Their first record (April 1969), the eponymous The Chicago Transit Authority, was a double album, which is rare for a bands's first release. It sold over one million copies by 1970, and was awarded a platinum disc. The album included a number of pop-rock songs—"Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?", "Beginnings", and "Questions 67 and 68": they would later be released as singles.
The 1970s: 'Chicago'
The band released a second album, titled Chicago (also known as Chicago II), which was another double-LP. The centerpiece track was a seven-part, 13-minute suite composed by James Pankow called "Ballet for a Girl in Buchannon". The suite yielded two top ten hits: "Make Me Smile" (No. 9 U.S.) and "Colour My World", both sung by Kath.
The death of Terry Kath and transition
On January 23 of that same year Kath died of an accidental, self-inflicted gunshot wound. One account describes Kath's last words to his guitar tech Don Johnson: "Don't worry, guys. It isn't even loaded. See?