Chicago Transit Authority

Chicago Transit Authority

Chicago Transit Authority

Chicago Transit Authority


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Few debut albums can boast as consistently solid an effort as the self-titled Chicago Transit Authority (1969). Even fewer can claim to have enough material to fill out a double-disc affair. Although this long- player was ultimately the septet's first national exposure, the group was far from the proverbial "overnight sensation." Under the guise of the Big Thing, the group soon to be known as CTA had been honing its eclectic blend of jazz, classical, and straight-ahead rock & roll in and around the Windy City for several years. Their initial non-musical meeting occurred during a mid-February 1967 confab between the original combo at Walter Parazaider's apartment on the north side of Chi Town. Over a year later, Columbia Records staff producer James Guercio became a key supporter of the group, which he rechristened Chicago Transit Authority. In fairly short order the band relocated to the West Coast and began woodshedding the material that would comprise this title. In April of 1969, the dozen sides of Chicago Transit Authority unleashed a formidable and ultimately American musical experience. This included an unheralded synthesis of electric guitar wailin' rock & roll to more deeply rooted jazz influences and arrangements. This approach economized the finest of what the band had to offer -- actually two highly stylized units that coexisted with remarkable singularity. On the one hand, listeners were presented with an incendiary rock & roll quartet of Terry Kath (lead guitar/vocals), Robert Lamm (keyboards/vocals), Peter Cetera (bass/vocals), and Danny Seraphine (drums). They were augmented by the equally aggressive power brass trio that included Lee Loughnane (trumpet/vocals), James Pankow (trombone), and the aforementioned Parazaider (woodwind/vocals). This fusion of rock with jazz would also yield some memorable pop sides and enthusiasts' favorites as well. Most notably, a quarter of the material on the double album -- "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?," "Beginnings," "Questions 67 and 68," and the only cover on the project, Steve Winwood's "I'm a Man" -- also scored as respective entries on the singles chart. The tight, infectious, and decidedly pop arrangements contrast with the piledriving blues-based rock of "Introduction" and "South California Purples" as well as the 15-plus minute extemporaneous free for all "Liberation." Even farther left of center are the experimental avant-garde "Free Form Guitar" and the politically intoned and emotive "Prologue, August 29, 1968" and "Someday (August 29, 1968)." The 2003 remastered edition of Chicago Transit Authority offers a marked sonic improvement over all previous pressings -- including the pricey gold disc incarnation.

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Product Details

Release Date: 07/16/2002
Label: Rhino
UPC: 0081227617127
catalogNumber: 76171
Rank: 2065


  1. Introduction
  2. Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?
  3. Beginnings
  4. Questions 67 and 68
  5. Listen
  6. Poem 58
  7. Free Form Guitar
  8. South California Purples
  9. I'm a Man
  10. Prologue, August 29, 1968
  11. Someday (August 29, 1968)
  12. Liberation

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Chicago   Primary Artist
Peter Cetera   Bass,Guitar,Vocals
Terry Kath   Guitar,Vocals
Lee Loughnane   Percussion,Trumpet,Vocals,Background Vocals
James Pankow   Trombone
Walter Parazaider   Vocals,Background Vocals,Wind,Woodwind
Daniel Seraphine   Drums
Robert Lamm   Keyboards,Vocals

Technical Credits

Fred Catero   Engineer
James William Guercio   Producer,Liner Notes
James Pankow   Composer,Brass Arrangment
David Wild   Liner Notes
Maria Villar   Art Direction
Steven Chean   Editorial Research
Nick Fasciano   Cover Art
Tim Scanlin   Liner Note Coordination
Robert Lamm   Composer

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