Chicago VII

Chicago released their 6th studio album in 1974 simply titled VII. Chicago IV was a four-LP live album. So it is the seventh album so far. Again it was a double album but also their last double album like their first 3 albums. Again they recorded in Guercio's Caribou recording studios in Colorado where they also recorded their previous album Chicago VI.

Chicago in 1974

During the tour in support of Chicago VI they started to do some jazz instrumentals and that influenced them for their next album. But they didn't agree on doing a complete instrumental album so it became another double album with instrumentals and pop songs on the second half.

Chicago at Caribou Studios 1974

Terry Kath came up with his best song ever titled "Byblos" named after a club where they performed in Osaka (Japan) together with "Song Of The Evergreens". Robert Lamm offered several songs including the title track of a solo album titled "Skinny Boy" he was recording at the same time. "Skinny Boy" included the Pointer Sisters on backing vocals. The first single of the album was "(I've Been) Searchin' So Long" by James Pankow that reached #9 in the US and #5 in the UK. Trumpeter Lee Loughnane wrote his first song ever for the band titled "Call On Me" that was released as a single reaching #6 in the US and #9 in the UK. Peter Cetera came up with "Happy Man" and "Wishing You Were Here". "Wishing You Were Here" was also released as single reaching #11 in the US, #12 in the UK, #13 in the Netherlands and included 3 of the Beach Boys on backing vocals. Their cooperation with the Beach Boys resulted in a peformance together on television during the last day of 1974 and a double tour. Eventually all members of the band contributed to the songwritings on the album. We can also hear percussionist Laudir de Oliveira who would become an official band member a year later for their next album Chicago VIII.

Terry Kath and Peter Cetera performing in 1974

Besides the fact that the first half of the album is instrumental the album reached the #1 position in the US. 

Inner sleeve side 3 of the LP

The album cover is a a faux-leather engraving that displays key events in the history of the city Chicago designed by John Berg and Nick Fasciano.

Original album cover
Chicago VII (1974)
Prelude to Aire / Aire / Devil’s Sweet / Italian From New York / Hanky Panky / Life Saver / Happy Man / (I’ve Been) Searchin’ So Long / Mongonucleosis / Song of the Evergreens / Byblos / Wishing You Were Here / Call on Me / Women Don’t Want to Love Me / Skinny Boy
Singles released from Chicago VII

(I've Been) Searching So Long / Byblos (1974)
Call On Me / Prelude To Aire (1974)
Wishing You Were Here / Life Safer (1974)
Wishing You Were Here / Gently I'll Wake You (1975)

Chicago and Beach Boys on New Year's Eve TV Show -
Wishing You Were Here
Happy Man


(I've Been) Searching So Long - live at the ranch 1974

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