on April 9, 2017 | Last updated April 9, 2017
ChicagoBallet for a Girl in Buchannon
Release Type: User Audio Type: Single-track Reductions: Yes (Auto/CAT) Pitched Vocals: Yes Vocals Gender: Male (3)
5 LANE KEYS: DenVaktare
Chicago Chronicles Epic Week 5 is back with “Ballet for a Girl in Buchannon”. At 13 minutes and spawning two of Chicago’s earliest hits – “Make Me Smile” and “Colour My World” – “Ballet for a Girl in Buchannon” is a grand achievement showing chops well beyond the years and maturity of several other bands of that era.
The song bursts out of the gate with James Pankow’s in-your-face horn chart, with Chicago’s tight rhythm section joining in shortly after eventually leading into Terry Kath’s soulful vocals. Where their debut and arguably the first few songs of Chicago II “introduced” them, “Make Me Smile” is one of the first signs of Chicago becoming more comfortable in their skin and exerting their personality. Gone is the tentativeness of a band that sounded like they were still pinching themselves because they couldn’t believe THIS was actually happening to THEM. It’s not so much a cocky swagger as it is a knowing self-assurance.
Sadly, most casual listeners are only familiar with “Make Me Smile” and “Colour My World” portions of this brilliant 13-minute song cycle. As such, they’re missing out on the truly delightful instrumental interludes of “Anxiety’s Moment” and “West Virginia Fantasies,” and the equally strong “So Much to Give, So Much to Say.”
While there were other grand musical movements to come on Chicago II and others down the road, for better or worse Chicago had set the bar extremely high with “Ballet for a Girl in Buchannon.” As good as some of their other more ambitious musical endeavors may have been, it could be argued that none of them matched the musical brilliance and scope of this track.