Articles by: Charlie Ricci

Chicago, “Free Country” from Chicago III (1971): Saturdays in the Park

Chicago, “Free Country” from Chicago III (1971): Saturdays in the Park

The most unmelodic, atonal instrumental Chicago ever released, “Free Country” is not a piece I would ever play separately – but it works as part of the “Travel Suite.”

Chicago, “Motorboat to Mars” / “Free” from Chicago III (1971) Saturdays in the Park

Chicago, “Motorboat to Mars” / “Free” from Chicago III (1971) Saturdays in the Park

“Free” isn’t as well remembered as some of Chicago’s bigger classic hits of the era, but I have a great time every time I hear it.

Chicago, “I Don’t Want Your Money” from Chicago III (1971): Saturdays in the Park

Chicago, “I Don’t Want Your Money” from Chicago III (1971): Saturdays in the Park

Think Chicago is incapable of rocking? Too tightly arranged, not grungy enough? “I Don’t Want Your Money” proved detractors wrong on all of counts.

Chicago, “25 or 6 to 4” from Chicago II (1970): Saturdays in the Park

Chicago, “25 or 6 to 4” from Chicago II (1970): Saturdays in the Park

Chicago guitarist Terry Kath’s solo on “25 or 6 to 4” has always been one of my most memorable musical moments. Here’s why.

Chicago, “Fancy Colours” from Chicago II (1970): Saturdays in the Park

Chicago, “Fancy Colours” from Chicago II (1970): Saturdays in the Park

With 1970’s “Fancy Colours,” Chicago proves once and for all how sophisticated rock music can be.

Chicago, “Liberation” from Chicago Transit Authority (1969): Saturdays in the Park

Chicago, “Liberation” from Chicago Transit Authority (1969): Saturdays in the Park

Those who prefer conventional fare might be put off by Chicago’s “Liberation.” Others looking for something more freewheeling may find a lot to like.

Chicago, “Beginnings” from Chicago Transit Authority (1969): Saturdays in the Park

Chicago, “Beginnings” from Chicago Transit Authority (1969): Saturdays in the Park

One of Chicago’s crowning achievements, “Beginnings” boasts a near-perfect arrangement only marred by a good but too-long coda.

Chicago, “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?” (1969): Saturdays in the Park

Chicago, “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?” (1969): Saturdays in the Park

“Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?” is one of the great triumphs of Chicago’s 1969 debut, ‘Chicago Transit Authority.’ Here’s why.

Dennis Wilson’s rough-hewn Pacific Ocean Blue was an unexpected triumph

Dennis Wilson’s rough-hewn Pacific Ocean Blue was an unexpected triumph

‘Pacific Ocean Blue,’ released on August 22, 1977, turned a rare spotlight on the Beach Boys’ craggy-voiced bad boy Dennis Wilson.

Almost Hits: Jackson Browne, “In the Shape of a Heart” from Lives in the Balance (1986)

Almost Hits: Jackson Browne, “In the Shape of a Heart” from Lives in the Balance (1986)

Jackson Browne’s 1986 single “In the Shape of a Heart” was a big hit in certain circles. It went to No. 10 on the adult contemporary chart, but rose to only No. 70 on the Billboard Hot 100.

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