Cincinnati Enquirer 5-17-69 CTA album
4 Teen-Ager Teen-Ager Teen-Ager Good,, hard rock BY JIM KNIPPENBERG Since last May, there has been a group called The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), batting around between between L. A., San Francisco and, of course, Chicago. Soundings Live performances were numerous, the following large, audiences enthusiastic, enthusiastic, and the offers many. Devout cultlsts were asking asking why the group wasn't on record and its sound available to those unable to get into the big cities. Columbia Records, as usual, heard the question and answered it in a big way. The response is a deluxe two-record two-record two-record album which is guaranteed to freak out even the most casual listener. listener. The group hails from Chicago Chicago where all but one of the seven musicians were born, and where the idea of CTA first took shape. The music is a result of mixing one bass, a guitar, woodwinds, a trumpet, a trombone, a keyboard, and a set of drums. Especially worthy of mention mention is Robert Lamm on keyboard and lead vocals, and Don Seraphine on drums. He easily rivals Ron Bushy of Iron Butterfly, if not in terms of quantity, certainly in terms of quality. quality. BESIDES THIS menagerie of talented musicians, their first album, simply entitled "Chicago Transit Authority," Authority," also has the benefit of creative producer James William Guercia, the producer producer behind the latest Blood, Sweat and Tears album. album. Essentially, the album is just good, hard rock a very heavy, progressive sound which often avoids mixing various musical styles. This is not to say that the group ever gets monotonous. monotonous. There are many numbers numbers which come off as rock, but with a background using using all the musical knowledge knowledge man has accumulated so far. But it is always hard rock first and foremost, and musical acrobatics second. The cuts are all plenty long, giving you enough time to get into them and revel awhile. It does a lot for the album. ALL OF Tins near technical technical perfection can be called a "Chicago sound," a deification of rock, using other "types" only for mood, effect, or as a supplement. supplement. Especially strong cuts on the albums are "I'm a Man," a la Iron Butterfly, "Introduction," "Introduction," run quickly over the BS&T assembly line, and "Liberation," a glorious THE CINCINNATI ! I "'Si I 1 I Jim Knippenberg 16-minute 16-minute 16-minute hymn, made up of some of the hardest and heaviest rock going. Many years ago, Chicago was the center of a musical renaissance of sorts. CTA could well be the beginning of another. ONE MORE album which I might mention is called "Man," by a group of the same name. Evidently someone told these five people that if they created a sound no one had heard before and put it on record, they would make a lot of money. What someone forgot to tell them is that the sound has to be good. Man's isn't. The album's chief virtue is that it's easy to forget. "What a piece of work is man," said Bill Shakespeare. Shakespeare. Bear in mind that when he said it, he never heard this circus make its feeble musical attempt. Forget Forget it it's terrible.