Happy 45th: Chicago, CHICAGO V
45 years ago today, Chicago finally decided to take it easy on themselves, releasing the first single album of their career.
That’s right: up to this point, Chicago had been so darned prolific with their collective songwriting acumen that their studio efforts up to this point had consisted of three consecutive double albums. And their live album? Yeah, that was a full-on box set. In other words, it was high time that the band relaxed their productivity a little bit.
Mind you, even though the band as a whole might have relaxed somewhat, Robert Lamm was working harder than ever, composing eight of the 10 songs on CHICAGO V all by his lonesome. (The exceptions, now that we’ve got you wondering about them, were “Now That You’ve Gone,” penned by James Pankow, and the album’s closing track, “Alma Mater,” which was a Terry Kath composition.)
While the guys might’ve delivered fewer songs than ever before, they still managed to send one of them into the top 30 – “Dialogue (Parts I & II),” which hit #24 – and scored a top-5 hit with “Saturday in the Park,” which topped out at #3. And whether it was because their fanbase had been growing steadily over the years or because the album was cheaper than its predecessors, CHICAGO V was a huge success for the band either way: it climbed all the way to the top on the Billboard 200.