Saturdays in the Park

Chicago, “Dialogue (Part I) and (Part II)” from Chicago V (1972): Saturdays in the Park

Chicago, “Dialogue (Part I) and (Part II)” from Chicago V (1972): Saturdays in the Park

“Dialogue (Part I)” and “(Part II)” further cemented my view that Robert Lamm was – and is – Chicago’s greatest writer.

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

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

On an album as strong as ‘Chicago V,’ “Now That You’ve Gone” still manages to stand out – a testament to its greatness.

Chicago, “All Is Well” from Chicago V (1972): Saturdays in the Park

Chicago, “All Is Well” from Chicago V (1972): Saturdays in the Park

You can’t help but smile after hearing Chicago’s “All Is Well.” And you can’t help but feel you’re listening to sheer perfection.

Chicago, “A Hit By Varese” from Chicago V (1972): Saturdays in the Park

Chicago, “A Hit By Varese” from Chicago V (1972): Saturdays in the Park

“A Hit By Varese” leads off Chicago’s fifth album, one many of my colleagues and I feel is flawless. It is, as they used to say, “all killer, no filler.”

Chicago, “A Song For Richard and His Friends” from At Carnegie Hall (1971): Saturdays in the Park

Chicago, “A Song For Richard and His Friends” from At Carnegie Hall (1971): Saturdays in the Park

‘Chicago at Carnegie Hall,’ a sprawling four-record set, was ripe for abuse from so-called leading critics of the time.

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

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

“Elegy” is not an easy listen, but it shows the range of styles that Chicago’s original lineup could pull off – and pull off very well.

Chicago, “An Hour In the Shower” from Chicago III (1971): Saturdays in the Park

Chicago, “An Hour In the Shower” from Chicago III (1971): Saturdays in the Park

“Hour in the Shower” is a welcome reminder that as serious as Chicago took themselves at times, they still knew how to have fun.

Chicago, “This Christmas” from What’s It Gonna Be, Santa (2003): Saturdays in the Park

Chicago, “This Christmas” from What’s It Gonna Be, Santa (2003): Saturdays in the Park

Earnest and sweet, this update of Donny Hathaway’s “This Christmas” showcases one of Chicago’s longest tenured non-original members.

Chicago, “Little Drummer Boy” from Chicago XXV (1998): Saturdays in the Park

Chicago, “Little Drummer Boy” from Chicago XXV (1998): Saturdays in the Park

Since it arrived on 1998’s ‘Chicago XXV,’ this update of “Little Drummer Boy” has grown to become a personal favorite – and, in my opinion, the definitive version.

Chicago, “Jolly Old St. Nicholas” from What’s It Gonna Be, Santa? (2003): Saturdays in the Park

Chicago, “Jolly Old St. Nicholas” from What’s It Gonna Be, Santa? (2003): Saturdays in the Park

Chicago guitarist Keith Howland added his first lead vocal to one of five new tracks included on 2003’s ‘What’s It Gonna Be, Santa?’