Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

CHICAGO

Jazz Rock/Fusion • United States


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Chicago picture
Chicago biography
The original members of Chicago met at DePaul University in the late 60s and began playing cover gigs under the name The Big Six. Moving to Los Angelas in 68 they signed with Columbia records and released their first album in April 1969. From the beginning the band members fused a three piece horn section with a hard rock combo to play innovative music that combined rock, jazz, pop, RnB and classical into a sound that was distinctively their own.

Over the years Chicago gradually changed membership, likewise the direction of their music shifted as well. Eventually the lengthy arrangements and jazzy solos of the earlier albums gave way to sophisticated pop and lite rock that matched the age of their maturing audience. One of the most enduring acts in the history of rock, Chicago continues to record and tour to this day.

Chicago official website

CHICAGO MP3, Free Download (music stream)


Open extended player in a new pop-up window | Random Playlist (50) | How to submit new MP3s

CHICAGO forum topics / tours, shows & news


CHICAGO forum topics Create a topic now
CHICAGO tours, shows & news Post an entries now

CHICAGO Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Show all CHICAGO videos (2) | Search and add more videos to CHICAGO

Buy CHICAGO Music


The Very Best of Chicago: Only the BeginningThe Very Best of Chicago: Only the Beginning
Rhino Records 2002
Audio CD$12.20
$7.33 (used)
Chicago II (Steven Wilson Remix)Chicago II (Steven Wilson Remix)
Rhino Records 2017
Audio CD$11.39
Chicago Transit Authority (Remastered & Repackaged)Chicago Transit Authority (Remastered & Repackaged)
Rhino Records 2002
Audio CD$3.25
$1.64 (used)
Chicago's Greatest HitsChicago's Greatest Hits
Rhino Records 2005
Audio CD$3.15
$1.88 (used)
The Best Of Chicago: 40th Anniversary Edition (2CD)The Best Of Chicago: 40th Anniversary Edition (2CD)
Rhino Records 2007
Audio CD$11.54
$7.48 (used)
The Studio Albums 1969-1978 (Vol. 1)(10CD)The Studio Albums 1969-1978 (Vol. 1)(10CD)
Box set
Rhino Records 2012
Audio CD$26.50
$32.03 (used)
Greatest Hits 1982-1989 (Vinyl)Greatest Hits 1982-1989 (Vinyl)
Rhino/Warner Bros. 2016
Vinyl$11.77
$19.56 (used)
Chicago Story: Complete Greatest HitsChicago Story: Complete Greatest Hits
Import
Wea International 2004
Audio CD$6.91
$6.90 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
VINYL 7" SINGLE - CHICAGO - FRANK SINATRA - 45CL1480 USD $8.63 Buy It Now
Lil Louis ORIG US 12 French Kiss 4 versions EX Killer Chicago house classic Epic USD $11.31 Buy It Now
CHICAGO_greatest hits 1981 1989_used CD_ships from AUSTRALIA_C3 USD $9.08 Buy It Now
Chicago "25 or 6 to 4" 45 RPM Vinyl ( Columbia Records) 1960's USD $3.99 Buy It Now
JUNIE COBB & HIS HOMETOWN BAND "Chicago Buzz" on Century 3006 + Johnny Dodds USD $14.99 Buy It Now
If You Leave Me Now (and Other Hits) by Chicago. USD $7.83 Buy It Now
XV by Chicago Mass Choir. USD $11.19 Buy It Now
Mahler: Symphony No.5 by Chicago Symphony Orchestra. USD $8.13 Buy It Now
Live in Chicago by Luther Allison. USD $20.51 Buy It Now
Live from Chicago Mr. Superharp Himself by James Cotton Blues Band. USD $15.29 Buy It Now
Crucial Chicago Blues by Various Artists. USD $12.09 Buy It Now
Chicago/The Blues/Today!, Vol. 1 by Various Artists. USD $11.99 Buy It Now
IGGY POP - SEARCH AND DESTROY: LIVE IN CHICAGO 1988 - 180 GRAM VINYL LP UK IMPT USD $29.00 Buy It Now
Dylan- Dark Planet / Chicago Sound 12" Vinyl Drum and Bass Freak Recordings USD $12.34 Buy It Now
FREE US SH (int'l sh=$0-$3) NEW CD Various Artists: Chicago Soundtrack USD $17.88 Buy It Now
Elmore James - Shake Your Moneymaker: The 'Fire' Sessions - Classic Chicago B... USD $13.85 Buy It Now
