The Heart of Chicago 1967–1997

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The Heart of Chicago 1967-1997
Greatest hits album by
ReleasedApril 22, 1997
ProducerJames William Guercio, David Foster, Ron Nevison, Lenny Kravitz and James Newton Howard
Chicago chronology
Night & Day: Big Band
The Heart of Chicago 1967-1997
The Heart of Chicago 1967–1998 Volume II
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[1]

The Heart of Chicago 1967–1997 is the fifth greatest hits album, and twenty-third album overall, by the American band Chicago, released in 1997. It was compiled to commemorate the group's 30th anniversary of their formation.

The idea was to bridge their two eras on one CD: the James William Guercio and Columbia Records period of the 1970s, and the David Foster and Warner Bros. Records period of the 1980s. In addition, the band added two new songs, "The Only One" produced by Lenny Kravitz and "Here in My Heart" by James Newton Howard. Both of these new tracks were successful in the adult contemporary market; "Here in My Heart" topped the AC charts, and "The Only One" was a top 20 AC hit.

While the album was certified gold following its April 1997 release, many critics and fans disapproved of the concept, finding the distinct styles of both decades clashing with each other, and with the lack of many significant hits (i.e. "25 or 6 to 4", "Call on Me", and "What Kind of Man Would I Be?") detracting from the album's enjoyment. To balance this out, a second album, The Heart of Chicago 1967–1998 Volume II was released the following year to fill in the missing gaps that were left in the first one. Rhino Records' 2002 two-CD release The Very Best of Chicago: Only the Beginning, with chronological sequencing, is generally considered to supersede both volumes of The Heart of Chicago.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "You're the Inspiration" (Peter Cetera/David Foster) – 3:49 from Chicago 17
  2. "If You Leave Me Now" (Cetera) – 3:55 from Chicago X
  3. "Make Me Smile" (Single version) (James Pankow) – 2:59 from Chicago II
  4. "Hard Habit to Break" (Steve Kipner/Jon Parker) – 4:44 from Chicago 17
  5. "Saturday in the Park" (Robert Lamm) – 3:55 from Chicago V
  6. "Wishing You Were Here" (Cetera) – 4:35 from Chicago VII
  7. "The Only One" (Pankow/Greg O'Connor) – 5:59 Previously unreleased
    • A new recording produced and featuring backing vocals by Lenny Kravitz
  8. "Colour My World" (Pankow) – 2:59 from Chicago II
  9. "Look Away" (Diane Warren) – 4:00 from Chicago 19
  10. "Here in My Heart" (Glen Ballard/James Newton Howard) – 4:15 Previously unreleased
  11. "Just You 'n' Me" (Pankow) – 3:42 from Chicago VI
  12. "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" (Single version) (Lamm) – 3:19 from Chicago Transit Authority
  13. "Will You Still Love Me?" (Foster/Tom Keane/Richard Baskin) – 5:41 from Chicago 18
  14. "Beginnings" (Lamm) – 7:54 from Chicago Transit Authority
  15. "Hard to Say I'm Sorry/Get Away" (Cetera/Foster/Lamm) – 5:05 from Chicago 16

Chart performance[edit]

The Heart of Chicago 1967-1997 (Reprise 46554) reached No. 55 in the US and peaked at No. 21 in the UK.