“Who are these guys?” was still the admiring rhetorical question floating about the music world when Chicago II came out only a year after the other “Chicago Seven” had stunned the rock world in 1969 with the most popular double album debut in history, Chicago Transit Authority . Like the first, Chicago II was so full of talented lead singers ( three ) and songwriters ( four ) that they needed four vinyl sides to accommodate all of that music. Chicago placed no less than three songs from II into the Top 10, including “Make Me Smile”,”25 or 6 to 4″, and “Colour My World”, but the hooky melodies and truly bold arrangements extended to “Poem for the People”,”Movin’ In”,”In the Country”, and “Where Do We Go From Here?”.
Chicago II climbed to #4 sales in America, #6 in the UK, a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year and sales of over a million, igniting a legacy of thirty-six releases in just under fifty years together. Chicago co-founder Robert Lamm tells the insider tale of the birth of America’s second-biggest selling band, but he is too much of a class act to acknowledge the fact that 120,000,000 units sold apparently has meant something to the gatekeepers of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, who until this year refused to even consider Chicago with a nomination. But mercifully that all changed in April. – Redbeard