Chicago V DVD Audio 5.1 cd Surround Sound and Stereo Mixes USD $49.36 Buy It Now
Kurt Elling cd album- Live In Chicago , excellent USD $10.58 Buy It Now
Chicago's Greatest Hits (CD 1999) Chicago {CD Album} 0614-CB-88 USD $4.42 Buy It Now
JIMMY & MAMA YANCEY-CHICAGO PIANO VOLUME ONE-JAPAN CD B50 USD $11.50 Buy It Now
Any Given Sunday by Charles Jenkins, Fellowship Chicago [Format: Audio CD] NEW USD $10.76 Buy It Now
Kim Stratton: Live in Chicago - Live with the A.F.C. Mass Choir [VHS] by USD $11.94 Buy It Now
CHICAGO "HOT STREETS" 1978 AUS Vinyl Lp Gatefold Cover EXC/NMINT USD $7.49 Buy It Now
Blues Chicago Style Volume 1_used CD_ships from AUSTRALIA_Q2 USD $9.08 Buy It Now
Blues Chicago Style Volume 2_used CD_ships from AUSTRALIA_Q2 USD $9.08 Buy It Now
HENRY & VERNELL TOWNSEND St.Louis Blues 1981 CHICAGO BLUES LP Wolf Records USD $11.10 Buy It Now
KOKO TAYLOR - Live At The Chicago Blues Festival 94. New CD + Sealed USD $11.05 Buy It Now
CHICAGO V LP Columbia Quadraphonic BONUS Transit Authority Quad LP LOT Of 2 RARE USD $32.00 Buy It Now
USED (GD) Best of Chicago Trax (1998) (Audio CD) USD $9.80 Buy It Now
Strawinsky, Der Feuervogel, 4 Etüden u. A., Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Boulez, USD $10.00 Buy It Now
CHICAGO Hot Streets Dutch original vinyl LP in gatefold sleeve with inner Ex+ USD $9.44 Buy It Now
CHICAGO If You Leave Me Now UK vinyl LP CBS 25133 1982 Near Mint USD $9.44 Buy It Now
Terry's Last Stand Chicago (Format: Audio CD) USD $22.43 Buy It Now
CHICAGO - Chicago II - Vinyl (gatefold 180 gram audiophile vinyl 2xLP) USD $58.25 Buy It Now
*20 SOLD* Chicago - Chicago II - CD - Brand New! FREE SHIPPING! USD $8.97 Buy It Now
*16 SOLD* Chicago - Chicago Transit Authority CTA - CD - Brand New! FREE SHIP! USD $9.97 Buy It Now
Chicago 17: Expanded & Remastered [Remaster] by Chicago. USD $7.86 Buy It Now
Grateful Dead 'Auditorium Theatre, Chicago 29th June 76' (New CD) USD $19.74 Buy It Now
Greatest Hits 1982-1989 by Chicago. USD $16.95 Buy It Now
Chicago Transit Authority [Remaster] by Chicago. USD $11.49 Buy It Now
CHICAGO IX:CHICAGO'S GREATEST H 69-74 by Chicago. USD $15.39 Buy It Now
Blues Jam in Chicago, Vol. 2 [Remaster] by Fleetwood Mac. USD $13.10 Buy It Now
Real Midnight [Digipak] * by Birds of Chicago. USD $15.99 Buy It Now
Full Force [EP] [Slipcase] by The Art Ensemble of Chicago. USD $13.18 Buy It Now
Chicago [The Miramax Motion Picture Soundtrack] by Various Artists. USD $10.77 Buy It Now
Made in Chicago * by Jack DeJohnette. USD $18.79 Buy It Now
Chicago: It's Alright; You're Not Alone - 45 RPM Record USD $1.99 Buy It Now
Music From The Miramax Motion Picture Chicago - CD BELN USD $5.00 Buy It Now
Jackie Wilson~Original US 2LP Jackie Wilson story NM R&B Chicago Soul USD $15.09 Buy It Now
Jackie Wilson~Original UK 45 Alone at last VG+ '60 Coral Q72412 R USD $11.31 Buy It Now
Jackie Wilson ORIG OZ LP Classic Jackie Wilson NM R&B Chicago Soul   USD $12.82 Buy It Now
Buckley, Jeff - Mystery White Boy/Live in Chicago [CD... - Buckley, Jeff CD GDVG USD $5.00 Buy It Now
Chicago; x 13 3 album collection vg+ USD $25.72 Buy It Now
Down in Heaven * by Twin Peaks (Chicago) (Vinyl, May-2016) USD $24.18 Buy It Now
Food For Thought - Classical Music To Accompany Your Meal, Chicago Symphony Orch USD $2.65 Buy It Now
JOHN PRIMER BLUE STEEL A TRIBUTE TO ELMORE JAMES CHICAGO BLUES SESSION VOL 60 USD $11.71 Buy It Now
The Very Best of Chicago Only the Beginning by Chicago Audio CD Format Music New USD $17.48 Buy It Now
26568 The Rat Pack Chicago [NEW & SEALED] CD (2006) USD $6.09 Buy It Now
Chicago IX Chicago's greates hits USD $9.99 Buy It Now 8m 52s
Jimmy & Mama Yancey Chicago Piano Volume 1 Atlantic CD 1992 USD $4.99 Buy It Now 12m 24s
