Saturday in the Park

Song Review by

Chicago's eighth Top 40 single and their biggest hit until "If You Leave Me Now" gave them their first number one four years later, 1972's agreeably sunny "Saturday in the Park" has remained one of the perennial summer singles in the decades since its release. Written and sung by keyboardist Robert Lamm and showing off the group's three-man horn section to its best advantage, "Saturday in the Park" was probably the most straightforward pop song Chicago had produced up to this point. Although their chart success suggests otherwise, as does the increasingly schlocky series of adult contemporary hits that would later become synonymous with the brand name, Chicago actually had a fairly experimental streak in them for their first several albums. The success of "Saturday in the Park," with its conversational lyrics and thoroughly conventional pop melody, meant that the jazz fusion and classical rock experiments of the band's first few records -- ponderous and artistically unsuccessful though they often were -- would be curtailed in the future. Sadly, the creative slide to the faceless power ballad years of "You're the Inspiration" was in the cards from here on out. Somewhat surprisingly, magpie hip-hop trio De La Soul quite effectively turned samples of "Saturday in the Park" into the partial basis for their 1991 hit "A Roller-Skating Jam Called Saturdays."

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Chicago V 1972 Rhino 4:00
Chicago IX: Chicago's Greatest Hits 1975 Chicago Records Dist. 3:53
If You Leave Me Now (And Other Hits) 1983 Flashback Records / Rhino Flashback 3:55
My Girl 1991
Original Soundtrack
Epic 3:53
Group Portrait [4 CD] 1991 Chicago Records Dist. 3:56
The Heart of Chicago 1967-1997 1997 Reprise 3:54
25 Years of Gold 1998 Import
Chicken Soup for the Soul: I'll Be There for You 1998 Rhino
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Collection 1998
Various Artists
Rhino 3:54
Chicken Soup for the Soul: A Christmas Gift to You 1999
Various Artists
Rhino 3:54
The Heart of Chicago: 1967-1981 2000 Dealmakers 3:54
The Very Best of Chicago: Only the Beginning 2002 Rhino 3:55
Chicago Story: The Complete Greatest Hits 1967-2002 [2 Disc] 2003 WEA International 3:55
Chicago: The Box [Bonus DVD] 2003 Rhino 3:55
The Best of Chicago: 40th Anniversary Edition 2007 Rhino 3:56
The Very Best of Chicago 2008 Allegro Corporation / Hallmark Recordings / Platinum Legends 3:53
Chicago: Collector's Edition 2009 Madacy Distribution / Madacy 3:57
Original Album Series 2010 Rhino / Warner Bros. 4:00
The Ultimate Chicago: Australian Tour Edition 2010 Rhino 3:55
The Very Best of Chicago & Foreigner 2010 Rhino / Wea UK 3:54
The Collection 2012 Rhino 3:55
Clear History 2013 Relativity 3:54
Too Slow to Disco, Vol. 1 2014
Various Artists
How Do You Are? 3:53
Now More Than Ever: The History of Chicago 2016 Rhino
Beautiful Songs [Rhino]
Various Artists
Rhino 3:54
No Image
Various Artists
Warner Music
The Heart of Classic Rock [Box Set]
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:55
The Studio Albums 1969-1978, Vol. 1 Rhino