Chicago Releases New Recordings of Old Hits on The Nashville Sessions

As is becoming more-and-more commonplace, artists are re-recording their old material, not for small "oldies" labels as happened in the past, but to retain or reacquire rights to their own music.

That's how Chicago came to record The Nashville Sessions, a re-recording of fifteen of their biggest tracks.

It all started in 2008 when the group signed with international music publisher Primary Wave Music. According to the band "The entire landscape had changed from what was normal when the band's debut album, Chicago Transit Authority, was released in 1969. ... There was a 'disconnect' in terms of new recordings, new music and having a presence in other media and 'new media.'

"The old model had us waiting for the record companies, or the publishing companies, which represented our body of work, to create that presence. It was no longer efficient."

Luckily, the band had retained their rights to rerecord their music, so they went into a Nasville studio between projects and began the work of painstakingly recreating their original tracks.  They first recreated the rhythm parts, even trying to duplicate every glitch and mistake. Then, Robert Lamm added the keyboard followed by the brass parts and the lead and backup vocals.

"Listening to the mixes we are amazed at how close we came to sounding like the original recordings."

The track list for The Nashville Sessions:
  • 25 or 6 to 4
  • Make Me Smile
  • Feelin' Stronger Every Day
  • Beginnings
  • Saturday In The Park
  • Colour My World
  • Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?
  • Questions 67 and 68
  • Old Days
  • Just You And Me
  • Call On Me
  • Another Rainy Day in New York City
  • No Tell Lover
  • I've Been) Searchin' So Long
  • Alive Again
The album is available at Chicago's on-line store.


Vic Monaco said...

what is the point besides continuing to rip off their fans?

Duncan Vinson said...

This is a terrible idea from both a business and an artistic standpoint. Who needs the Hit Crew to compete with your back catalog when you can do it yourself? Sure, maybe Chicago can make a quick buck by licensing one of these tracks for an advertisement or film soundtrack. But the bigger danger is that they are diluting their already cluttered discography even further.

Paul Berry said...

There's no ripoff, I bought this gladly and willingly. Sounds great and it's a great collection of their classic 70's material performed by a current lineup that is mostly original or long term and that I can see live playing these songs in the now! And it's not about making a quick buck but about being able to make a living doing what you love to do.

Jim Ramsey said...

Man! There truly are some seriously negative people out there!!! Was "ripping off" the fans REALLY the first thought you had about this project? I completely understand the bands reason for doing this in regard to continue control of their material. I also bought this album and enjoy hearing the current line-up perform these great songs from a crazy but great decade! Keep it up gentlemen, I'm glad to see you're still at it!

Ken said...

I didn't hear about this album until seeing it on Spotify this morning. Listening to it, I can't help but hope that the boys understand what it's like to perform their songs the way they were intended. Some of the newer singers sort of mangled them over the past few decades. I've always loved Chicago, I've seen them several times beginning in 1973, and I'm glad they are still going, even though I miss the days when they were considered musicians first. Now, if you can record some good new stuff that gets out of the formula and goes back to your roots, that would be a great way to end your career, boys. Otherwise, retreads like this are nice, but just a curiosity thing. If I want to hear this again, I'll play the originals.

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