"Chicago" Rocks the World!
One of the Greatest Musical Groups Ever!!
I love music! It's fun to listen to a variety of all styles of music ~ as long as it's done well. There are many artists that I admire, but I notice that so many of them stick to one genre. I think that is one of the reasons I enjoy the music of Chicago so much. They have such a unique blend of classical, jazz, blues, adult contemporary, rock, and other flavors of music! Not only do they vary their musical styles, but they have absolutely mastered their art in all aspects. The gentlemen are what I would call "true musicians" who know what they are doing and have dedicated their lives to achieving and maintaining their supurb level of musicianship. I suppose that is why their success has had a longevity more than most other groups. (45 years as of February 2012!)
"The band formed in 1967, committed to the concept of forming a rock 'n roll band with horns. First called The Big Thing, the group was known as Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) on its debut album before taking its present name. The band now claims worldwide sales exceeding 122 million records, five consecutive No. 1 albums at one point in its career, and 21 Top 10 and 35 Top 40 singles ... making them second only to the Beach Boys as the most successful American band of all time." (Quote from CNN) ~ They have had 50 songs in the US Hot 100, 37 Top 40 Hits, 20 Top 10 Hits, 3 #1 Hits, and 21 out of 32 of their LP's have made the US 200 list! (US Musical Artists Charts) ~ It doesn't get much better than that!! ~ God sure has blessed them with a mighty talent! ~ I hope you all enjoy watching their videos and listening to their music, too! :)
"Let's Take A Lifetime" over "All The Years"
This fan tribute page is my tiny way of saying "Thank you!" to all the past and present members of Chicago for sharing their "Caravan" of songs. No "Introduction" is needed with this band. Since their "Beginnings" in 1967, they have earned their right to be called one of the greatest American bands! Between "Just You 'N' Me", I think they are "THE Big Thing" as far as music goes! I never have to be "Searchin' So Long" to find excellent music. I'm always "In the Mood" to "Listen" to them. I am grateful that they were able to "Colour My World"! They "Make Me Smile" and will forever be "Here In My Heart". Gentlemen, "You're the Inspiration" for my musical goals now as in the "Old Days". I'd love to have a "Dialogue" with you. I'm "Feelin' Stronger Every Day" when I "Feel" the rhythms of "Chicago". They've been a real "Life Saver" to the music world. Sorry for the bad puns, but it's a "Hard Habit to Break" - whoops, couldn't help it, it's "Hard to Say I'm Sorry". I "Must Have Been Crazy", but keep reading the page because "If You Leave Me Now" I'll be sad. I guess I shouldn't have "Stay(ed) the Night"; I get silly when I'm tired. It must be "25 or 6 to 4" by now. But, "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" Whoops, more puns ~ I know you wish "To Be Free" of my weird sense of humor. "Will You Still Love Me?" if I stop? "I Don't Wanna Live Without Your Love". I know, "It Better End Soon" my friend! So, "Take Me Back To Chicago"!
I wonder ... do you think it is possible to write an entire story only with Chicago's song titles? Hmmm ...
Happy 47th Anniversary, Chicago!
February 15, 2014
Chicago are one of the few bands that have a multi-generational audience. Not only have they attracted fans of their generation who have followed them from the start in 1967 and through the 70's, but they have the "2nd generation fans" that started in the 80's with "16", and now "3rd generation fans" who are getting to know their new and classic music!
I have to admit I am one of the "2nd generation" fans, sort of. The gentlemen have talked about people coming up them and wanting them to sign their "1st album" which is actually their 16th. I was one of the clueless. I remembering thinking, "Why did they name their first album "16"?" It wasn't until one day when I was listening to Casey Kasem on his top 40 countdown that he mentioned something about the band's previous albums. When he played "Colour My World", warm feelings spread over me as the light began to dawn. I thought, "Duh, Pamela - you've heard that plenty of times before." In fact, it was because of that song that I wanted to play the flute like Mr. Parazaider and piano like Mr. Lamm! At that point I had only played each instrument for a couple of years and had already made my poor attempts at playing it. I don't know why I had never made the connection before. My Chicago addiction grew immensely that moment. I immediately asked my parents to drive me to the mall where I enthusiastically picked out Chicago's first greatest hits album. I kept getting more and more excited as I listened to it realizing that I was familiar with every song! From that point on, my record collection continued to grow with Chicago recordings higher and lower than the number 16.
Chicago 1? Not!
At one of their concerts, I was talking with a man who told me an interesting story about the first time he heard Chicago's music in 1969. When he was finished he asked, "When was the first time you ever heard their music?" I stared at him blankly ~ first time? ~ It occured to me that as far as my little mind goes, it was like Chicago always existed! Always have ~ always will!
