Chicago Gangsters – 1975 – I Choose You (Blind Over You)

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We have the pleasure of introducing the debut by the Chicago Gangsters, “I Choose You” on the Gold Plate label.  This was also issued as “Blind Over You”, possibly re-named to capitalise on the minor success of ‘I Choose You’ on the Billboard Black Music Charts (utilising the same cover model as their sophomore set).  Either way, we have a choice delicacy that will please sweet soul and funk lovers alike.  Of course, ‘Gangster Boogie’ has been lifted for several samples on the hip-hop scene, but this is certainly no one track wonder.  The quartet followed up this goodie with the similarly styled “Gangster Love” delivering once again a shrewd mixture of ballads and funk numbers, which can be found here.  Their final release as simply The Gangsters was released in 1979 on Heat, “Life Is Not Easy”.

This is a vinyl rip (supplied by Nikos) of the original LP including covers.

A1. Blind Over you 302
I Choose You 8.36
A3. Your Self-Conscious Mind 3.01
A4. Don’t Be Gone 3.06

B1. Gangster Boogie 5.22
B2. Why Did You Do It 3.50
B3. We’ve Been Together 3.33

B4. Let Me Go 2.44
B5. My Ship 3.14

Review by Trakbuv

Roaring Twenties Chicago was riddled with unscrupulous activities, spearheaded by the notorious Chicago Gangsters – with Al Capone probably the most famous of the bunch.  In the late 20s, violence was a daily occurrence where 227 gangsters were killed in the space of just 4 years.  In honour of this dubious reputation, the Chicago Gangsters burst on the scene in 1975 –  soul stylie – with an album cover riddled with machine gun fire.  Although originally hailing from Ohio, the brothers McCant – James, Sam, Chris and Leroy – paired up with the Gold Plate label in Chicago for this dream debut album.  They hooked up with several high calibre musicians like Phil Upchurch and the busy songwriter/arranger/bassist Richard Evans giving the LP a rich, confident aroma.  The album was produced by‘Mac & Mac’ which I will assume to be two of the brothers in the absence of any information.  This being so, 6 of the 9 tracks came from within the band demonstrating that the outfit were talented both in front and behind the mic.

The LP decides to take Willie Hutch’s ‘I Choose You’ and make an 8 and a half minute epic centrepiece for the album.  With a shuffling instrumental intro that is delicately spiced with Tennyson Stephens’ ivories and Phil’s guitar licks, a warm rap and probably the best vocals on the platter, this really does make that decision an inspired one.  Top drawer.  And a long sought after track on the rare groove circuit, ‘Blind Over You’ has a much deserved reputation.  Again the production is a multi-layered gateaux where the individuals flavours all combine to a lush consistency that is so addictive, with the zest of a female chorus giving that glorious contrast to an adorable ballad.  For me, the album could end right there and still be worth its weight in gold.  But the guys really treat us to several more exquisite heart pleasers.  The falsetto-lead, plaintive ‘We’ve been together’, a Richard Evans original, ever so gently buries the knife such that the subtleness of the pain is there long after the final crescendos.  Arguably my favourite track.  And the arrangement on ‘Don’t be gone’ reminds me of something The New Birth excelled at – the ballad with a beat.  A stunning intro to ‘Let me go’ is somewhat let down by the more ordinary doo-wop approach of the remainder of the song, but still very competent and provides another dimension to the band.

You can probably tell that the core of my enjoyment of this album almost exclusively wallows in the mellow side.  However, the funk ain’t forsaken dear readers – how could it – this is 1975 !!  ‘Gangster Boogie’ is one of the more memorable tracks (particularly with the rap fraternity) mixing Kool & the Gang chants with a Billy Preston-esque jam to yield a vibrant instrumental.  The potential of the fabulous rocking riff intro to ‘Why did you do it’ is never really is met by the remainder of the production, but is another solid funk attack.  The funking plodder‘Self-conscious mind’and the brisk ‘My Ship’ both remind me of Norman Whitfield, complete with Temptations-like harmonies.  Mmm – nicety.

chicago gangsters - 1975 - blind over you front

(GP 1011 LP released under 2 different front covers and titles – However this is the most recognised one)

Yet another album that never left the shores of its native land on release, save for those fortunate few who could afford to trade with their local imports dealer.  It’s albums like this that are now a dream come true for those of us outside the USA – maybe a colleague can inform me as to how difficult these LPs were to grab back in the day in the States – I’d be very interested – as I imagine it wasn’t that much easier (Laf ?).  Getting to see the cover of such an album is almost as much a revelation as listening to the grooves.  There is almost something to be said about the relative unavailability and lack of information of these albums that gave them a mystical quality that is slightly lost in today’s more immediate world.


Listen up the wonderful “I Choose You”

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Conversation for album: Chicago Gangsters – 1975 – I Choose You (Blind Over You)

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 17:40h, 15 September 2009 Reply

    a classic…thank u so much nikos jean paris

  • flageolette
    Posted at 16:41h, 15 September 2009 Reply

    Cool,thanks for posting,Nikos!


