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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Chicago "Make Me Smile" Isolated Bass, Vocals and Guitar Solo

It's always so cool to be able to listen inside songs that have been around for a long, long time, and Chicago's "Make Me Smile" (from the band's Chicago II album) is a prime example. In the video below you'll hear the isolated bass, some drum leakage and Terry Kath's lead vocal, as well as a bonus of Kath's excellent guitar solo at the end. Here's what to listen for.

1. Peter Cetera's bass is somewhat out of the pocket, especially on the intro of the song. He's usually a little ahead of the beat throughout the song, although there times when the bass and drums settle in pretty well together.

2. The bass part changes in the second verse and becomes more active, as it does during the guitar solo, something that's easy to overlook when the rest of the tracks are in the mix.

3. The sound of the bass is pretty cool, with lots of leakage from the drums into the amp mic, since this was recorded in the days before widespread direct box use.

4. Terry Kath was as great a vocalist as he was a guitar player. Here he does ad libs right along with his lead vocal, and it sure sounds like it was done all in one complete take.

5. His guitar solo is one of his best (and one of my favorites). Take notice of the tone - not too distorted and using the front pickup of the Gibson SG he used at the time.



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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Bobby! Really interesting, as usual. Those first three Chicago albums are great! (No comment on most of their stuff after that...) Thanks for the great blogs!!

John M. Coltré said...

Thank you for doing this. I don't know how you are able to get these track isolated, but I'm sure glad you did. I really needed to hear Peter Cetera play back then because his bass playing I'd the main reason why I became a bass player myself when I was in 10th grade in 1970. My only requests are I would love to hear more of Peter Cetera's tracks from Chicago's first two albums. Also, can you help me get pictures of Peter Cetera from 1971 concerts which my one and time to see him I'm person was at Saratoga Performance Arts Center, upstate NY September 3rd, 1971 and I was blown away how he played and the whole band was so on it was amazing. I wish I had pictures and video of that concert. I was 15 about to turn 16. Thank you again for this isolated track!

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