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Throwback Music Pick: Chicago, "Beginnings"

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I adore the band Chicago - not only are the founding members from my grad school alma mater (DePaul University), but there's something so timeless about their music and yet so indicative of their late 1960s-1970s time period. It's those sweeping long songs, the horn section and big vocals, and the storytelling.

For years I only knew the song "Saturday in the Park", probably from hearing the music director play it at Red Wing and Tiger games, but over time I've grown to learn Chicago's other big hits and discovered sentimental favorites.

I won't lie that I fell in love with "If You Leave Me Now" when it was used in the final scene of my favorite episode of Sex and the City, "Boy, Interrupted":

 


And from there I've grown to love so many of their other songs, including "Beginnings", which I heard for the first time in a long time on the radio this past weekend. This song is the perfect windows down, sun streaming in, warm wind blowing down the highway kind of song.

The song itself is almost eight minutes long, and just when you think it has built up to its full potential, there are still a few minutes left. The horns in this song are amazing, and continue to build on each other.

When it comes to music in the summertime, there's nothing I love more than a nostalgia-fest, even though I wasn't even born when these songs were first released. Still, there's a feeling of missing an era I couldn't experience for myself, and somehow the songs transport me to that time. For any driving mix I make for friends or family, I have to have Crosby, Stills and Nash's "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" on it.

I grew up going to Steve Miller Band concerts with my parents and brothers, so that 1970s summer sound is a part of my musical DNA.

My first dance at our wedding was to "God Only Knows" by the Beach Boys, and before that our entrance song was "The Power of Love" by Huey Lewis and the News. Clearly my musical tastes trend towards that classic 1970s-80s rock quite a bit.

It's only March, but with a sunny mid-60s weekend under our belts and more beautiful weather ahead, I'm already anticipating a lot of jamming to Chicago this summer.

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