Chicago, “Paris” from Chicago XI (1977): Saturdays in the Park

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The second bonus track on the Rhino remaster of 1977’s Chicago XI is “Paris,” in which Robert Lamm plays Phileas Fogg and goes around the world in 3:54 minutes. With lyrics like “We’ll see the Holy Land, Iraq and Iran, with lots of sand; an Arab band will play the night away, we’ll go to Pakistan, Afghanistan,” the song continues the geographic theme of the XI album cover.

“Paris” is an enjoyable, if not remarkable, listen featuring Lamm on grand piano accompanied by Peter Cetera on bass and Danny Seraphine on drums. Terry Kath isn’t playing on the track, and the horns are also absent, lending an Elton John or Steely Dan feel to the proceedings. In fact, it sounds a lot like some of the tracks on Lamm’s 1974 Skinny Boy solo album. If you like that album, you’ll like “Paris.”

Lamm never finished the song, but if he did today, he’d have all sorts of new countries to visit. How about: “Baby, let’s see Slovakia, Montenegro too, stop by the Czech Republic and have ourselves a brew; then Namibia with its desert sandy dunes…we’ll go to South Sudan, to Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan …”

‘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.

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