Addicted To Vinyl Musical thoughts from the open road, with headphones on


Rhino Handmade prepares Chicago “Live in ’75″ release

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When I spent some time recently reminiscing about some great live Chicago video from the '70s, I had no idea that my words might make it to the music gods with power to release cool stuff. Actually, it's probably completely unrelated, but I'm very, very stoked about the latest announcement from Rhino Handmade about Chicago's Live in '75, which will be released by Rhino Handmade on May 24th.

Read onward for the juicy details and get stoked!

Here's the official press release:


Rhino Handmade’s Two-Disc Set Captures Dynamic Previously Unreleased
Performances Recorded Live At The Capital Centre In Maryland

Pre-order Exclusively At On April 11, Ships May 24

LOS ANGELES – After releasing its eighth consecutive gold album in
just six years, Chicago embarked upon a massive stadium tour in 1975
that’s considered to be one of its finest. The shows found the group
at the pinnacle of its prowess, combining the jaw-dropping musicality
and contagious onstage energy that made Chicago one of the most
successful acts in American pop history.

Rhino Handmade provides a snapshot from this extraordinary tour for
the ages with a two-disc set that contains two hours of previously
unreleased performances recorded June 24-26 at the Capital Centre in
Largo, Maryland. The collection is presented in a hardbound slipcase
accompanied by a foldout poster that features rare photos from the
tour, LIVE IN ’75 is available April 11th for pre-order exclusively at for $39.98 and will be shipping on May 24.

LIVE IN ’75 includes selections from all of the group’s albums through
its then-current Chicago VIII. The set flows like a greatest hits
collection that spans nearly every smash – from Robert Lamm’s smooth
baritone on “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?” to the Lee
Loughnane-penned hit “Call On Me” – but leaves room for beloved album
tracks like the latin-flavored “Mongonucleosis.” The set also includes
a complete performance of the crowd-pleasing “Ballet For A Girl In
Buchannon” suite that James Pankow composed for the Chicago II album.

The band came out rocking, opening with “Introduction” from the
ensemble’s stunning 1969 debut Chicago Transit Authority before
shifting to “Anyway You Want” from its most recent LP. The combination
neatly distilled Chicago’s past and present into a powerful one-two
punch that established an intensity that did not let up through the
entire show.

LIVE IN ’75 includes Chicago’s distinctive take on a pair of cover
tunes. The first, “I’m A Man,” finds the band making The Spencer Davis
Group classic their own, led by a rousing guitar performance from
Terry Kath. The second, the Beatles’ “Got To Get You Into My Life,”
was significant because it was the song that originally seeded Walter
Parazaider’s imagination with the notion of a new kind of rock ’n’
roll band with horns.

Track Listing

Disc 1
1.      “Introduction”
2.      “Anyway You Want”
3.      “Beginnings”
4.      “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?”
5.      “Call On Me”
6.       “Make Me Smile”
7.      “So Much To Say, So Much To Give”
8.      “Anxiety’s Moment”
9.      “West Virginia Fantasies”
10.     “Colour My World”
11.     “To Be Free”
12.     “Now More Than Ever”
13.     “Ain’t It Blue?”
14.     “Just You ’N’ Me”
15.     “(I’ve Been) Searchin’ So Long”
16.     “Mongonucleosis”
17.     “Old Days”
18.     “25 Or 6 To 4”

Disc 2
1.      “Got To Get You Into My Life”
2.      “Free”
3.      “I’m A Man”
4.      “Dialogue”
5.      “Wishing You Were Here”
6.      “Feelin’ Stronger Every Day”


Video Rarities: Chicago in Amsterdam, 1977

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How about some Chicago video that's even better quality than the stuff that I just posted?

Well alright....

This time, our journey will take us to Amsterdam for a short broadcast recorded in February of 1977.



Video Rarities: Chicago at Budokan, 1972

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Growing up, Chicago was one of my favorite bands and I came into their discography at an interesting point, since Chicago 17 was the first album that fell onto my radar. I hadn't quite learned that longtime fans were rabidly cursing Chicago and David Foster for every minute of both 16 and 17....and what do those numbers mean anyway?

