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The Very Best of Chicago: Only the Beginning

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Chicago 7/2/2002

Review

Rhino began its elaborate Chicago reissue series in 2002 with The Very Best of Chicago: Only the Beginning, a double-disc set that covers 39 hits from all of Chicago's eras -- from the early jazzy records, through the soft rock hits sung by Peter Cetera, to the post-Cetera adult contemporary records of the '80s, and beyond. It's the first compilation to cover this much ground, actually -- 1991's Group Portrait stopped around Cetera's departure -- and while it may go a little bit further than some would want (a cover of Louis Prima's "Sing, Sing, Sing" from their 1995 neo-swing album closes the set; it happens to feature the Gipsy Kings on support), it nevertheless is very satisfying, since it rounds up all of the hits, and Chicago were at their very best on their hits. For anybody who has been holding on to all three Greatest Hits collections, this will replace them all, since it has almost every song from all three, plus remastered sound. Indeed, this is the definitive word on the group -- perhaps a fan favorite or two is missing, but everything you need is here, in a more concise, user-friendly shape than the Group Portrait box while offering more than any of the hits collections. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Make Me Smile [New Edit] Chicago 4:23
  3. 2 25 or 6 to 4 Chicago 4:49
  4. 3 Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? [New Edit] Chicago 3:18
  5. 4 Beginnings [GH Edit] Chicago 6:24
  6. 5 Questions 67 and 68 Chicago 4:54
  7. 6 I'm a Man [New Edit] Chicago 5:40
  8. 7 Colour My World Chicago 3:0
  9. 8 Free Chicago 2:16
  10. 9 Lowdown Chicago 3:33
  11. 10 Saturday in the Park Chicago 3:52
  12. 11 Dialogue, Pts. 1 & 2 [Single Version] Chicago 5:0
  13. 12 Just You 'N' Me Chicago 3:41
  14. 13 Feelin' Stronger Every Day Chicago 4:12
  15. 14 (I've Been) Searchin' So Long Chicago 4:27
  16. 15 Wishing You Were Here Chicago 4:34
  17. 16 Call on Me Chicago 3:59
  18. 17 Happy Man [GH2 Edit] Chicago 3:11
  19. 18 Another Rainy Day in New York City Chicago 2:57
  20. 19 If You Leave Me Now Chicago 3:53
  21. 1 Old Days Chicago 3:28
  22. 2 Baby, What a Big Surprise Chicago 3:0
  23. 3 Take Me Back to Chicago [Single Version] Chicago 2:56
  24. 4 Alive Again Chicago 4:4
  25. 5 No Tell Lover Chicago 3:46
  26. 6 Love Me Tomorrow [Single Version] Chicago 3:54
  27. 7 Hard to Say I'm Sorry/Get Away Chicago 5:4
  28. 8 Stay the Night Chicago 3:46
  29. 9 Hard Habit to Break Chicago 4:42
  30. 10 You're the Inspiration Chicago 3:47
  31. 11 Along Comes a Woman [Single Version] Chicago 3:44
  32. 12 Will You Still Love Me? [Single Version] Chicago 4:10
  33. 13 If She Would Have Been Faithful... Chicago 3:50
  34. 14 Look Away [Single Version] Chicago 3:57
  35. 15 What Kind of Man Would I Be? [Single Version] Chicago 4:7
  36. 16 I Don't Wanna Live Without Your Love Chicago 3:53
  37. 17 We Can Last Forever [Single Version] Chicago 3:42
  38. 18 You're Not Alone [Single Version] Chicago 3:56
  39. 19 Chasin' the Wind Chicago 4:16
  40. 20 Sing, Sing, Sing Chicago 3:19

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