Ballet For A Girl In Buchannon
Second album by Chicago-based rock band Chicago. It was released in 1970 after the band had shortened its name from The Chicago Transit Authority after releasing their same-titled debut album the previous year.
Although the official title of the album was Chicago, it came to be retroactively known as Chicago II, keeping it in line with the succession of roman numeral-titled albums that officially began with Chicago III in 1971.
While The Chicago Transit Authority was a success, Chicago II is considered by many to be Chicago's breakthrough album, yielding a number of Top 40 hits, including "Make Me Smile" (#9), "Colour My World" (#7), and "25 Or 6 To 4" (#4). The centerpiece of the album was the thirteen-minute song cycle "Ballet For A Girl In Buchannon", which is considered one of Chicago's finest moments. In addition, guitarist Terry Kath also participated in an extended classically-styled piece in four separate songs.
The politically-outspoken Robert Lamm also tackles his qualms with "It Better End Soon", another modular piece addressing the Vietnam War. Peter Cetera, later to play a crucial role in the band's music, donated his first song to Chicago and this album, "Where Do We Go From Here".
Released in January 1970 on Columbia Records, Chicago was an instant hit, reaching #4 in the US and #6 in the UK and has gone on to become - perhaps - the band's most revered album.
In 2002, Chicago was remastered and reissued on one CD by Rhino Records with the single versions of "Make Me Smile" and "25 or 6 to 4" as bonus tracks. (Trivia: The song "25 or 6 to 4" refers to a songwriter trying to write song lyrics at 25 or 26 minutes to 4 in the morning.)