A short time later I figured out the numbering system and my young mind was blown as I began to discover and make my way through their '70s discography on Columbia. Fast forward a few years and the slightly grown up version of me began to hunt around for quality bootlegs.  Audio wise, this was a tough search, pre-internet. As far as video?  Forget about it - I hadn't even begun to think about the possibility that there might be bootleg video out there.  To keep a longer story short, I went through quite a bit of crappy bootleg audio before the floodgates finally started to open up and bear decent fruit worth listening to.  Recently, there's been some killer stuff posted online, including this video, recorded at Budokan in June of 1972.

Believe it or not, there are people complaining about the quality of this video (proving once again that some people will complain about anything), but to paraphrase what one commenter said, we would have KILLED for video like this back in the day.  Admittedly, the quality of video and audio plummets quite a bit for the last few tracks, but there's plenty to enjoy here.

Ironically, this concert was set for release (along with additional archival material) by Rhino a few years ago before it was abruptly canceled without explanation.  Hopefully, it will find its way back to the release schedule one of these days, because it would be great to see this show in better quality.  Until then, this is certainly a treasure trove for any fan of '70s era Chicago and Terry Kath. 90 minutes+ of full concert footage?  You'd better believe that you'll enjoy the heck out of it.

(And you can download it for yourself, if you've got a Dimeadozen account - click here.)


Good Listening: Christmas with Chicago

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I need better connections in Youngstown (that's in Ohio, for those of you that are either unfamiliar with the Springsteen song of the same name or living in one of the other states not named Ohio).

In the past few weeks, I've missed concerts from both Eddie Money and Bryan Adams in the Youngstown area. Adams is still touring acoustically and after hearing his Bare Bones acoustic live release, I don't feel so bad about missing that one.

The Money Man on the other hand, played a series of Acoustic Christmas shows, which made my eyes bug out when I heard the news and realized that I had missed a tour date within driving distance. You have to understand how much I LOVE the Unplug It In acoustic EP that he put out in the early '90s. It's one of my great concert regrets that I missed his acoustic tour during the same era, which I believe played at Nautica Stage.

The good news for both you and me is that Money is selling copies of two of the Acoustic Christmas shows and that thought makes me salivate, thinking about what the setlist might be. The tour is becoming an annual event and reading this interview with Eddie about last year's show, it certainly sounds like a fun evening of music.

Perhaps I'll get a chance to catch it next year.


Ask the dust if we can go to Chicago…

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Our good pals over at Too Poppy poured a little bit of salt in the wound to remind us that alt-rockers Dada (er, dada) are headed to this side of the world for a rare set of tour dates as they wrap up work on their upcoming sixth studio album (!!!).

One of those shows is in Chicago on December 30th at Schubas.  And it will be awesome.  No really, it's going to be really, really awesome.  Chicago and Dada have a longtime mutual love affair with each other that remains in effect to this day. The Chicago shows are always something to talk about and even better to witness in person.

Cleveland used to be a normal stop for the Dada boys, but it's been a few years, probably due to a miserably attended show at the Cleveland Agora that was announced only a couple of weeks before it happened.  Cleveland audiences were always kind to the Dada boys (at least with proper notice), so perhaps we'll get another chance one of these days.

Until that happens, put the words "road trip" into your mental GPS and check out the trio of upcoming Dada-riffic shows to see if any of them fit with your rock and roll day planner. God knows, I'm trying to make the Chi-town date fit with mine!

And about that new album?  We're plenty stoked for that one and it gives us something (hopefully) to look forward to in 2011.


Exploring “The Things We Left Behind” with Blue Rodeo

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Every now and then, you have these spontaneous reminders that tap you on the shoulder to let you know that indeed, "maybe we ain't that young anymore."  Like the other day, when I realized that this year marks the 20th anniversary of the release of Casino, the 1990 album that introduced me to Canadian alt-country imports Blue Rodeo.   Which means officially that I've been buying Blue Rodeo albums religiously for 20 years now - there's never a question or any waiting around to read a review - as soon as I know the release date, it's on my purchase list.

And in those 20 years, they've never let me down with any of the albums that they've released.  There have been a couple (Palace of Gold, Small Miracles) that have taken a couple of extra listens, but overall, the consistency has been admirable and it always interests me that these guys don't have more of a fanbase here in the U.S., particularly with Wilco fans.

