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Chicago Transit Authority – Chicago Transit Authority (1969)

March 13, 2019

[Album 637/1001]

“Another one rides the bus”
– Weird Al Yankovic

When you were younger, did you enjoy riding the city bus?220px-CTA_album

Fortunately for us, the novelty hasn’t worn off for the kids yet & they get a kick out of going downtown on the bus.

We’ve even accumulated a couple of free bus toys over the years (as shown below)!

Though I suppose public transit in general isn’t for everyone.

But how about the Chicago Transit Authority?
















Verbalize the Positive

Tip of the hat to Kingston Transit – the free bus service on special event days is much appreciated!


From → 1960s

  1. Feel like you should work in the carbon emission benefits in there…

    • That sounds like a genuine advantage of using public transit – rather than one out of narrative convenience like mine!

  2. Interesting take on the album! Hope all is well.

  3. I used to love riding buses, it is one of the things I have missed since moving sixteen miles from the nearest bust stop. I also have the first 5 Chicago albums and sometimes it just feels like too big a commitment of time to listen. They seem to all be at least double albums.

    • Perhaps because I live hours from the nearest subway, I’ve always been partial to that form of public transit!

  4. Harrison permalink

    Love this review. Just like when LeBrain did one only using pictures of his facial expressions

  5. A band that I’ve been meaning to check out for a while, but those cluttered arrangements and jazzy guitar shenanigans have always put me off.

    • I remember years ago, looking through thrift shops for copies of LPs from the 1001 albums list, and I kept finding various self-titled chicago albums, thinking I’d found their 1001 album for cheap.
      But it kept being one of their other roman numeral albums rather than this one!

      • That’s the problem, eh? I’ve seen a few, but I would have no confidence I was buying the right one!

      • Chicago Transit Authority is their best.
        Any Chicago album with Terry Kath is going to be better. After he died, they went really soft.
        I say stick with the first 11 (including the live and hits comps), so pre 1978 albums.

      • When the first 11 in a discography are worth hearing, that’s a good way to kick off a career!

    • Terry Kath was an amazing guitarist imho. His early stuff was pretty rocking.
      Give them a chance.

      • Where do you recommend I start?

      • I say start with Chicago Transit Authority.
        The song Free Form Guitar is very Hendrix like.
        25 or 6 to 4 rules. South California Purples etc.
        The album has a bit of Beach Boys, a bit of Hendrix, a bit of Steve Winwood, a bit of jazz, and horns thrown in. I really enjoy it.
        I have wanted to do a Chicago album series for years. Maybe I will some day.

  6. Great Job with this review Geoff comparing two different Transit Authorities..
    At times I sometime still take the Bus during the winter as we have one vehicle and Sue works at 830am whereas I start at 7am….
    From my house to the hospital its a 20 minute ride…
    Summer time I bike to and from work…which is a 20 minute ride also and sometimes a 30 minute ride home depending on the wind! haha
    I found I can ride the transit system here no problem as long as I have my iPod with me as it drowns out those unusual nosies..

    • The bike to work is a beautiful thing – I’m excited (as I’m sure you are after the TBay winter!) to get back to it in the spring.
      And yes, what a difference music makes on the commute.
      Though not for either of us this week!

      • Ha…you got it Geoff…
        There is a Rain warning in effect for tonight through Friday..15-25 mm of rain…
        Temps are at plus 2 as of right now!
        Pretty big change as it was -30 just a week ago…

  7. I have a few (okay they are just Chicago albums), but never got in to the CTA as much. I liked your post way more than the CTA albums. For now, I was just come back and read this post when I am in the mood for CTA.

    • Cheers John – I think this is one of those albums I’ll keep but may not spend a ton of time in the rotation

  8. Enjoyed your take, Geoff. But at the risk of seeming a little po-faced, can I just put in a vote for the music?
    This really is the only essential Chicago album, and a rip snorter of a debut. Will certainly feature at Vinyl Connection during the year of its 50th anniversary. Innovative, bursting with ideas, full of power and passion, there’s little like it from 1969. A worthy inclusion in the 1001 book.
    Rant over.

    • I wasn’t familiar with the term po-faced – and I will not have a very good poker face in hiding my glee in learning a new term!
      I’ll be keen to read that 50th anniversary post, Bruce. This one only adds to 1969’s thoroughly impressive musical CV/resume, what a musical output year!

    • I totally agree.

  9. I LOVE this album. I recently found a NM vinyl copy (I see a ton but most are beat up).
    Terry Kath had such an amazing guitar tone. I miss that dude.

    • My copy would definitely not be near mint! But although the outside wasn’t pretty, luckily the LPs inside were in fine shape

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Satur-debut – CHICAGO “CHICAGO TRANSIT AUTHORITY” | KamerTunesBlog

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