FREE US SH (int'l sh=$0-$3) NEW CD Malik Yusef: Great Chicago Fire: A Cold Day i USD $11.88 Buy It Now 19m 17s
Friedlander & Hall - Chicago Style - Signed LP (1984) NM USD $18.00 Buy It Now 20m 15s
DG 2530 619 Saint-Saens Symphony No 3 / Litaize / Barenboim / Chicago SO USD $3.09 [0 bids]
21m 58s
The Chicago Hamilton Quintet "Blue Sands/A Nice Day/My Funny Valentine.."45 EP USD $4.95 Buy It Now 23m 28s
CHICAGO 16 PIONEER/FULL MOON P 11219 OBI INSERT JAPAN LP USD $12.22 Buy It Now 25m 18s
Chicago XXXIII -O Christmas Three Import by Chicago (Format: Audio CD) XMAS XMU USD $6.94 Buy It Now 30m 54s
Chicago the Christmas Album NM/NM USD $10.00 Buy It Now 33m 4s
limited edition cd the legendary Chicago jean - Lee USD $49.37 Buy It Now 34m 29s
PETER CETERA[Chicago]:WORLD FALLING DOWN [Even a Fool Can See,Feels Like Heaven] USD $8.98 Buy It Now 36m 24s
Chicago Guitar Tab Software Lesson CD + Free Bonuses USD $6.70 Buy It Now 36m 26s
CHICAGO_Soundtrack_used CD_ships from AUSTRALIA! USD $9.08 Buy It Now 39m 47s
MAGIC SLIM & THE TEARDROPS CHICAGO BLUES SESSIONS VOL3 WOLF CD 120 849 DDD USD $11.10 Buy It Now 51m 34s
Benny Goodman Chicago Symphony Jean Martinon Weber Clarinet Concertos vinyl LP USD $4.92 [1 bids]
53m 27s
ON THE ROAD AGAIN CD CANNED HEAT MAMAS & PAPAS SANTANA CHICAGO TEMPTATIONS USD $1.85 [1 bids]
54m 28s
Chicago garage Orlyn OUTSPOKEN BLUES 15 tracks CD KILLER (( listen )) USD $15.00 Buy It Now 55m 32s
ANDRE PREVIN / CHICAGO SYMPHONY...-SHOSTAKOVICH: SYMPHONY NO.5-JAPAN CD C68 USD $13.99 Buy It Now 58m 5s
Bellamy Brothers, Orleans, Chicago, Rupert Holmes (Escape), Firefall - (17 hits) USD $8.40 Buy It Now 59m 40s
Great Chicago Fire: A Cold Day In Hell By Malik Yusef On Audio CD Album X98 USD $3.70 Buy It Now 1h
BUDDY GRECO CD Vintage Vocal Jazz / Concert Chicago 1959 , How About You , Misty USD $11.99 Buy It Now 1h 6m
TEARDROPS BLUES JAM CHICAGO BLUES SESSIONS VOL 9 WOLF 120.855 CD USD $12.33 Buy It Now 1h 8m
JOHN PRIMER POOR MAN BLUES CHICAGO BLUES SESSIONS VOL 6 WOLF 120.852 CD USD $11.71 Buy It Now 1h 8m
Chicago Symphony Orchestra - Stravinsky ... - Chicago Symphony Orchestra CD W2VG USD $6.47 Buy It Now 1h 10m
USED (VG) Chicago/The Blues/Today! [3 CD] (1999) (Audio CD) USD $27.19 Buy It Now 1h 14m
The Chicago Kingsnakes-Blues Island CD NEW USD $12.80 Buy It Now 1h 31m
Classic Chicago Blues: Live and Unreleased by John Primer/Nick Holt/Bonnie Lee. USD $7.41 Buy It Now 1h 31m
JOHN PRIMER COLD BLOODED BLUES MAN CHICAGO BLUES SESSIONS 39 WOLF 120.885 CD USD $12.33 Buy It Now 1h 32m
MAGIC SLIM AND NICK HOLT CHICAGO BLUES SESSIONS VOL 10 WOLF 120.856 CD USD $11.71 Buy It Now 1h 32m
Chicago VI 1973 1E 1st Press, ULTRASONIC CLEANED, VG+, Gatefold USD $14.40 Buy It Now 1h 34m
Chicago V 1972 1st VG+ Analog Press KC 31102 ULTRASONIC CLEAN USD $18.00 Buy It Now 1h 38m
Chicago [Original Cast] by Original Broadw. USD $11.98 Buy It Now 1h 40m
CURTIS SMITH I Like Everything DOMA CHICAGO NORTHERN SOUL 45 USD $8.64 [6 bids]
1h 40m
Jean Martinon, Chicago Symphony Orchestra: The Complete Recordings. USD $28.95 Buy It Now 1h 41m
Freedom Highway Complete: Recorded Live at Chicago's New Nazareth Church by The USD $13.33 Buy It Now 1h 41m
Now: Chicago XXXVI [2014] by Chicago. USD $13.94 Buy It Now 1h 42m
The Best of Both Worlds by Charles Jenkins/Charles Jenkins & Fellowship Chicago USD $13.99 Buy It Now 1h 42m
USED (VG) Freedom Highway Complete - Recorded Live at Chicago's New Nazareth Chu USD $20.39 Buy It Now 1h 48m
Radio Legends- WEFM Chicago - John Calhoun, Cox On The Radio, Frank Ryan USD $11.50 Buy It Now 2h
L'il Wally "Hit Parade" Polka LP Chicago, IL USD $7.88 Buy It Now 2h 6m
GERARD DEPARDIEU, RICCARDO MUTI, CHICAGO SYMPHONY-BERLIOZ-JAPAN 2 CD J50 USD $38.50 Buy It Now 2h 9m
ARMANDO PRESENTS THE CHICAGO BAD BOYS NEW U.S.E.P. SABER RECORDS 7 TRACKS USD $9.86 Buy It Now 2h 9m

