Music from Chicago, the city, 1970 Edition, by Rich Paschall
It was a good year for music from Chicagoland. Some groups had already hit the big time, and some were on their way. Some scored many big hits, others hit the limelight just once. Here are a few top-selling songs from Chicago area bands in 1970. Which one is best?
The Five Stairsteps were a brother and sister act. It started out as 5 teenagers. The father, Clarence Burke, Sr. was a Chicago Police detective. He backed the group on bass guitar and co-wrote some of the songs. O-o-h Child was their biggest hit and made Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
Some day, yeah
We’ll walk in the rays of a beautiful sun
When the world is much brighter
In 1966 the Ides of March formed in the near west Chicago suburb of Berwyn, Illinois. They had local success with the big AM radio stations playing a couple of their songs. In 1970 the band hit it big with “Vehicle,” one of our “One Hit Wonders,” 1970 Edition. Jim Peterik wrote the hit tune and went on a few years later to form Survivor where he had a few more hits. Now he is back with Ides of March and recently co-wrote the song “Everything Is Gonna Work Out Fine,” with Robert Lamm (Chicago) for Chicago, the band.
I’m your vehicle, baby
I’ll take you anywhere you want to go
I’m your vehicle, woman
By now I’m sure you know
Chicago had a number of big hits in 1970. “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is,” was written and sung by Robert Lamm. It was the first song recorded for their first album, Chicago Transit Authority, in January of 1969. It was released as a single in 1970 after the success of “Make Me Smile” and “25 or 6 to 4” from their second album, Chicago II. It was Chicago’s third straight Top Ten single. It is one of my all-time favorites. I have seen the band do it live many times. There is nothing like seeing Chicago in Chicago.
Does anybody really know what time it is (I don’t)
Does anybody really care (care about time)
If so I can’t imagine why (no, no)
We’ve all got time enough to cry
It’s the Golden Anniversary for these. Which is your favorite?
See Also: “One Hit Wonders, 1970 Edition” Serendipity, September 13, 2020.