  • Mario
    Posted at 18:58h, 15 September 2009 Reply

    amazing group. Thank u.

  • mellowgangsta
    Posted at 19:42h, 15 September 2009 Reply

    this one, is one of my all time favourites, so thanx Trakbuv 4 posting.

  • quatermass
    Posted at 20:07h, 15 September 2009 Reply

    Fantastic album thanks a lot!!!

  • Lafayette
    Posted at 08:39h, 16 September 2009 Reply

    Great collab post, Trak & Nik…words and music in a perfect combination – just the way it’s supposed to be done! 😀

  • Richard
    Posted at 11:08h, 16 September 2009 Reply

    This is def nice. I enjoy every new post, because I know that its gonna be straight fire. Keep diggin!

  • onejazzyman
    Posted at 14:49h, 16 September 2009 Reply

    I’m looking forward to listening to this group. Never heard of them but the You Tube sound of the band was excellent. Thanks for sharing.

  • hooch
    Posted at 23:12h, 16 September 2009 Reply

    looking forward to listening nikos – thank you!

  • Tom
    Posted at 00:14h, 17 September 2009 Reply

    Hi there, nice album, just stopped by to say I think there’s a third issue of that album (possibly the original but I’m not sure). I have a 1975 release of this on Gold Plate called ‘Gangster Boogie’, which has a brown / red cartoon cover. It could be a reissue but I have a feeling that it’s yet another release back from the day.

  • nikos1109
    Posted at 09:17h, 17 September 2009 Reply

    Tom, it is certain there’s a 3rd release of Golden Plate Records 1011 LP. Discogs says : Repress from originally 1975 produced Chicago Gangsters album “I Choose You”. But i can not find any more details or the album cover anywhere. Do you have the record to photo that cover?

  • Antonis
    Posted at 21:44h, 17 September 2009 Reply

    I gotta check this one out. Guys you never disappoint. Many thanks.

  • SoulSizzle
    Posted at 22:25h, 17 September 2009 Reply

    Thought this was a Chicago Gangsters album I didn’t have. Didn’t realize this was the same as “Blind Over You.” Thanks anyway.

  • Cecil
    Posted at 10:16h, 18 September 2009 Reply

    Thanks for this post. unbelievable! what a cover !!

  • xtc
    Posted at 12:49h, 20 September 2009 Reply

    Thanks fam, good lookin out.

  • Pierre
    Posted at 09:15h, 21 September 2009 Reply

    real nice stuff and write up. thanks

  • dar
    Posted at 02:40h, 22 September 2009 Reply

    wasn’t familiar with this at all…the review sealed the deal. nice work!

  • John
    Posted at 09:07h, 22 September 2009 Reply

    Great man!! Amazing stuff in this blog. Thank you so much!!

  • Loran
    Posted at 22:34h, 22 September 2009 Reply

    I’m downloading right now and I know that listening to Chicago Gangsters will be a treat to my ears:)

    Much appreciated!!

  • cleffdeadly
    Posted at 14:18h, 24 September 2009 Reply

    cool album, cheers nikos!

  • whoknows
    Posted at 00:59h, 05 October 2009 Reply

    thanks! lovin that track on youtube, beautiful effortless piano ticklin!

  • dj mojo
    Posted at 02:41h, 13 October 2009 Reply

    great stuff thanks!!

  • nasser
    Posted at 10:48h, 14 October 2009 Reply

    good song

  • Radek
    Posted at 18:49h, 20 October 2009 Reply

    Very mellow and goovy. Thank you very much, Nikos.

  • Philly_Soul
    Posted at 18:30h, 05 December 2009 Reply

    Great to discover this on here. Had a 7″ of theirs from way back when (which I even sampled for a Hip Hop instrumental in the mid 90’s). Nioe to be able to expand to a full LP by them. Many Thanks as ever. Top top site

  • yodasbestmate
    Posted at 17:40h, 15 December 2009 Reply

    Dopenuss, good lookin out!


  • urkelBot Brian
    Posted at 16:57h, 20 December 2009 Reply

    hhahaha i had this record and it was caught in a flood! omg!!!!!!!! thanks man… i swear i’ve been trying to get back to work but theres just so many pages of sweetness!!!!

  • Lou
    Posted at 10:11h, 07 February 2010 Reply

    Wow, I never knew “Blind Over You” was a reissue. And I thought it was something completely different.

    You learn something new everyday!



  • hamnegger
    Posted at 23:31h, 10 April 2010 Reply


  • CrateDigger84
    Posted at 11:45h, 31 August 2010 Reply

    Does anybody have any info on the reissue cover image? Weren’t the Chicago Gangsters black? There were certainly more than two members. One of the dudes looks like Tony Clifton, that Andy Kaufman character.

  • Jason
    Posted at 01:10h, 07 September 2010 Reply

    Let Me Go is the only track I like. Driving at night time music.

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