More places to buy CHICAGO music online Buy CHICAGO & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
CHICAGO has no upcoming shows, according to LAST.FM syndicated events and shows feed

CHICAGO discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

CHICAGO top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.05 | 170 ratings
The Chicago Transit Authority
1969
4.13 | 149 ratings
Chicago (aka Chicago II)
1970
3.59 | 87 ratings
Chicago III
1971
3.30 | 80 ratings
Chicago V
1972
2.55 | 65 ratings
Chicago VI
1973
4.02 | 79 ratings
Chicago VII
1974
2.93 | 49 ratings
Chicago VIII
1975
3.01 | 59 ratings
Chicago X
1976
2.92 | 53 ratings
Chicago XI
1977
2.06 | 40 ratings
Hot Streets
1978
1.75 | 32 ratings
Chicago 13
1979
1.75 | 28 ratings
Chicago XIV
1980
2.43 | 37 ratings
Chicago 16
1982
2.64 | 40 ratings
Chicago 17
1984
2.58 | 31 ratings
Chicago 18
1986
2.46 | 21 ratings
Chicago 19
1988
1.48 | 25 ratings
Twenty 1
1991
3.67 | 20 ratings
Night and Day: Big-Band
1995
2.73 | 11 ratings
Chicago 25 - The Christmas Album / What's It Gonna Be Santa
1998
2.38 | 21 ratings
Chicago XXX
2006
3.78 | 31 ratings
Stone of Sisyphus (XXXII)
2008
2.67 | 3 ratings
Chicago XXXIII: O Christmas Three
2010
2.75 | 4 ratings
Chicago XXXV: The Nashville Sessions
2013
3.32 | 19 ratings
Chicago XXXVI: Now
2014

CHICAGO Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.04 | 39 ratings
Chicago at Carnegie Hall
1971
3.95 | 25 ratings
Live in Japan
1972
3.08 | 5 ratings
Beginnings (In Concert)
1978
4.03 | 10 ratings
Chicago XXVI - The Live Album
1999
3.67 | 6 ratings
Chicago XXXIV: Live in '75
2011

CHICAGO Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.09 | 4 ratings
Soundstage Presents Chicago
2004
4.00 | 2 ratings
Chicago
2005

CHICAGO Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.56 | 21 ratings
Chicago IX - Greatest Hits
1975
2.17 | 5 ratings
Greatest Hits, Vol. 2
1981
3.00 | 1 ratings
Love Songs
1982
1.21 | 5 ratings
Greatest Hits 1982-1989
1989
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Heart Of Chicago
1989
3.00 | 6 ratings
The Heart Of Chicago 1967-1997
1997
3.00 | 2 ratings
Chicago
1997
2.50 | 2 ratings
The Heart Of Chicago 1967-1998 Volume II
1998
3.00 | 2 ratings
The Chicago Story: Complete Greatest Hits
2002
3.16 | 6 ratings
The Very Best Of: Only The Beginning
2002
4.75 | 4 ratings
The Box
2003
2.86 | 5 ratings
Love Songs (2005)
2005
4.33 | 3 ratings
The Best Of Chicago
2007
3.33 | 3 ratings
Collector's Edition
2009
5.00 | 2 ratings
Chicago Quadio
2016

