Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Chicago

  • Chicago [Columbia, 1969] D+
  • Chicago at Carnegie Hall [Columbia, 1971] C-
  • Chicago VI [Columbia, 1973] C

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Chicago [Columbia, 1969]
Duke Ellington never got away with an extended work for horns and meaningfulness. What, then, makes James William Guercio and the self-designated revolutionaries who are his cohorts think they can? Sterile and stupid. D+

Chicago at Carnegie Hall [Columbia, 1971]
I'm not claiming actually to have listened to this four-record set--you think I'm a nut?--but the event is too overwhelming to ignore altogether, and Chicago is a C-minus group if ever I heard one. Anyway, the packaging offers textual support for my opinion. The shrink-wrap is so loose that many Christmas gift recipients are going to suspect their girlfriends of buying review copies. And the lack of paper sleeves inside the cardboard sleeves inside the big box means that the only way to avoid scratching these plastic documents is to put the whole shebang out on the coffee table and never touch it again. C-

Chicago VI [Columbia, 1973]
Any horn band that's reduced to writing songs about critics and copping (unsuccessfully) from both Motown and America must be running out of--how do you say eet?--good charts. C

Further Notes:

Meltdown [1980s]

Everything Rocks and Nothing Ever Dies [1990s]