associate editor. Paterson has also published Inside Out, and Twist & Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Beverly Paterson
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