CHICAGO Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.80 | 5 ratings
I'm A Man
1969
3.42 | 7 ratings
25 or 6 to 4 / Where Do We Go From Here
1970
4.40 | 5 ratings
Make Me Smile / Colour My World
1970
3.33 | 3 ratings
Lowdown / Loneliness Is Just A Word
1971
0.00 | 0 ratings
‎? ロウダウン (Lowdown) / 欲しいのは君だけ (I Don't Want Your Money)
1971
3.60 | 5 ratings
Feelin' Stronger Every Day
1973
3.33 | 3 ratings
Just You 'N' Me / Critic's Choice
1973
3.33 | 3 ratings
Call On Me
1974
3.50 | 4 ratings
Wishing You Were Here
1974
1.22 | 7 ratings
If You Leave Me Now
1976
2.00 | 4 ratings
Baby, What A Big Surprise / If You Leave Me Now
1977
2.00 | 2 ratings
Baby, What A Big Surprise / Takin' It On Uptown
1977
1.25 | 4 ratings
No Tell Lover / Take A Chance
1979
2.00 | 2 ratings
Street Player
1979

CHICAGO Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Chicago Quadio by CHICAGO album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2016
5.00 | 2 ratings

BUY
Chicago Quadio
Chicago Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by tmay102436

5 stars I could write and write and write about this Quadio Box by Chicago, but instead will simply say: BUY THIS!!! Although the last couple of albums aren't "my cup of tea," the sound quality, surround work - very discrete, is stunning. And man oh man, had I forgotten what an incredible band this is / was - especially the early masterpieces. And I had never heard VII - what an incredible work. Terry Kath - a true rock guitarists of the highest order, and the rhythm section are superb, and to me, never got the praise they deserved.

I have become addicted to the surround experience, and I'm here to tell you, this is as good as most (and a lot better than some!) modern remixes - surround releases.

I am mainly an English progressive rock fanatic, but this release has really captured what wonderful composition, beautiful arrangements, and expert production accomplished by this legendary American ensemble.

 25 or 6 to 4 / Where Do We Go From Here by CHICAGO album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1970
3.42 | 7 ratings

BUY
25 or 6 to 4 / Where Do We Go From Here
Chicago Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I have to say that I never have listened to a full album from CHICAGO. I only have listened to some of their Hit Singles being played in some oldies FM Radio stations in my city. Like BLOOD, SWEAT AND TEARS, a band with a similar musical style, at least with the use of some brass instruments, this band has never been very interesting for me with the exception of some of their early singles like this single from 1970.

"25 or 6 to 4" is a very good song with a very characteristic guitar and bass riff and very good brass arrangements. It is maybe one of the "heaviest" tracks that I have listened to from them, with a very good lead guitar part and very good lead and backing vocals. It is maybe one of their most known songs, at least in my country. But the version that was released in this single is an edited version of the song which originally has a duration of five minutes. Anyway, the song sounds good in both versions, but I prefer the original version.

"Where Do We Go from Here", in the Side 2 of this single, is a very good ballad, without brass instruments, which maybe shows, with less "sugar" than other of their singles, some of the good ballads that this band has recorded during their very long musical history.

CHICAGO was one of the very few International Rock bands that came to play to my country in the seventies, a time when Rock concerts were almost "prohibited" because very often there were riots. If I remember well, there were riots outside one of the venues in which this band played in my city in 1975. The same happened with PROCOL HARUM in the same year. (I was too young to attend both concerts). It was until 1989 when ROD STEWART played some concerts in my country that International Rock Concerts here became a very common thing. It seems that the public that went to the concerts in the eighties-nineties finally learned to "behave well". But the seventies were very hard times for Rock music in my country.

 Chicago VI by CHICAGO album cover Studio Album, 1973
2.55 | 65 ratings

BUY
Chicago VI
Chicago Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by PoolmanProgger

3 stars Chicago VI marks a departure for Chicago, as the jazz fusion and progressive stylings that the group had pursued previously were scraped for a sound with a more funky delivery, one that took its influence from Little Feat rather than Miles Davis. Also, Chicago VI was the first Chicago album heavy on ballads and light-rockers, a side effect of both James Pankow's increasingly generic horn arrangements and Robert Lamm experiencing writer's block, not to mention producer James William Guercio's smothering control of the band's sound and image. To make matters worse, the band members were creatively and emotionally drained after four-plus years of non-stop touring and recording. All of these factors contributed to the top-heavy Chicago VI, an album that, if not for several stand out tracks, would have been a lemon. Robert Lamm wrote half of the tracks on Chicago VI. "Critics' Choice" was Lamm's response to the band's negative critics, and a rather scathing lyric as well. Lamm criticizes the bloated egos and self-righteousness of said critics: "You parasite/You're dynamite/An oversight/Misunderstanding what you hear/You're quick to cheer/And volunteer/Absurdities, musicals, blasphemies". I can't help but think that a certain Robert Christgau was the target of Lamm's scorn, and it appears Christgau took it personally. Just take a look at his (very) brief review of Chicago VI: "Any horn band that's reduced to writing songs about critics and copping (unsuccessfully) from both Motown and America must be running out of--how do you say eet?--good charts." More on that copping unsucessfully from Motown later. Aside from the lyrics, "Critics' Choice" is a beautiful piano-driven tune, which adds to the depth of the lyrics. One of the better tunes on Chicago VI.

