Chicago is an American rock band formed in 1967 in Chicago, Illinois. The band began as a politically charged, sometimes experimental, rock band and later moved to a predominantly softer sound, becoming famous for producing a number of hit ballads. They had a steady stream of hits throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Second only to the Beach Boys in terms of singles and albums, Chicago is one of the longest running and most successful U.S. pop/rock and roll groups.[1]

According to Billboard, Chicago was the leading U.S. singles charting group during the 1970s. They have sold over 120 million albums worldwide, scoring 22 Gold, 18 Platinum, and 8 Multi-Platinum albums. Over the course of their career they have charted five No. 1 albums, and have had twenty-one top ten hits

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Despite the personnel changes over the years, the group is still active four decades after its founding. They are one of the few major rock groups that have never broken up or even taken an extended hiatus. Four of the six surviving founding members (major songwriters Lamm and Pankow, plus Loughnane and Parazaider) remain to this day providing continuity, while Jason Scheff has over 23 years with the band, Tris Imboden over 18, and Keith Howland over 13.

As a new century turned, the band licensed their entire recorded output to Rhino Records (after years with Columbia Records and Warner Brothers as well as their own short-lived label). In 2002, Rhino released a two-disc compilation, The Very Best of Chicago: Only The Beginning, which spans the band’s entire career. The compilation made the Top 40 and sold over 2 million copies in the US. Rhino has also begun releasing remastered versions of all of the band’s Columbia albums, each including several bonus tracks; and in 2005 they released a compilation entitled Love Songs.

Chicago continues to appear in big and small venues worldwide.[citation needed] In 2004–2005 they toured jointly with the band Earth, Wind & Fire; a DVD recorded during that tour, Chicago/Earth, Wind & Fire – Live at the Greek Theatre, was certified platinum just two months after its release.

The group released Chicago XXX, on March 21, 2006, their first all-new studio album since Twenty 1. Two songs from this album, “Feel” and “Caroline”, were performed live during Chicago’s Fall 2005 tour; the studio recording of “Feel” debuted on WPLJ radio in New York in November 2005. “Feel” was the first single released. The album contains two versions of the song: one with horns and an orchestral tag that echoes “Love Me Tomorrow”, and another non-brass version. “Love Will Come Back” was the second single released. The album was produced by Rascal Flatts bassist Jay DeMarcus, who is a friend of Chicago bassist Jason Scheff. Seven of the 12 tracks were co-written by Scheff, and the album included a large roster of guest musicians, supplanting band members in many cases. While Chicago XXX did manage to debut at No. 41 on the US album chart (besting some other entries including Chicago XIV which hit US #71 and Twenty 1 which topped out at only US #66), it only remained in the top 200 for two weeks.

During March 2006, Chicago made a multi-week appearance at the MGM Grand Las Vegas, which was repeated in May of the same year. In July 2006, the band made a series of US appearances with Huey Lewis and the News. Highlights of that tour included Chicago’s Bill Champlin performing with Huey Lewis and the News on a couple of songs, members of Huey Lewis and the News contributing to Chicago’s percussion-laden song, “I’m a Man,” and Huey Lewis singing the lead vocal on Chicago’s “Colour My World.”

In early 2006, original drummer Danny Seraphine formed California Transit Authority, who play many of the older Chicago songs.

At the end of 2006, the band played at CD USA’s New Year’s Eve party on Fremont Street in Las Vegas. Chicago toured the summer of 2007 with the band America. On October 2, 2007, Rhino Records released the two-disc The Best of Chicago: 40th Anniversary Edition, a new greatest hits compilation spanning their entire forty years, similar to The Very Best of: Only the Beginning, released four years earlier.

June 17, 2008 saw the official release of the Stone of Sisyphus album by Rhino Records, recorded in 1993 and originally slated for a March 1994 release until being shelved by Warner Records. The album contains eleven of the original twelve tracks (the raucous “Get on This” was left off), plus four demo recordings. Its official title is “Chicago XXXII: Stone of Sisyphus” (it was originally slated to be album #22). Summer of 2008 also included multiple European tour dates, with members of the horn section missing at various times. This trend of fill-in players has continued into 2009, with Lamm sometimes the only original member on stage. As Chicago has existed as a “faceless” band for years, the lack of original members may not concern the audience like it would with another long-lived band such as the Rolling Stones and high-profile members like Mick Jagger.

In 2009 Chicago reunited with Earth, Wind & Fire for yet another joint tour.[6]

In August 2009, Bill Champlin, who was with Chicago for 28 years, left the band to focus on his own music and solo career.[7]. His replacement is keyboardist Lou Pardini.

On December 12, 2009, Chicago performed nine songs live on stage at the Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, Connecticut as part of Brian Boitano’s Skating Spectacular, taped for a New Year’s Day NBC television broadcast. Boitano and other skaters performed live on the ice to the band’s music.

Chicago is touring with the Doobie Brothers in 2010.


Chicago (The Complete Greatest Hits)

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