The Official Chicago Fan Network
I really liked the raw edge of the Thumbprint - espeically Manipulation and Doin' Business. It had the feel of CTA and Chicago III. 16 and 17 were too soft for me. No hard edge - no musical adventure and way too many ballads. We Stop the Hurtin' was the only exception. Even though 16 and 17 sold lots of copies, they weren't true to the real Chicago of CTA, III, V, VII, VIII, Thumbprint and SOS. Big Band excelled in its own way with the great arrangements and musicianship. XXX had 90 Degrees and Freezing and Already Gone as its strong songs. For the most part, the Thumbprint rocked. Do the changes I suggested in my original post and it really rocked. It is too bad Columbia let them down on this release with their lack of promotion. There was some serious rock & roll with horns on this album. And you should have seen Manipulation, Doin' Business and the American Dream live on the 1980 tour. A truly slamming show!
I also think it's the best of the Hot Streets-13-14 era. American Dream is a great rocker and, you're right, Doin' Business should totally have been on there. Live it Up was fine, too. I think Soldier of Fortune was just so-so and kind of a retread of Policeman.
I also agree that Song for You was a weak ballad. Cetera didn't even SOUND like himself until the high notes. I kind of like Where Did the Lovin' Go and, what's more, it seemed like an almost conscious attempt to sound like REO Speedwagon, which wasn't a bad move at the time. Birthday Boy is a little wimpy, I suppose. Sometimes I enjoy it, though.
I'm of two minds about Upon Arrival. I could see that dropped. A touch schmaltzy. The IDEA of the song is good, but the lyrical execution wasn't great, I don't think.
By the way, my personal made-up Chicago 15 on iTunes is as follows (a mix of Bill Champlin's Foster-produced Runaway, PC's self-titled album, and Chicago rarities).
Satisfaction (Album Version)--BC
Livin' In The Limelight--PC
One Way Ticket--BC
I Can Feel It-PC
Soldier of Fortune-Chicago rarity
Love Was New (Dacus Version)--Chicago rarity
Doin' Business-Chicago rarity
Live it Up--Chicago rarity