Billboard Top 40 Hits: 1971: #121: ‘ Beginnings’- Chicago. June 26, 1971.
- Single: ‘Beginnings’- Chicago
- Record Company- Columbia
- Genre: Jazz Rock
- Written by Robert Lamm
- Time: 6:27
- B-side: ‘Colour My World’
- Album-Chicago Transit Authority
- Grade: A
- Peaked at #7 13 weeks in Billboard Hot 100.
Chicago had released ‘Beginnings’ at the beginning of their career in 1969 as a single and it went nowhere- not even cracking the Hot 100. Released two years later- after Chicago had started to enjoy great success- three Top 10 hits and a couple more Top 40 hits after that “Beginnings’ was finally a hit reaching the Top 10. The b-side to the 1971 re-release ‘Colour My World’ also became a hit in the United States. Songwriter Robert Lamm said he was inspired to write ‘Beginnings’ after seeing a Richie Havens concert.
The first time I saw them live, was at the Texas International POP Festival in 1969, they called themselves Chicago Transit Authority, then CTA, then plain Chicago. In the early 70s I saw them a few more times and even today, I consider them to be the best live band I have heard. That was when Terry Kath was their lead guitar. They were clearly the best received act at the festival, even upping ole Janis.
I never saw them in their prime- I think it was around 1990- it was a good show and all but again- the 1970’s would have been the time to have seen them- when you did! While I only own a couple of their individual albums- I do own a box set with for me contains all I want to hear- which is a lot- I think there are four discs..
I didn’t like the single version of this–it sounded too much like it was cut-and-pasted by someone whose job it was to fit everything into three minutes without regard for how it sounded. At the same time, the Latin percussion jam at the end of the album version was a little long. This version, that fades the percussion jam after a few seconds, is better.
I have always been a sucker for songs with good horns and so really enjoyed a lot of their early stuff