With my husband and I being fanatical about the group, our children have been listening to Chicago music before they were born - they even attended concerts prenatally! My daughter asked to see them when she started to play clarinet and saxophone. We had a really fun night dancing and singing with the audience that evening! My sons (the trombonist and the pianist) haven't been to a concert yet, but I'm sure they will in the future.
Beginnings ... February 15, 1967 - Music History in the Making - The 1960's
~1969 ~ The Chicago Transit Authority ~ US 17 ~ UK 9 ~ 2x Multi-Platinum
I have to admire how hard Chicago has worked hard to maintain their standard of excellence. Even when record companies and others told them to change things, they kept to what they felt was authentic and right. I know their true fans tried to wait patiently in anticipation while their most recent release, Stone of Sisyphus, was released 15+ years after its recorded date. Their relationship to their fans is incredible, too. I don't know how they tour to so many places every summer, but we all appreciate it and enjoy hearing them play live frequently!
The thing I most respect about these musicians is simply that they are very nice gentlemen. :) For example, here's something that left an impact on me. When I was in college, another musician who I admired, who shall remain nameless, came to the university to do a master class for the music majors. We were all thrilled ... until we met him. Let's just say he knew how good he is and let us know the low position he thought of everyone else - including being rude to the music professors. I had a really hard time after that even listening to his music knowing what kind of man he was.
So, the next time Chicago was touring nearby my hometown, I attended their concert - not for the first time, and certainly not for the last time. I had been curious to know what my musical role models were really like. It would break my heart if they were as unkind as the other person. Now, I am not an aggressive person, quite passive and shy actually, but I just had to meet them somehow to know. Well, long story, but I did have the honor of meeting some of the band members. It was for a very short time, but each tiny moment seems huge to me! Then standing only a few feet away from them, I found that I could not speak, in fact, I'm not sure if I was even breathing (although I had to hold back squealing like a teenage girl!)
I thought, "Why would they talk to me?" After all, they have a successful music career longer than I've been alive, toured the world, and have literally millions of fans - and me, I'm just a quiet church musician and professional musician in small orchestras and anywhere else I can play. Maybe I could just discreetly sneak out ~ or run ~ or pass out ~ no, too late. One of the gentlemen looked at me, smiled, and said a simple "hi".
"Breath, Pamela!" I thought, "Say something half intelligent instead of standing here looking like a dork." The mouth didn't work, but then I remembered that I was holding a rose in my hand for this favorite musician. I held it out to him and smiled. ~ "Thank you, sweetheart," he said. ~ I know that all the women who read this will understand when I say I melted into a pile of goop at his feet ~ handsome rock star, person I admire ~ yep, mushy goop! (No, I will not tell you which member it was - I'm embarrassing myself enough already.)
"Would you like me to sign that?" ~ Huh? Oh yeah, then I remembered I was holding one of the band's CD's and a pen in my other hand. I had thought beforehand what I wanted to say to each member if I had the chance, so as I handed the CD to him, I thought, "It's now or never! If something stupid comes out of my mouth, he probably won't remember anyway because he meets so many people all the time. I'm just another crazy fan taking 30 seconds of his time." So, I proceeded to tell him how important he and his music are to me, thank him for the impact it constantly makes, and how I'm striving to be the best musician I can because of the band's inspiration.
The members of the band are told this all the time by tons of people over decades of time, so, one would think he would just blow it off. Because of my previous experience with the other musician, I was afraid he would ignore it, laugh, or squash me like a flea with stuck-up comments. I would have shattered if he had, because I totally meant every word with adoration. He didn't do any of those things, though. After a humble sounding "thank you", he asked me about what I did and gave me some sound musical advice which I am still following. He wasn't the stereotypical "rock star" image at all, instead, his personality reminded me of one of my previous music teachers that I'm fond of.
As I had a few moments to talk with other members, I found that they were just as sweet and kind ~ a very humble, down to earth, easy to talk to, great bunch of guys! Their personalities have probably had quite a bit to do with their success and the adoration of millions! :D
Chicago Rocks the 1970's
Recordings ~ Dozen in a Decade
Isn't the Chicago logo cool? Almost everyone recognizes this design created by Nick Fasciano. When the covers alone are so intriguing, you know there has to be unbelievable music inside! My favorite is the chocolate ~ Chicago music along with a candy bar that big would keep me bouncing all day!
Constant composing, recording, touring, and interviews along with a tragedy nobody should have to go through filled this decade for the members of the band. How they had the physical and inner mental strength to make it through, I don't know, but I'm glad that God helped them survive and thrive without missing a beat ~ literally.
