Songs You May Have Missed #161


Chicago: “Brand New Love Affair, Part I &II” (1975)

When Chicago, and the world, lost Terry Kath in 1978 due to an unintentional self-inflicted gunshot wound, they not only lost a most formidable and innovative lead guitarist (supposedly Hendrix called him the best he’d ever seen) but also the most soulful singer in the band. Without his gutbucket delivery to offset the sweeter vocals of the Robert Lamms and Peter Ceteras of the band, it quickly became a blander affair in his absence, and the downward slide (“If You Leave Me Now”, “Baby, What a Big Surprise”, “Hard to Say I’m Sorry”, “You’re the Inspiration”…) began.

The contrast between Kath and Cetera, though, made for great chemistry in the songs they shared the lead on. “Brand New Love Affair” was one such example, as was 1972’s “Dialogue”, in which Kath’s growl perfectly suits the pessimism in his lines, while Cetera’s sweet, high-register croon matches the sunny optimism of his character in the song:

If further irrefutable proof is needed of what the loss of Kath did to neuter a great band, watch the first four minutes or so of the long version of “Make Me Smile” with him (make sure you catch Kath cutting loose with his solo):

…and at least the first three-and-a half or so of the same song performed by a latter-day incarnation of the band:

’nuff said.

See also:

See also: Songs You May Have Missed #700 | Every Moment Has A Song (

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Songs You May Have Missed #301 « Ed Cyphers

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