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Chicago lost CD Stone of Sisyphus available June 17

June 8, 2008

In his book, The Greatest Music Never Sold, author Dan Leroy writes about the Stone Of Sisyphus, the great lost Chicago album.  Recorded in 1993 and produced by Peter Wolf, Sisyphus became a cult record immediately after Warner Bros. refused to release it because it wasn’t the Chicago record that was expected. Knowing what they had created and not willing to compromise, the band left Warner Bros. and took the album with them.

Now, 15 years later, on June 17, this 11-song album with four bonus tracks will finally be available from Rhino Records at all physical and digital outlets, including, for a suggested list price of $18.98 for CD and $9.99 for download.

Powered by Chicago’s celebrated horn section, the tracks on SISYPHUS have bite, power and swing, and the “fire in the belly” that one associates usually with debut albums. The songs touch on a wide range of styles and moods, including the energetic horn-driven title track, “Stone Of Sisyphus,” the cool funk groove of “Mah-Jong,” the anti-corporate rock broadside “Plaid,” the touching emotional lyrics of “The Pull” and Robert Lamm’s rap on “Sleeping In The Middle Of The Bed.” “Bigger Than Elvis” features contributions from musicians who worked with “The King” himself, including The Jordinaires and Jerry Scheff (father of Chicago bassist Jason Scheff). 

“We wrote songs that were more experimental, songs that were more daring in terms of musical direction and chord construction, more than anything,”

remembers James Pankow, whose innovative horn charts had been an integral part of Chicago’s distinctive sound from the start. “We got into really feeling our oats in terms of being the voice of Chicago again. It had been a long time since we had made a record like that.”

Looking back, the band members wish they had found a way to release SISYPHUS sooner, but there is intense pride in having stood up for their creative integrity — a Chicago trademark. While Sisyphus became an underground classic, widely bootlegged by fans, Chicago continued to defy music business conventions by forming their own record company, and recording hugely successful big band and holiday records before it was the fashion.

To date, Chicago’s remarkable achievements include a Grammy” Award, record sales that exceed 100,000,000, including 21 Top 10 singles, five consecutive #1 albums, five #1 singles, 13 platinum albums and five gold singles. An incredible 25 of their 30 albums have been certified platinum, and Chicago is the first American band to chart Top 40 albums in five decades.

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