~ 1970 ~ Chicago II ~ US 4 ~ UK 6 ~ Platinum
~ 1971 ~ Chicago III ~ US 2 ~ UK 9 ~ Platinum
~ 1971 ~ Chicago IV ~ Live at Carnegie Hall ~ US 3 ~ Platinum
~ 1972 ~ Chicago V ~ US 1 ~ UK 24 ~ 2x Multi-Platinum
~ 1973 ~ Chicago VI ~ US 1 ~ 2x Multi-Platinum
~ 1974 ~ Chicago VII ~ US 1 ~ Platinum
~ 1975 ~ Chicago VIII ~ US 1 ~ Platinum
~ 1975 ~ Chicago IX ~ Greatest Hits
~ 1976 ~ Chicago X ~ US 3 ~ UK 21 ~ 2x Multi-Platinum
~ 1977 ~ Chicago XI ~ US 6 ~ Platinum
~ 1978 ~ Hot Streets ~ US 12 ~ Platinum
~ 1979 ~ Chicago ~ US13 ~ UK 21 ~ Gold
Colour My World
Such a beautiful song composed by Mr. Pankow and sung by Mr. Kath!
I tried to search for videos from YouTube for each year. These ones were labeled from 1970 - 1978. I just wanted to point out that the year with the video performances are not necessarily the same year they recorded or released the songs - same with the videos of other decades. It's rather cool to see how they have changed with clothing styles and such, but have always maintained wonderful music! :)
All of the videos came from the following members of YouTube: ChicagoKid1969, juantoletemex, cetera06, Rick0725, stefflinn, Parkwaymania, pillymacvideos, Moser63, drhey19, FamilyManDude, Lisalee66, strictly4themusic, HuskerEd40, and ChicagoCollectors. Thank you for sharing them!! :D
A New Wind in the 1980's - The Next Generation ~ Like Star Trek
~ 1980 ~ Chicago XIV ~ US 71
~ 1981 ~ Chicago XV: Greatest Hits, Volume II ~ US 171
~ 1982 ~ Chicago 16 ~ US 9 ~ UK 44 ~ 3x Multi-Platinum
~ 1984 ~ Chicago 17 ~ US 4 ~ UK 24 ~ 7x Multi-Platinum
~ 1986 ~ Chicago 18 ~ US 35 ~ Platinum
~ 1988 ~ Chicago 19 ~ US 37 ~ Platinum
~ 1989 ~ Greatest Hits 1982-1989 ~ US 37 ~ UK 6 ~ 5Ã Multi-Platinum
~ 1992 ~ "Chicago: And The Band Played On" Live Concert ~
These are small snippets from a two part tv special that later
came out on video. I watched it sooooo many times!
Expanding Styles in the 1990's - ~ Keeps on Going ~ the "Energizer Bunny" Band ~ I mean that with affection!
~ 1991 ~ Twenty 1 ~ US 66
~ 1991 ~ Group Portrait ~ Boxset
~ 1995 ~ Night & Day Big Band ~ US 90
~ 1997 ~ The Heart of Chicago 1967-1997 ~ US 55 ~ UK 21 ~ Gold
~ 1998 ~ The Heart of Chicago 1967-1998 Volume II ~ US 154
~ 1998 ~ Chicago XXV: The Christmas Album ~ US 47 ~ Gold
~ 1999 ~ Chicago XXVI: Live in Concert
New Millenium of Music ~ 2000's
~ 2002 ~ The Very Best of: Only the Beginning ~ US 38 ~ UK 11 ~ 2Ã Multi-Platinum
~ 2003 ~ The Box
~ 2005 ~ Love Songs ~ US 57
~ 2006 ~ Chicago XXX ~ US 41
~ 2007 ~ The Best of Chicago: 40th Anniversary Edition ~ US 100 ~ Gold
~ 2008 ~ Chicago XXXII: Stone of Sisyphus ~ US 122
Chicago on A&E ~ 2008
2010's ~ What's Next?
I don't know what the gentlemen have in mind for the future, but I'll be behind them 100%. They have given so much of themselves to the world, and I am grateful to them! :D Their new tour schedule is on the Chicago Official Band Site. I couldn't help but notice they will be touring in my area a few weeks before my birthday. I know what present I'm asking my hubby for!
Chicago Touring the WWW
Links to them and their fans!
Chicago ~ The Official Website
Chicago on MySpace
Chicago's Recordings at Rhino Records
Chicago on Twitter
Chicago True Advocates ~ the "Official Fan Club & Ticket Site"
Chicago the Band Fans at Ning
Chicago the Band Collectors at Ning
My Favorite ~ Tribute to Chicago from the Walker Family
The Current Band
Chicago Horns on MySpace
Robert Lamm on MySpace
Robert Lamm at Blue Inffinity Music
Jason Scheff on MySpace
Jason Scheff at Scheffland
Keith Howland on MySpace
Tris Imboden on MySpace
Tris Imboden Official Website
Lou Pardini on MySpace
Terry Kath Website
Peter Cetera Official Website
Bill Champlin Official Website
Bill Champlin on MySpace
Chris Pinnick Website
Dawayne Bailey Website
Pamela is a fan of
Pamela is a fan of