Set for release on August 30th is Chicago's 50th anniversary edition of the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) album. The band's debut set will be issued on limited edition double gold vinyl, CD, and through digital and streaming services the same day. The new package was remixed by the band and their engineer Tim Jessup.
CTA features the original and classic lineup of Chicago — guitarist Terry Kath, keyboardist Robert Lamm, bassist Peter Cetera, drummer Danny Seraphine, Lee Loughnane on trumpet, James Pankow on trombone, and Walt Parazaider on saxophone. Highlights on the set include “Beginnings,” “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?,” “Questions 67 And 68.” CTA also features the signature guitar work of the late-Terry Kath on “South California Purple,” “Free Form Guitar” and “I’m A Man.”
According to the new edition's press release: “Originally released on April 28th, 1969, Chicago Transit Authority topped the album chart was certified double platinum and earned the band a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist. The album also has the unique distinction of having stayed on the charts for an amazing three-year run — 171 weeks — a record when it was released.”
A half-century since recording their 1969 debut set, Chicago Transit Authority, we asked co-founding trombonist and songwriter, James Pankow, what he remembers about tracking the band's first album in the “Big Apple”: “I remember having to battle with Columbia to get a double disc because the length of the songs were such that two discs we felt were necessary to capture the full scope of the music. And they had us in the studio, they gave us midnight to five a.m. as our recording time, because Simon & Garfunkel — the big dogs — were in the studio in prime time, so we had to record in the wee small.”
Terry Kath, the heart and soul of Chicago, died on January 23rd, 1978 from an accidental, self-inflicted gunshot wound. Robert Lamm told us that he still mourns the loss of Kath, on both a personal and creative level: “It's really tough. I miss him so much on that level because of his energy, his ideas and his originality. It's just a component you cannot replace and we've not been able to replace — as good as we are. It was kind of useful arrogance and recklessness that is an essential part of rock n' roll. Even though we're viewed as a jazz-rock band, we were a rock n' roll band with horns. And that attitude was what Terry had. And that attitude is what we fed off of as a unit.”