They've certainly done okay for themselves, and with the release of The Things We Left Behind, which is studio album #12 for the band, they show no signs of running out of steam anytime soon.  Featuring a total of 16 new tracks, it really is an interesting listen that breaks the traditional rotation between Keelor and Cuddy numbers in favor of an overall flow, tracked specifically with four sides of vinyl in mind.  That's right - this sucker is a double album, and the vinyl has the full gatefold sleeve treatment and a nice bonus inclusion of CDs for on-the-go listening.  It's worth a few extra bucks to import the vinyl from Canada, but if you're not a vinyl person, you can buy the CDs or digital download too.

Blue Rodeo are currently in the midst of a 15 date U.S. tour that will bring them to St. Louis tonight (for the first time in a loooong time), and Chicago on Saturday night, where they're booked at their traditional Chicago home away from home, Martyrs'.  I spoke with Jim Cuddy about the band's long overdue return to St. Louis, the new album, and quite a few other topics.  Although the chat had Chris Farley fanboy overload potential, I kept it professional.

Check out the interview here (via the Riverfront Times) and also some additional "outtakes" from the interview.


P.S. - for those that are heading out to a show, you'll enjoy this review of the recent Atlanta show.  It's nice to see that they're apparently changing up the set a bit from night to night.  "It Could Happen To You" has been a recent opener, and for Atlanta, it was "Cynthia" from Five Days in July that kicked things off!  And in even better news, they've got longtime BR associate Anne Lindsay out on the road with them, playing fiddle!


Eric Clapton announces Crossroads Guitar Festival 2010

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This year was looking like it might be the first one in a while to be festival-free on my concert schedule.  After attending on average, 3-4 festivals each year for the past few years, my cranky concert going self was telling me that it might be time for a break.

But I didn't count on Eric Clapton announcing round 3 of the Crossroads Guitar Festival, set to return to Toyota Park (outside of Chicago) on Saturday, June 26th.  Think about the famous concert broadcasts that you've seen - a show like Live Aid for instance.  Crossroads is just like that - star-studded with nearly every amazing guitar player from one side of the bill to the other.  Although some folks certainly grumbled about the inclusion of artists like Sheryl Crow and John Mayer in the last installment, Clapton's methodology of inclusion seems simple - if you're a guitar player in his Rolodex willing to come out to jam for a good cause, you're in!

Crossroads Guitar Festival


Bill Champlin: The ATV Interview

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Bill Champlin

During my early years as a music fan, I came across albums that would be important mile markers in my continuing musical education. Chicago 17 was an important album that introduced me to the production of David Foster, and perhaps more importantly, the vocals of Peter Cetera and Bill Champlin. Champlin was a recent addition to Chicago, having joined during the songwriting sessions for Chicago 16, the band's first album for their new label, Full Moon/Warner Brothers, after a career length stint recording for Columbia. The winning combination of Foster + Champlin + Chicago led to platinum selling results, and the band's second #1 single with "Hard to Say I'm Sorry."


Good Listening: Chicago – Live in New York – 6/20/77

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As I was digging around in my collection today, I pulled out two CDs worth of Chicago, recorded live in New York City in 1977. While this isn't the best sounding show that I've got from Chicago, it was interesting to me at the time that I first got it a few years ago for several reasons:

1. Any day that someone hands you a vintage Chicago show with Terry Kath on guitar is a good day. 32 years ago when this show originally occurred, I was a few months shy of turning three years old - which means that I had no chance to see Kath and Chicago "back in the day" prior to Kath's tragic death which happened less than a year after this show.  Bootlegs of Chicago (and other bands) were hard for me to locate pre-internet, and thanks to shows like this one, I now have the opportunity to experience the tours for some of my favorite Chicago albums from back then.

2. Cool setlist! I was originally intrigued by this show when I saw "Anyway You Want" in the setlist - Chicago VIII was one of the early 70s-era Chicago albums to catch my ear, along with Chicago II - both are nicely represented here in this performance.  This particular show dates from the era when the band was touring in support of Chicago XI.

