Producers include: James William Buercio, Phil Ramone, David Foster, Bruce Fairbairn, Ron Nevison.
Compilation producers: Chicago, David McLees.
Includes liner notes by Bill DeYoung.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
Personnel: Bill Champlin (vocals, guitar, keyboards); Terry Kath (vocals, guitar, percussion); Dawayne Bailey, Donnie Dacus (vocals, guitar); Walter Parazaider (vocals, woodwinds, percussion); Lee Loughnane (vocals, trumpet, flugelhorn, percussion); James Pankow (vocals, trombone, percussion); Robert Lamm (vocals, keyboards, percussion); Daniel Seraphine (vocals, drums, percussion, drum programming); Laudir DeOliveira (vocals, congas, percussion); Jason Scheff, Nicol s Reyes, Patchai Reyes, Peter Cetera (vocals); James William Guercio (guitar, acoustic guitar); Chris Pinnick, Dan Huff, Keith Howland, Michael Landau, Paul Jackson, Jr. , Steve Lukather, Tonino Baliardo, Bruce Gaitsch, Howard "Buzz" Feiten, Chas Sandford (guitar); Gipsy Kings (flamenco guitar); Tris Imboden (harmonica, drums); Stephen "Doc" Kupka (baritone saxophone); Gary Grant, Greg Adams (trumpet, flugelhorn); David Foster (piano, keyboards); Kiki Epsen (keyboards, programming); Efrain Toro (keyboards, drum programming); John Campbell, Phillip Ashley, Robbie Buchanan, Tom Keane, Charles Judge (keyboards); Hawk Wolinski (synthesizer, ARP synthesizer); David Paich (synthesizer); Blue Weaver (string synthesizer); John Keane (drums); Guille Garcia (congas, percussion); Joe Lala (congas); Mike Murphy (cowbells, programming); Leroy Williams , Othello Molineaux (steel drum); Luis Conte, Paulinho Da Costa (percussion); Peter Kaye, Peter Mayer (programming); Steve Porcaro (keyboard programming); Tim Cetera, Kenny Cetera, Al Jardine, Tamara Champlin, Carl Wilson , Chaka Khan (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Ed Thacker; Erwin Musper; Greg Walsh; Humberto Gatica; James Guthrie ; Jim Boyer ; Phil Ramone; Bill Schnee; Bruce Fairbairn; Chas Sandford.
Audio Remasterers: Dave Donnelly ; Lee Loughnane; Jeff Magid.
Audio Remixer: Humberto Gatica.
Liner Note Authors: Tim Scanlin; Bill DeYoung.
Recording information: A & M Studios, Hollywood, CA (01/1969-07/1999); Bill Schnee Studios, North Hollywood, CA (01/1969-07/1999); Caesars's Palace, Atlantic City, NY (01/1969-07/1999); Can-AM Recorders, Tarzana, CA (01/1969-07/1999); Caribou Ranch, Nederland, CO (01/1969-07/1999); Carnegie Hall, New York, NY (01/1969-07/1999); Chartmaker Studio, Malibu, CA (01/1969-07/1999); Columbia Recording Studios, NY (01/1969-07/1999); Criteria Studios, Miami, FL (01/1969-07/1999); Davlen Studios, Hollywood, CA (01/1969-07/1999); Foxwoods Arena, Mashantucket, CT (01/1969-07/1999); Goldmine Studios, Woodland Hills, CA (01/1969-07/1999); Grant Park, Chicago, IL (01/1969-07/1999); Ground COntrol, Santa Monica, CA (01/1969-07/1999); Le Studio, Montreal, Qu Cham (01/1969-07/1999); Lion Share Recording Studio, Hollywood, CA (01/1969-07/1999); Record Pland, Los Angeles, CA (01/1969-07/1999); Rumbo Recorders, Canoga Park, CA (01/1969-07/1999); Secret Sound, Woodland Hills, CA (01/1969-07/1999); Skyline Recording Studios, Topanga Park, CA (01/1969-07/1999); Sound Labs, Hollywood, CA (01/1969-07/1999); Sunset Sound, Hollywood, CA (01/1969-07/1999); The Armours Studios, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canad (01/1969-07/1999); The Lighthouse, North Hollywood, CA (01/1969-07/1999).
Photographers: Norman Seeff; Jeff Katz.
Unknown Contributor Role: Chaka Khan.
Arrangers: Shelly Berg; Bill Watrous; David Foster.
Chicago commemorates 35 years of playing together with the career-spanning 2-CD anthology ONLY THE BEGINNING. This Windy City septet started out as one of the few '60s groups aside from Blood, Sweat & Tears and The Electric Flag to fuse a full horn section with a rock band. Chicago's early hits included more aggressive fare like "25 Or 6 To 4," "Beginnings," and a scorching cover of The Spencer Davis Group's "I'm A Man," but they became known as a ballads band as the '70s progressed. AM hits like "Saturday In The Park," "Just You 'N' Me," and "Baby, What A Big Surprise" helped solidify this reputation.
Despite stumbling in the late '70s and getting dropped by Columbia Records, Chicago neatly landed on its feet at Warner Brothers. Their chart assault in the '80s continued with ballads like "Hard To Say I'm Sorry/Look Away," "Hard Habit To Break," and the quintessential prom theme/wedding song "You're The Inspiration." Hits sans Peter Cetera (who left in 1985), include "Chasin' The Wind." Wrapping up this 40-song set is "Sing, Sing, Sing," a new collaboration with The Gipsy Kings.