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Cicero Park

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Released  June 1974 (1974-06)
Cicero Park (1974)  Hot Chocolate (1975)
Release date  1974
Label  Big Tree Records
Recorded  Morgan Studios, London
Artist  Hot Chocolate
Producer  Mickie Most
Cicero Park httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediaendddCic
Length  1:36:43 (with bonus CD)
Genres  Funk, Pop music, Rhythm and blues
Similar  The Very Best of Hot Chocolate, Their Greatest Hits, Love Shot, 20 Hottest Hits

Cicero Park is the debut album by British soul band Hot Chocolate. It was released in June 1974 on the RAK Records label, owned by Mickie Most, who was the band's producer. The album peaked at number fifty-five on the US Billboard 200 album chart.

Contents

The original 1974 LP release comprised ten original songs by the band's writing team, lead vocalist Errol Brown and bassist Tony Wilson. The album included the group's first major international hit, "Emma" and "Disco Queen". The album did not contain the song Brother Louie, which had been a US hit for the American band The Stories. The Hot Chocolate version of Brother Louie was later issued on CD as part of the 2009 Cicero Park Bonus disc.

The album was issued on CD for the first time in an expanded 25-track 2-disc set in 2009

Reception

Cicero Park has received varying reviews from contemporary critics.

In his obituary of Errol Brown in The Independent, Spencer Leigh praised the LP for its lyrical content:

"Although Hot Chocolate are known as a singles band, they should be commended for their 1974 album Cicero Park, which touched on issues of race and class. Many credit The Real Thing as being the first British band to do this, but Hot Chocolate's album pre-dates 4 from 8 by three years."

Alex Henderson writing for Allmusic gave the album a mixed review. Citing that Hot Chocolate's albums including Cicero Park tended to be mildly uneven, but more often than not, the material [on Cicero Park] is quite promising. Henderson praises the title track, the Curtis Mayfield-influenced "Could Have Been Born in the Ghetto", the funky "Disco Queen" but singles out "Emma" [as] a real treasure, although a depressing one.

Track listing

All tracks written by Errol Brown and Tony Wilson; except where indicated.

1974 LP issue

Side one
  1. "Cicero Park" – 4:41
  2. "Could Have Been Born in the Ghetto" (Theme from Love Head) – 5:50
  3. "A Love Like Yours" – 3:29
  4. "You're a Natural High" – 3:08
  5. "Emma" – 3:52
Side two
  1. "Changing World" – 4:31
  2. "Disco Queen" – 3:35
  3. "Makin' Music" – 3:45
  4. "Funky Rock 'n' Roll" – 4:48
  5. "Bump And Dilly Down" – 2:59

2009 bonus disc

  1. "Love Is Life" – 3:39
  2. "Pretty Girls" – 2:26
  3. "You Could've Been a Lady" – 3:41
  4. "Everybody's Laughing" – 3:10
  5. "I Believe in Love" – 3:53
  6. "Caveman Billy" – 4:02
  7. "Mary Anne" – 3:54
  8. "Ruth" (Joe Chambers) – 4:02
  9. "You'll Always Be a Friend" – 3:29
  10. "Go Go Girl" – 3:49
  11. "Brother Louie" – 4:59
  12. "I Want to Be Free" – 2:51
  13. "Rumours" – 4:32
  14. "A Man Needs a Woman" – 3:56
  15. "Makin' Music" (Single Version) – 3:51

Personnel

Hot Chocolate
  • Errol Brown – lead vocals
  • Harvey Hinsley – guitar, backing vocals
  • Larry Ferguson – keyboards
  • Tony Wilson – bass, backing vocals
  • Tony Connor – drums
  • Patrick Olive – percussion, backing vocals
  • Production
  • Mickie Most – Producer (all tracks except bonus disc 2, 9, 10, 14)
  • Errol Brown and Tony Wilson – Producer (bonus disc 2, 9, 10, 14)
  • Chris Foster – Photography
  • Songs

    1Cicero Park4:41
    2Could Have Been Born in the Ghetto5:50
    3A Love Like Yours3:29

    References

    Cicero Park Wikipedia


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