3. The band is on fire! Just listen to Parazaider's sax solo on "Just You 'N Me" for one prime example.

The show was originally broadcast by WLIR at the time, and it's apparent that this particular copy has gone through a few generations of "dude, you GOTTA hear this Chicago show" type moments, shared from friend to friend.  It remains a worthy listen, and if perhaps you're out there sitting on a better copy, feel free to get in touch - I'd love to hear it.

Chicago XI

Nassau Coliseum
Uniondale, NY

The One To One Benefit

Broadcast by WLIR-FM


Robert Lamm
Peter Cetera
Terry Kath
James Pankow
Walter Parazaider
Lee Loughnane
Danny Seraphine
Laudir De Olivera


Disc One:

zipped download

Mississippi Delta City Blues
Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?
Call On Me
You Are On My Mind
Once Or Twice
Just You 'N Me
Ballet For A Girl In Buchannon

Disc Two:

zipped download part one
zipped download part two

Anyway You Want
Question 67 And 68
A Hit By Varese
If You Leave Me Now
Takin' It On Uptown
Saturday In The Park
(I've Been) Searchin' So Long
Drum Solo
25 or 6 to 4


I'm A Man
Feelin' Stronger Everyday


Bill Champlin plans solo tour this fall!

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“He’s known the world over as the soulful singer/keyboardist of the iconic jazz-pop band Chicago. His featured spots on the hits “Look Away” and “Hard Habit to Break” are among his mainstream highlights. But Bill Champlin’s defining work with the Sons of Champlin and as a songwriter put him on the musical map long before he arrived in Chicago. Bill and the Sons were blowing the doors off venues back in the ’70s — and they returned to doing the same in the late ’90s and into the present.”

-- Greg Rule, Keyboard Magazine


It's been nearly a year since the release of No Place Left To Fall, the latest solo effort from Chicago/Sons of Champlin lead vocalist Bill Champlin.

Available physically nearly everywhere (Japan, Europe, etc) except the United States where it was released only digitally, U.S. fans will finally have the chance to pick up No Place Left To Fall on CD in stores and online on August 4th. That's good news for Chicago/Champlin fans everywhere.

The even better news is the announcement that Champlin will mount a brief tour of the United States this fall with a full band including the rhythm section from Santa Fe and The Fat City Horns! The tour is set to launch on November 6th with 9 shows currently on the tentative schedule, venues pending.

Friday, November 6 • San Juan Capistrano, CA
Saturday, November 7 • San Diego, CA
Tuesday, November 10 • Santa Cruz, CA
Wednesday, November 11 • Mill Valley, CA
Thursday, November 12 • Tuolumne, CA
Saturday, November 14 • Santa Rosa, CA
Thursday, November 19 • Portland, OR
Saturday, November 21 • Whidbey Island, WA
Sunday, November 22 • Seattle, WA

Champlin is looking for your help to help promote the shows, the old-fashioned way:

Even though I've been on the scene for a long time, a lot of people don't know me, other than as a singer/pianist for Chicago, so it's gonna' take a lotta' help to make this stuff happen. I hate to use old ad campaign slogans, but "Tell a Friend" is gonna' help immensely. This is a grass roots thing that is gonna' take a lot of Grass or a lot of Roots, maybe both. Thanks for being there. I appreciate all your help. See ya' in November!

I can't remember the last time Champlin played solo dates like this, and I know that I certainly was too young to attend them when it happened, so I am stoked beyond belief! Gotta figure out when, where, and how, but I will get my butt out to at least one of these shows, for sure! Bill Champlin is one of the last old-school true musicians still out there playing these days - that ain't no sample, that's a real B-3 organ up there, son!

Step 1 for you: Grab yourself a copy of No Place Left To Fall when it is released on August 4th. Step 2: Get yourself out to one of these shows, and as Bill suggests, "tell a friend," or three, or four. And if you're looking for additional homework, I can suggest that the Mayday album might be a good primer to paint a bit of a picture for what you can expect from Champlin's solo live show!

Relevant Links:

Pre-order your copy of No Place Left To Fall, or download it digitally.

Bill Champlin's official website

Dreammakers Music (The label behind the new album.)