Lamm's next composition, "Darlin' Dear", is a very funky track, and reminds me a lot of Little Feat or the Allman Brothers Band. Chicago really ventures out of their comfort zone here, and they thoroughly nail it. A rag time piano and a slide guitar, virgin territory for Chicago, are nice touches, and blend in quite nicely with the horns. "Something in the City Changes People", Lamm's third composition on Chicago VI as well as the opener for Side Two, is probably Lamm's best tune on the album. A smooth piano with great vocal harmonies and congas, not to mention fantastic bass playing from Mr. Cetera, set up a dreamy flute solo accented by acoustic guitar, which gently segues into the next track, "Hollywood", another Lamm dittie. "Hollywood" is a rather weak lyric, supposedly critical of the phoniness of Hollywood celebrities, but Lamm doesn't do a very good job of expressing it, even jogging out a tired "Heard It Through the Grapevine" chorus. A very weak track aside from the horns and congas, which really shine on this otherwise lackluster performance. Lamm's final track, "Rediscovery", is quite funky, with a lyric about the narrator going out to a place in the mountains to rediscover himself. The rhythm section is strong on this one, but the funky guitar solo in the middle is a bit weak, and the horns really seem tired and going through the motions at this point.

Terry Kath and Peter Cetera each have one composition a piece on Chicago VI, and, as you probably would have guessed, they're nothing special. Kath's ballad, "Jenny" has good percussion with those congas making another appearance, and rather confusing lyrics. Is it a father talking to his daughter about her new child? Is the narrator a pimp? Is he talking to his baby mama regarding their bastard child? Who knows; the song is pretty forgettable, but not as forgettable as Cetera's piece, "In Terms of Two", which has to be, hands-down, the WORST track on Chicago VI. An uncredited harmonica opens the track, very unusual for Chicago, and what follows is a country-rock tune that falls flat on its face. Whereas the slide guitar worked on "Darlin' Dear", it fails miserably on this track. An obvious attempt at exploiting the country rock boom of the early 70s. There is nothing memorable at all about this track, and I wish that I had never heard it.

The three best tracks on Chicago VI are James Pankow's compositions. "Just You N Me" was a smash hit, climbing to #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Pankow wrote the song about his feelings for his future wife, and the emotion really comes through in this one. Cetera has a great vocal delivery, and Walter Parazaider performs a soprano saxophone solo to accompany Terry Kath's wah-wah guitar. Initially, it may sound like a sappy radio-friendly ballad, but it really fills out nicely. The next Pankow piece is "What's This World Comin' To?", the longest track on the album, clocking in at nearly five minutes, as well as the Side One closer. The best lyric on the entire album, the lyrics are politically charged - Pankow borrowing a page from Lamm - with an emphasis on being benevolent toward one another. The lyrics are especially critical of those rich and in power. The terrific rhythm section and horns really flesh out this standout track, as well as a top-notch organ.

Pankow's last composition on Chicago VI, a song which he co-wrote with Peter Cetera, is the seminal album closer "Feelin' Stronger Every Day", the hands-down best song on Chicago VI and one of the group's most enduring tracks. A fan favorite down to the modern day, "Feelin' Stronger" pretty much saves Side Two from being a laughing stock and is the only reason you should still be listening to this album all the way through. Terry Kath uses the wah-wah guitar to perfection on this track, steadily upping the tempo of the track until it bursts out of its shackles about halfway through. There is so much emotion and energy in this song that its premature ending at 4:15 is cruel. "Feelin' Stronger" is one of Chicago's best songs, and it is sure to leave a strong impression on the listener.

Chicago VI was Chicago's sixth album in four years, their fifth studio effort, and all that wear and tear from constant touring and promotion of their albums was starting to wear off. Chicago VI, as a result, sounds a bit tired and lackadaisical. After starting out strong, the album runs out of steam on Side Two, virtually lulling the listener to sleep until the energetic "Feelin' Stronger" revives them again. That said, Chicago VI definitely has high peaks, but it also has very deep valleys. A very uneven record, but it still has enough highlights on it to be worthy of any prog fan's collection.

