Rhino is following up its box set news of last week from America and Alice Cooper with even more news this week. They have just announced a new box set celebrating the second half of Chicago's career: The Studio Albums 1979-2008 to be released on July 10th. This set follows 2012's The Studio Albums 1969-1978 which collected the first ten studio albums from the band. That set is being re-pressed in conjunction with the new box.
The end of the 1970s saw Chicago in a time of transition. The band had enjoyed massive chart success over the course of the decade with hits including "Beginnings," "25 or 6 to 4," "Saturday in the Park," and "If You Leave Me Now" among numerous others. But things were looking down by the end of the '70s. Original band member Terry Kath died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in January of 1978. When replacements came onboard, Chicago's traditional sound of jazz-rock infused with horns began to lean more heavily on pop and ballads. The new direction wasn't immediately successful and the group was dropped from Columbia in 1981 following the disappointing sales of Chicago XIV. But the Chicago story soon turned around.
Signed to a new label, Warner Bros., and with David Foster at the helm, Chicago began to move even more heavily into power ballad territory and this time it paid off. Huge hits would come in the early 1980s including "Hard to Say I'm Sorry/Get Away" and "You're The Inspiration." The band scored its highest-selling album with 1984's Chicago 17 which included "Inspiration." Lead singer Peter Cetera would famously and acrimoniously leave the band in 1985 to pursue a solo career, but Chicago soldiered on in his absence and continue to have hits including the No. 1 "Look Away" from 1988's Chicago 19.
The upcoming 1979-2008 collection is in the same design as the first box set. Each of the 10 discs will be housed in mini-LP paper sleeves and the box itself is a clamshell design. The box focuses on original studio albums only, so live LPs (including Chicago XXVI, which had three new studio recordings) and greatest hits compilations have been excluded. The sets utilize the masters from the last round of reissues. However, unlike many projects of this nature, the bonus tracks contained on those reissues have been retained. This is most exciting for the 1979-2008 box as several of its expanded reissues were only released in Japan. The Amazon listing indicates that the new box will contain the bonus tracks previously issued only in Japan.
We've reprinted Rhino's press release below for you to review. We've also included the list of albums in each box and Amazon links to order. The Studio Albums 1969-1978 is available now and The Studio Albums 1979-2008 can be pre-ordered and will be released on July 10.
LOS ANGELES - Chicago's debut album, Chicago Transit Authority was inducted into the Grammy® Hall of Fame just last year, serving as the latest addition to the band's already impressive list of achievements, which includes record sales in excess of 100 million albums and recognition as the first American band to chart Top 40 albums in six decades. Chicago also ranked at #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists chart, the highest ranking American band.
Chicago recorded 20 studio albums between 1969 and 2008. Amazingly, 14 of those have been certified platinum or better. Whether it is personnel, popularity or productivity, everything about Chicago is big, which is why it's fitting that the band's collection of studio albums will be divided into two boxed sets with 10 CD each: THE STUDIO ALBUMS 1969-1978 and THE STUDIO ALBUMS 1979-2008.
The collections both feature the most recently reissued versions of albums with remastered sound and bonus tracks. Both sets will be available on July 10 for $79.98 each.
THE STUDIO ALBUMS 1969-1978 includes: Chicago Transit Authority (1969), Chicago (1970), Chicago III (1971), Chicago V (1972), Chicago VI (1973), Chicago VII (1974), Chicago VIII (1975), Chicago X (1976), Chicago XI (1977), and Hot Streets (1978).
THE STUDIO ALBUMS Vol. 2 (1979-2008) includes: Chicago 13 (1979), Chicago XIV (1980), Chicago 16 (1982), Chicago 17 (1984), Chicago 18 (1986), Chicago 19 (1988), Twenty 1 (1991), Night & Day (1995), XXX (2006), and Stone Of Sisyphus (1994/2008).
Highlights from the first boxed set include the four consecutive number one albums the band released in three years: Chicago V, Chicago VI, Chicago VII and Chicago VIII. There is no shortage of standouts on the second collection, which includes the 6x Platinum Chicago 17, the best-selling album of the band's career, and Chicago X, which earned three Grammy Awards.
These sets are home to many of the group's best-loved songs, including 21 Top Ten hits like: "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?," "25 or 6 to 4," "Beginnings," "Saturday In The Park," "Feelin' Stronger Every Day," "Just You 'n' Me," "Old Days," "Hard To Say I'm Sorry," "You're The Inspiration," "Hard Habit To Break," "Look Away," and the Grammy winner "If You Leave Me Now."
- Chicago Transit Authority (1969)
- Chicago (1970)
- Chicago III (1971)
- Chicago V (1972)
- Chicago VI (1973)
- Chicago VII (1974)
- Chicago VIII (1975)
- Chicago X (1976)
- Chicago XI (1977)
- Hot Streets (1978)
- Chicago 13 (1979)
- Chicago XIV (1980)
- Chicago 16 (1982)
- Chicago 17 (1984)
- Chicago 18 (1986)
- Chicago 19 (1988)
- Twenty 1 (1991)
- Night & Day (1995)
- XXX (2006)
- Stone of Sisyphus (1994/2008)
All contain bonus tracks except Night and Day, Chicago XXX and Stone of Sisyphus.