Chicago - Now That You've Gone (1972)

"Now That You've Gone" is the third track on side one of Chicago V, and it also serves as the flip side of the band's 1972 hit single, a truncated version of "Dialogue Parts I and II" from the same album.

The subject matter of this loud rocker is nothing out of the ordinary. It's a simple breakup song, but what sets it apart from the mundane and blasts it into the stratosphere is trombone player and composer James Pankow's unique arrangement. It's an unselfish, group effort from the full band.

"Now That You've Gone" is cool right from the start. It's a frantic, fast-paced, speaker shattering performance. It begins with Danny Seraphine clobbering his drum kit. Then Terry Kath's guitar, Robert Lamm's electric piano and Peter Cetera's outstanding bass line join in before the horn section blasts off and leads into Kath's fine lead vocal.

The instrumental break features the horn section again, and after Kath returns to close things out the song changes its mind as woodwind player Walt Parazaider blows a raw, thunderous sax solo on top of the brass that finally brings the song to a sudden end.

Those of you who enjoyed Chicago when they first came to prominence as one of the premier rock bands of the early 70s will revel in this deep track. It's one of the early band's great triumphs, so crank the volume up to eleven and take it all in.

"Now That You've Gone" is probably not for everyone. Fans who prefer Chicago's later pop music that includes major hits such as "If You Leave Me Now" and "You're the Inspiration" may come away disappointed.

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