 Chicago XI by CHICAGO album cover Studio Album, 1977
2.92 | 53 ratings

BUY
Chicago XI
Chicago Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars As the drive for more commercial success pushed Chicago towards more radio friendly material, the quality of the music put out by the band continues to slide. This album definitely leans towards the commercial soft sounds that would romanticize their music so that it would become pop by pushing the horns to the back and focusing on the lyrics. You can really hear this effect on this album. Now, it's not a complete loss yet because there are a few blues oriented numbers in the excellent "Mississippi Delta Blues" and "Takin' It On Uptown" with their snippets of brass hooks and a little heavier guitar driven sound. The light jazz tune "Take Me Back to Chicago" is not bad with the addition of the soulful sounds somewhat similar to "Skinny Boy" from album "VII". There is also a return to the suite style of the original first 3 albums (even though the songs aren't listed together as a suite). The last three tracks make up this suite, and it is a mostly orchestral driven suite, very dramatically sung and reminiscent of some of the original ballads. But, for the most part, the heart of the band is mostly missing, their minds were on the money and the money was on their minds, so to speak. The songs are just not as interesting. The same thing would happen on the "Hot Streets" album, then after that, Chicago would just risk all heart and soul to the commercial machine. This one is only good, but it is not essential with only a few standout tracks and a lot of commercial appeal.
 Chicago X by CHICAGO album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.01 | 59 ratings

BUY
Chicago X
Chicago Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The feel of Chicago X is really very close to Chicago VIII (Chicago IX was a greatest hits collection, so we'll skip that one). Just like VIII, X has a great variety of blues and jazz infused rock, streamlined shorter yet well developed tracks, but this one is not as guitar oriented as VIII was. Still, the tracks are still enjoyable and their are plenty of things to love about it. You will notice the trend though especially after this album. Things are less interesting on "XI" and "Hot Streets", then after that, Chicago lost my interest completely. So, I still love this album, again it is not perfect, but it is still enjoyable and better that "V" and "VI". They didn't give it all up to pop quite yet, but it is getting close. Another excellent album and addition to your rock collection. 4 stars.
 Chicago VIII by CHICAGO album cover Studio Album, 1975
2.93 | 49 ratings

BUY
Chicago VIII
Chicago Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I know this one was not very well liked by the critics and, from the looks of this site, many of the reviewers here. I guess after the excellent return to form and jazz heavy album Chicago VII, everyone was expecting more. Instead, Chicago shifted back to a more streamlined rock-oriented sound. This album is still a far cry from the hit churning days to come and if the critics had heard that before this album, maybe the reviews would have been nicer.

My personal opinion on this album is that it has always been a favorite and I consider it the best of all the single release albums Chicago put out. There is a tendency to more guitar oriented rock on this one. Take for example, the tracks "Hideaway" with that hard rock guitar riff and driving rhythm. It's not very often after this album that you would hear Peter Cetera sing on a hard rock song. The other example is the tribute to Jimi Hendrix called "Oh Thank You Great Spirit". This one is a hard driving song with psychedelic leanings and an amazing guitar solo which is also the longest track on the album. There are the bluesy tracks with "Ain't it Blue" and "Anything You Want". And there are the signature rock/jazz fusion tracks with "Brand New Love Affair, Pts. 1 and 2". Then you have the radio singles "Harry Truman" and "Old Days". These radio singles were not extremely popular so they are not worn out from airplay like many of the Chicago singles.

With plenty of variety and good somewhat challenging songs, there is still plenty to enjoy and get excited about. This album is definitely better than albums "V" and "VI". The songs are better developed and better quality then the poor attempts at popular music that was place on those albums. The music is still a lot more enjoyable and sincere than the commercial fiasco that would plague the band further down the road. Okay, so it's not the most progressive, but it is full of driving rhythms, the brass is still prevalent on a lot of the tracks even though it is more guitar driven and rock oriented. This one is worth serious consideration as one that should be added to your music collection. Not perfect, but still and excellent addition to your collection. 4 stars.

 Chicago VII by CHICAGO album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.02 | 79 ratings

BUY
Chicago VII
Chicago Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

5 stars After 2 albums of lite jazz pop, the band Chicago was getting restless and tired of playing non challenging music. So the original idea was to make an album with nothing but jazz on it. Wow, what an amazing idea. Well, some of the members thought so. Others started to worry that the band would lose it's radio audience, so they added a few more radio friendly songs and pretty soon, a new double album was born. This was the first multi album since the "Live at Carnegie Hall" album which at that time and all before, every album was at least 2 discs.

So, we have a lot of good signs now that Chicago is returning to form. And this they do, producing an amazing album of jazz and jazz fusion that would rival even their first 2 albums. The jazz on this is even jazzier than ever. In fact, the first vocals aren't even heard until way into the 6th track! Now that is a risk that you just have to admire. Nothing is boring here either, and apparently the public loved it because the album sold. The instrumentals are top notch, tight playing and upbeat with a lot of structured and improvisational playing. When the vocals do come in, they are not out of place but are very welcome. Even Peter Cetera's songwriting skills had improved greatly where previously he was probably the weakest songwriter, eventually he would be the one to carry the band several years later, but it would be without any sort of progressiveness whatsoever. But, for now, let's enjoy great music.

