The Very Best of Chicago: Only the Beginning

Chicago

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The Very Best of Chicago: Only the Beginning Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Rhino began its elaborate Chicago reissue series in 2002 with The Very Best of Chicago: Only the Beginning, a double-disc set that covers 39 hits from all of Chicago's eras -- from the early jazzy records, through the soft rock hits sung by Peter Cetera, to the post-Cetera adult contemporary records of the '80s, and beyond. It's the first compilation to cover this much ground, actually -- 1991's Group Portrait stopped around Cetera's departure -- and while it may go a little bit further than some would want (a cover of Louis Prima's "Sing, Sing, Sing" from their 1995 neo-swing album closes the set; it happens to feature the Gipsy Kings on support), it nevertheless is very satisfying, since it rounds up all of the hits, and Chicago were at their very best on their hits. For anybody who has been holding on to all three Greatest Hits collections, this will replace them all, since it has almost every song from all three, plus remastered sound. Indeed, this is the definitive word on the group -- perhaps a fan favorite or two is missing, but everything you need is here, in a more concise, user-friendly shape than the Group Portrait box while offering more than any of the hits collections.

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Chicago 03:30 Amazon
2 Chicago 03:05 Amazon
3 Chicago 02:58 Amazon
4 Chicago 04:05 Amazon
5 Chicago 04:14 Amazon
6 Chicago 03:59 Amazon
7 Chicago 05:06 Amazon
8 Chicago 03:49 Amazon
9 Chicago 04:44 Amazon
10 Chicago 03:50 Amazon
11 Chicago 03:48 Amazon
12 Chicago 04:13 Amazon
13 Chicago 03:52 Amazon
14 Chicago 04:01 Amazon
15 Chicago 04:14 Amazon
16 Chicago 03:57 Amazon
17 Chicago 03:45 Amazon
18 Chicago 04:00 Amazon
19 Chicago 04:18 Amazon
20 Chicago feat: Gipsy Kings 03:20 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick