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CHICAGO

Jazz Rock/Fusion • United States


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Chicago picture
Chicago biography
Founded in Chicago, Illinois, USA in 1967 - Still active as of 2017

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 Angeles 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 Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy CHICAGO Music


The Very Best of Chicago: Only the BeginningThe Very Best of Chicago: Only the Beginning
Rhino Records 2002
$7.88
$4.86 (used)
Greatest Hits Live (CD/DVD)Greatest Hits Live (CD/DVD)
Rhino Records 2018
$12.15
$17.29 (used)
Chicago II (Steven Wilson Remix)Chicago II (Steven Wilson Remix)
Rhino Records 2017
$9.18
$7.49 (used)
The Best Of Chicago: 40th Anniversary Edition (2CD)The Best Of Chicago: 40th Anniversary Edition (2CD)
Rhino Records 2007
$14.39
$3.65 (used)
Greatest Hits 1982-1989 (Vinyl)Greatest Hits 1982-1989 (Vinyl)
Rhino/Warner Bros. 2016
$12.95
$17.94 (used)
Chicago Story: Complete Greatest HitsChicago Story: Complete Greatest Hits
Wea International 2004
$11.32
$10.38 (used)
Chicago IX: Chicago's Greatest Hits (Vinyl)Chicago IX: Chicago's Greatest Hits (Vinyl)
Reissued
Rhino Records 2013
$17.14
$5.58 (used)
Chicago II - Live On Soundstage (CD/DVD)Chicago II - Live On Soundstage (CD/DVD)
Rhino Records 2018
$14.97
$21.25 (used)
The Studio Albums 1969-1978 (Vol. 1)(10CD)The Studio Albums 1969-1978 (Vol. 1)(10CD)
Box set
Rhino Records 2012
$28.88
$33.99 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
CHICAGO - Chicago VII - Vinyl (180 gram audiophile vinyl gatefold 2xLP) USD $63.80 Buy It Now
CHICAGO GANGSTERS Gangster Love LP on Gold Plate sealed USD $88.20 [26 bids]
Bush / Lathum / White - 1964 Chicago Rehearsal - Papersleeve - Bluegrass USD $19.39 Buy It Now
Mississippi Heat - Glad You're Mine - Modern Chicago Blues USD $19.62 Buy It Now
Sam Lay Blues Band - I'm The One - Classic Chicago Blues USD $10.31 Buy It Now
Chicago - Chicago Ii - Live On Soundstag NEW CD USD $13.95 Buy It Now
JAZZ 78 rpm RECORD Banner ORIGINAL MEMPHIS FIVE Chicago ROY COLLINS' ORCHESTRA USD $74.99 Buy It Now
Chicago Chicago 17 Numbered Limited Edition Gold CD - 24k Gold USD $29.95 Buy It Now
Mahler - Song Of The Earth - Reiner - Chicago Symphony, Forrester/Lewis VICS6200 USD $17.55 Buy It Now
Chicago/Twenty 1 (Reprise 7599-26391-2) CD Album USD $14.88 Buy It Now
DAVE HOLLISTER CD - CHICAGO WINDS: THE SAGA CONTINUES (2014) - NEW UNOPENED USD $14.99 Buy It Now
Chicago (2) - Alive Again (Vinyl) USD $12.21 Buy It Now
Chicago's Greatest Hits - Chicago - Vinyl Lp Record - Columbia Records 1975 VG USD $6.99 Buy It Now
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Chicago 45 RPM Till We Meet Again / Harry Truman, Chicago,Very Good, Vinyl 45/7" USD $12.99 Buy It Now
Chicago IX - Greatest Hits, Chicago,Very Good, vinyl with cover art- VG/VG-aged USD $12.99 Buy It Now
Fred Hughes - Love Is Ending - Cadet - Chicago Northern Soul USD $3.85 [1 bids]
HARVEY MANDEL Get Off In Chicago '73 Ovation Compatible Quad Ken Little USD $20.00 Buy It Now
Chicago - Street Player 12" - Columbia (Promo) (LISTEN mp3.) USD $21.50 [5 bids]
CHICAGO ~ CHICAGO VIII ~ 180g VINYL LP REISSUE/NEW ~ GATEFOLD ~ AUDIOFILE USD $30.00 Buy It Now
Chicago Gangsters - I'm An Outlaw/Music For The People - Gold Plate 45 VG HEAR USD $4.00 Buy It Now
New NOS Chicago XI 8 Track Tape sealed USD $17.99 Buy It Now
CD Tchaikovsky: Suites Swan Lake The Nutcracker Romeo and Juliet Chicago Sym NEW USD $4.99 Buy It Now
CHICAGO-TRANSIT AUTHORITY-COLUMBIA PG 8 GATEFOLD DOUBLE LP IN STEREO AFTER 1968 USD $10.29 [0 bids]
The Flock Can't You See 1966 45rpm CHICAGO GARAGE USD $19.99 Buy It Now
Robert Jr. Lockwood - Delta Crossroads - Classic Chicago Blues USD $22.86 Buy It Now
Robert Jr. Lockwood - Delta Crossroads - Classic Chicago Blues USD $18.48 Buy It Now
Chicago - The Heart Of Chicago 1967-1997 - CD Album Damaged Case USD $6.42 Buy It Now
WCFL Chicago Northern Soul Funk Psych Comp 21 Hit Icebreakers LP take 6 VG USD $16.79 Buy It Now
CHICAGO-VI--RARE BEAUTIFUL COPY GATE FOLD USD $29.99 Buy It Now
Memphis Slim - Three Women Blues - Chicago Blues Import Vinyl LP New Sealed USD $9.99 Buy It Now
Wilco Jayhawks 4 CD Lot Yankee Hotel Live Chicago Kicking Television Rainy Day USD $15.99 Buy It Now
TWO TON BAKER EP 45 EDDY HOWARD TIME USA SUNNY 1950S CHICAGO SQUARE CROONER POP USD $2.56 [0 bids]
Carlo Maria Giulini The Chicago Recordings Classical 4 CDs EMI 7243 5 85974 2 4 USD $15.00 Buy It Now
WCFL Chicago Radio station V/A Winter Gold Sampler Psych Mod LP private VG+ USD $4.79 Buy It Now
Chicago - Greatest Hits 2 CD USD $2.99 Buy It Now
Chicago - Hard To Say I'm Sorry (7" Vinyl Single) USD $9.97 Buy It Now
Rocky Colavito Chicago White Sox vs Boston Sept 2, 1967. On 3 CD's Cleveland USD $6.99 [0 bids]
Various Artists "Jazzville Chicago Volume 2" French Top Rank 1962 Mono LP USD $23.16 Buy It Now
Leon Berry Hub Rink Chicago Pipe Organ GLOCKENSPIELS TRAPS PIPES 10" Hi-Fi LP VG USD $19.95 Buy It Now
Chicago - If You Leave Me Now (7" Vinyl Single) USD $7.40 Buy It Now
Pink Floyd - A Clear View - 2 CDs RARE Bootleg LIVE Chicago 09/28/1987 KTS Italy USD $59.99 [0 bids]
USD $77.99 Buy It Now
HUNGRY ONION CD CLASSIC 1990'S suburban CHICAGO PUNK ROCK BAND rare 15 TRACKS USD $24.99 Buy It Now
Cd Guns n' Roses Live in Chicago Brazilian pressing FREE SHIPPING USD $22.00 Buy It Now
V, Chicago,Very Good, vinyl with cover art- VG/VG-aged collectible with typical USD $12.99 Buy It Now
CHICAGO "STAY THE NIGHT / ONLY YOU" 45 USD $2.75 Buy It Now
BRAHMS: SYMPHONY NO.4 in E Minor VINYL RECORD LP / CHICAGO SYMPHONY ~ SOLTI USD $12.99 Buy It Now
CHICAGO-VI DECADES LIVE: THIS IS WHAT WE DO-JAPAN 4 CD+DVD+BOOK Japan Tracking USD $103.67 Buy It Now
RCA 10" 78/Sammy Kaye/I Used To Work In Chicago/It's A Lie/VG+/E!!! USD $3.50 Buy It Now
Brahms Concerto No. 1 Rubinstein Reiner Chicago Symphony LP LSC-1831 USD $25.00 Buy It Now
V/A-REAL SOUND OF CHICAGO &.. CD NEW USD $18.80 Buy It Now
TERRY BALDWIN housemaster 12" VG+ TX133 Trax Chicago Ghetto House 1987 Original USD $25.00 Buy It Now
Chicago 4 Record Set Columbia Records No Sleeves Not Tested USD $9.95 Buy It Now
Various Artists-This Ain't Chicago CD NEW USD $18.80 Buy It Now
Chicago 1 Record 1975 Columbia Records USD $4.95 Buy It Now
Chet Baker-Chet in Chicago (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $15.44 Buy It Now
Wilco - Kicking Television, Live in Chicago - Double CD - New USD $16.55 Buy It Now
Chicago - Chicago IX: Chicago's Greatest Hits - LP Vinyl - New USD $19.26 Buy It Now
Chicago - Chicago Presents The Innovative Guitar Of Terry Kath - Double LP USD $28.34 Buy It Now
Chicago - Greatest Hits 1982-1989 - LP Vinyl - New USD $16.31 Buy It Now
CHICAGO 18 Japan Cassette Tape PKG-3195 1986 Will You Still Love Me? USD $24.99 Buy It Now
MIMI HINES SINGS-LP-NM-TILL THERE WAS YOU-CHICAGO-YOU'LL NEVER KNOW-DECCA USD $3.62 Buy It Now
Chicago - Twenty 1 JAPAN CD WPCP-3879 Soft Rock #R04 USD $12.99 Buy It Now
V, Chicago,Good, ######Vinyl with cover art - G/G-Aged collectible with typical USD $11.99 Buy It Now
TOP CAT red zone 12" VG Promo DM 199 Dance Mania 1997 Ghetto House Chicago USD $100.00 Buy It Now
Chicago Bulls Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 [Audio CD] Various Artists USD $6.99 Buy It Now
BEETHOVEN PASTORAL Reiner Chicago Symphony 12" Vinyl LP RCA LSC-2614 ~a USD $2.99 Buy It Now
1968 Chicago Soul 7" GENE CHANDLER ?- River Of Tears / It's Time To Settle Down USD $8.00 Buy It Now
Otis Rush - West Chicago Blues [CD] USD $9.16 Buy It Now
BABY SWOLTS-ASIA (SHE'S SO COLD)/CAN'T BREAK AWAY-CHICAGO G-FUNK RAP 12" VINYL USD $12.99 Buy It Now
TEDDY PHILLIPS-CONCERT IN THE SKY-LP-VG+-KEN NORDINE NARRATOR-DECCA-CHICAGO USD $3.62 Buy It Now
MUNCH REINER MARTINON BOSTON,CHICAGO SYMPHONY-RAVEL'S GREATEST HITS-LP-VG+ USD $3.62 Buy It Now
Tchaikovsky "Pathetique" Symphony / Fritz Reiner, Chicago Symphony, ,Very Good, USD $12.99 Buy It Now
GENE AMMONS Live! In Chicago LP Prestige 1989 OJC Pressing Jazz Hard Bop Vinyl USD $29.99 Buy It Now
Produce Records - Soulful Sound Of Chicago - Vibe 6 Track 1995 USD $5.13 Buy It Now
James Cotton - Live From Chicago (Cassette, Tape) WORKING GREAT TESTED USD $4.60 Buy It Now
TCHAIKOVSKY THE NUTCRACKER, REINER CHICAGO SYMPHONY - LP LSC-2328 USD $5.00 Buy It Now
LSC 2609 - Fritz Reiner & The Chicago Symphony - Strauss: Also Sprach Zarathustr USD $14.98 Buy It Now
THE OUTSPOKEN BLUES + THE BRYDS 65-68 CHICAGO GARAGE SINGLES + prev UNISSUED CD USD $19.95 Buy It Now
Bartok, Hindemith*, Varese* - Jean Martinon, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra USD $8.95 Buy It Now
CHICAGO BLUES DANCE ORCHESTRA COLUMBIA 78 RPM RECORD 3923 HOUSE OF DAVID BLUES USD $25.00 Buy It Now
LIDELL TOWNSELL get the hole 12" VG TX158 Trax 1988 Chicago Acid House USD $25.00 Buy It Now
DEAN MARTIN - SAMMY DAVIS JR * FRANK SINATRA Rat Pack Live In Chicago - CD FS USD $11.86 Buy It Now
Chicago XI 12" Vinyl LP Album 1977, 1970s Classic Rock / Pop Excellent Condition USD $4.69 Buy It Now
Metallica Live Aragon Ballroom Chicago IL May 1986 LP Burton 2017 Deluxe Master USD $29.99 [0 bids]
45 RPM 7" Record Chicago Come In From The Night & Look Away 1988 Reprise 7-27766 USD $6.99 Buy It Now
45 RPM 7" Record Chicago You're Not Alone & It's Alright 1986 Warner 7-27757 NM USD $7.99 Buy It Now
Magic Slim In The Heart of the Blues Rare Vinyl LP Record Chicago Blues USD $29.58 Buy It Now
Chicago - Chicago IX Greatest Hits Volume 1 (CD, 1995 Chicago Records) Reissue USD $3.99 Buy It Now
BEETHOVEN: SYMPHONY NO.9 ~ 2 VINYL RECORD SET / GEORGE SOLTI ~ CHICAGO SYMPHONY USD $39.99 Buy It Now
ART HODES AND HIS HI FIVERS - Jazz Chicago Style - mono USD $5.99 [0 bids]
Chicago XI 1977 (Columbia Records) LP First Edition USD $4.00 Buy It Now
Chicago - Chicago II - Live On Soundstage - CD - New USD $16.55 Buy It Now
Chicago - Chicago II - Live On Soundstage - CD/DVD - New USD $20.75 Buy It Now
Chicago - Chicago III - CD - New USD $9.73 Buy It Now
Chicago - Chicago IX - Chicago's Greatest Hits '69 - '74 - CD - New USD $9.73 Buy It Now
Chicago - Chicago Transit Authority - CD - New USD $8.16 Buy It Now
Chicago - Self-Titled - CD - New USD $9.73 Buy It Now
Foreigner / Chicago - The Best Of - Double CD - New USD $10.55 Buy It Now
Chicago - Live in Japan - Double CD - New USD $13.73 Buy It Now

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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)

4.06 | 196 ratings
The Chicago Transit Authority
1969
4.14 | 181 ratings
Chicago [Aka: Chicago II]
1970
3.61 | 92 ratings
Chicago III
1971
3.31 | 82 ratings
Chicago V
1972
2.58 | 66 ratings
Chicago VI
1973
4.03 | 84 ratings
Chicago VII
1974
2.96 | 51 ratings
Chicago VIII
1975
3.03 | 60 ratings
Chicago X
1976
2.93 | 54 ratings
Chicago XI
1977
2.09 | 42 ratings
Hot Streets
1978
1.80 | 33 ratings
Chicago 13
1979
1.78 | 28 ratings
Chicago XIV
1980
2.45 | 38 ratings
Chicago 16
1982
2.68 | 44 ratings
Chicago 17
1984
2.63 | 34 ratings
Chicago 18
1986
2.49 | 23 ratings
Chicago 19
1988
1.53 | 26 ratings
Twenty 1
1991
3.69 | 21 ratings
Night & Day - Big Band
1995
2.81 | 12 ratings
Chicago 25 [Aka: The Christmas Album]
1998
2.39 | 22 ratings
Chicago XXX
2006
3.79 | 33 ratings
XXXII - Stone Of Sisyphus
2008
3.00 | 5 ratings
Chicago XXXIII - O Christmas Three
2010
3.20 | 5 ratings
The Nashville Sessions
2013
3.33 | 21 ratings
Now - Chicago XXXVI
2014

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

4.05 | 45 ratings
Chicago at Carnegie Hall
1971
3.94 | 26 ratings
Live in Japan
1972
3.13 | 5 ratings
Beginnings (In Concert)
1978
4.04 | 10 ratings
Chicago XXVI - The Live Album
1999
3.60 | 6 ratings
Chicago XXXIV: Live in '75
2011

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

4.05 | 4 ratings
Soundstage Presents Chicago
2004
4.00 | 2 ratings
Chicago
2005

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

3.52 | 24 ratings
Chicago IX - Greatest Hits
1975
2.09 | 5 ratings
Greatest Hits, Vol. 2
1981
3.00 | 1 ratings
Love Songs
1982
1.32 | 6 ratings
Greatest Hits 1982-1989
1989
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Heart Of Chicago
1989
2.88 | 8 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
3.50 | 4 ratings
The Chicago Story: Complete Greatest Hits
2002
3.15 | 7 ratings
The Very Best Of: Only The Beginning
2002
4.75 | 4 ratings
The Box
2003
2.86 | 5 ratings
Love Songs (2005)
2005
4.00 | 4 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)

4.75 | 5 ratings
I'm A Man
1969
3.36 | 7 ratings
25 or 6 to 4 / Where Do We Go From Here
1970
4.25 | 5 ratings
Make Me Smile / Colour My World
1970
3.50 | 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
3.50 | 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
1.24 | 8 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 [Aka: Chicago  II] by CHICAGO album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.14 | 181 ratings

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Chicago [Aka: Chicago II]
Chicago Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by javajeff

5 stars Listening to the Steven Wilson remix feels like a brand new album. This classic sports some of their best songs, and emerges as a jazz-rock aural treat. Colour My World and 25 Or 6 To 4 are two of my favorite tracks and I have put some serious mileage into them in my youth. While Chicago may have some poppy albums later in their career, the second and first albums remain classics in rock history. Chicago II is a long album with mellow interludes like Memories Of Love to heighten the more upbeat rocking tracks. I cannot see how anyone that loves prog would dismiss this album since it is loaded with tons of variety. The excellent musicianship and song-writing makes this a perfect album for all rock lovers. The Steven Wilson remix feels natural, vibrant, and new. It does not suffer from the loudness wars, and establishes excellent sound quality for the horns to really shine.
 Chicago Quadio by CHICAGO album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2016
5.00 | 2 ratings

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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
3.36 | 7 ratings

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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
2.58 | 66 ratings

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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
2.93 | 54 ratings

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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
3.03 | 60 ratings

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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
2.96 | 51 ratings

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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
4.03 | 84 ratings

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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
2.58 | 66 ratings

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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
3.31 | 82 ratings

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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.
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