What we finally get with the final product in Chicago VII is almost one full disc full of jazz and almost one full disc of the signature jazz/rock sound that Chicago was famous for. But don't worry all you prog lovers out there, the more accessible songs here are all still very enjoyable, keeping a little bit of challenge to them even while reaching radio readiness. There were several singles that still came off of this album, one of them with great psychedelic leanings; "Wishing You Were Here". The band was able to pull off the nearly impossible with creating jazz that is reminiscent of the jazz greats, and still making popular music that is still worthy of listening to. Ladies and gentlemen, this is how it is done and Chicago proved it could be done, that with the right mix of everything, you can keep everyone happy.

This is jazz/rock fusion at it's absolute finest and the jazz songs can stand with the best. This flows so nicely into the rock oriented sound when it does arrive and everything just fits together nicely. This is an album you should own, so you can see that it is possible. Even in the rock oriented music, you still get a lot of brass (check out "Call On Me", "Woman Don't Want to Love Me" and "Hanky Panky". On the other side, you even get contemporary/experimental jazz on "Devil's Sweet" and "Italian from New York", and a more accessible jazz in "Aire" and "Mongonucleosis" which even corporates a very danceable Latin flair.

By all means, this one is essential. Almost perfect in every way and completely enjoyable. 5 strong stars!

 Chicago VI by CHICAGO album cover Studio Album, 1973
2.55 | 65 ratings

BUY
Chicago VI
Chicago Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Chicago V was pretty much standard fare, but Chicago VI would even lean more towards radio friendly music and you can tell that the songs were trying really hard to be poppy already. The band was not really ready for radio because most of the songs on here sound like poor attempts to make pop music. The guitar is pushed to the background and so are the horns on this one. It is sad to have to say that the best songs on the album were the most popular ones, which is kind of odd because they also have the biggest jazz leanings (which isn't much, but at least it's there). The other songs have taken on a very mellow sound. People were starting to worry that their band had sold out for good. But after two big backward steps, Chicago was about to make a huge step forward again in their next album. For now, this one is pretty boring. I can only pull 2 stars out for this one. It's a shame after the amazing debut album Chicago Transit Authority and it's excellent follow up, Chicago II.
 Chicago V by CHICAGO album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.30 | 80 ratings

BUY
Chicago V
Chicago Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars With this being the fifth Chicago release and their first single album, Chicago started to mellow out a bit. They were pulling back on their jazziness to make room for more radio friendly albums. The signature brass sound is still there, just in smaller doses and the experimentation is down to a bare minimum. In fact, the only really good song on this one is Dialogue parts 1 and 2. The rest of the album is standard fare. But this is what really started churning in the money from the singles that would start coming over the air waves. In this album, you also still have some political statements to be made, but you also see the lyrics starting to lean towards the standard fare and the songs starting to have shorter durations of less than 5 minutes each. The prog is mostly missing on this album, so don't expect to find a lot of it here. It's good, but only in a standard kind of way. Nothing really essential here and the only outstanding track is the one I previously mentioned. 3 stars. Don't worry though, things would get better again before it got worse.
 The Chicago Transit Authority by CHICAGO album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.05 | 170 ratings

BUY
The Chicago Transit Authority
Chicago Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Jimi Hendrix once told Chicago saxophonist Walter Parazaider as they were starting out as a band called "The Big Six" that "your horn players are like one set of lungs and your guitar player is better than me." With a compliment like that, you would think your confidence would be so bit that you would release a double album for your debut release. So they did. Not only that, but they named themselves after the mass transit system in Chicago, IL also known as Chicago Transit Authority. That's the name they were known by on their first double album. And what a debut album it is.

Hard to believe that this is the same band that would churn out hit after hit almost a decade later. They would become an assembly line of pop later, but in the early years, here was a band that was influential and would make their mark in rock/jazz fusion and inspire many bands and artists to follow. This album would be a huge hit. With songs like "Beginnings", "South California Purples," "Listen", and "Free Form Guitar", Chicago would establish themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the music world. The playing is tight, the production is on par, the musicianship is awesome, everything is in it's right place and a regular horn section would be placed into a major superband and remain there as part of their signature sound for all time.

This album is probably a little more consistently rocking than their other albums where the band would expand into other styles, usually with believability and finesse. You get blues, rock, jazz, psychedelia all in a debut album, and it is all well done. Even though this one is great, the follow up to this album, yet another double album, would be even better. So many reviewers have already talked about the songs here, just suffice it to say that this is a debut album that is essential to prog collections because of the excellent use of rock/jazz fusion in a way that would be appealing to those who would never touch jazz music with a 50 foot pole.

After getting in trouble with the real Chicago Transit Authority, the band's name was shortened to Chicago and a logo was made with inspiration taken from the Coca-Cola trademark. Speaking of trademark, this is the first band that I can think of that had their name and logo trademarked.

Anyway, if you only know Chicago from their top 40 MOR hits, you need to listen to this. Absolutely essential. 5 stars.

Thanks to easy money for the artist addition. and to easy livin for the last updates

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives