Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My Revue on Chicago!

This morning I decided to write about Chicago. This is one of my favorite bands growing up. I also grew up in Chicago like some of the band members.

The band was formed in Chicago, Illinois. The first name of the band was The Big Thing then they went to The Chicago Transit Authority.

Chicago's style of music is Rock, Jazz Rock, Progressive Rock and Soft Rock.

The band was formed from a group of musicians that went to DePaul University and they were all music students. This is the six members that started the band: Terry Kath- guitar and was born in Chicago, Illinois he passed away in early 1978, Danny Seraphine- drums he was born in Chicago, Illinois, James Pankow- trombone, he was born in St. Louis, Missouri, Lee Loughnane- trumpet, he was born in Elmwood Park, Illinois, Robert Lamm- Keyboards, he was born in N.Y. but then was raised in Chicago, Illinois, Peter Cetera- bass and vocals, he was born in Chicago, Illinois.

In 1967 - June 1968 the band was called The Big Thing. In June of 1968 the band moved to Los Angeles, California. This is with the guidance of there friend and manager James William Guerico. James had gotten the band a record deal with Columbia Records and they changed there name to The Chicago Transit Authority. Then in April 1969 they releasedd a double album called The Chicago Transit Authority. Some people would just call the the CTA's. This album was a jazzy instrumental album with some Latin percussion to it. This was the band's first album and it had sold over one million copies and was awarded a Platinum Disc and this was in 1970. Shortly after this album was released the band had to change there name again. They decided to change it to Chicago. They had to do this because the actual Chicago Transit Authorities were going to take legal action against the band.

In 1970 there next album was released it is called Chicago also known as Chicago II. This album was also a double album. This album had several top forty hits. Some like " Make Me Smile" and "Colour My World". This also had Robert Lamm's dynamic by cryptic 25 or 6 to 4 song on it. This song is in a reference to a songwriter trying to write a song 25 or 26 minutes to 4 in the morning.

The band released an album every year from 1971 - 1979. During this time the albums consist of the bands name and a roman numeral. This was the bands naming pattern that lent an encyclopedia aura to the bands work. The fourth album was a live box set call "Chicago at Carnegie Hall" and the 12th album was called "Hot Steels".

In 1978 the band had let long time manager James William Guercio go. Then on January 23rd co-founder Terry Kath died of an acciedental self inflicted gun shot wound. This almost ended it for the band. But a friend and admirer Doc Severinsen encourged the band to keep going with there music. After over thirty potential replacements the band hired Donnie Dacuson in April of 1978.

In 1981 Peter Cetera  had made a solo album. Then in 1985 Peter left the band. He was very successful on his own. He was on the Pop Charts with " Glory of Love" and The Next Time I Fall".  Then in 1988 he had two more to songs with " One Good Woman" and " After All". He is doing very good for himself. In 1985 Jason Scheff replaced Peter. Jason was very successful for the band.

In 1993 the band didn't mind that there was a lot of bootlegs out there from the concerts. They knew that the fans were making them. The concert that had the most bootlegs out there was " Stone of Sisyphus". The reason why the band didn't mind the bootlegs is because they knew that they had real loyal fans.

In 1997 the band released "The Heart of Chicago 1967-1997". This album went gold and had the number one hit adult contemporary his called " Here in My Heart".  In 1998 the band released "Chicago XXV The Christmas Album". This album went to gold. It had all traditional Christmas music on it.

In 2006 the band made many appearances with Huey Lewis and the News. The Chicago XXX album was on the top 200 list for two weeks straight. Then in October of 2007 the band released " The Best of Chicago 40th Anniversary Edition". This album was a compilation of  forty years of music. Then in 2009 Chicago reunited with Earth, Wind and Fire for a tour. In 2010 Chicago toured with the Doobie Brothers. Also in 2010 Chicago appeared on American Idol for the season finale show.

Here is the list of the band member to this day- Robert Lamm 1967- Now  Keyboard, Synthesizer, guitar and Vocals. James Pankow 1967 - Now Trombone, Percussion, Keyboard and Vocals. Lee Loughnane 1967 - Now Trumpet, Guitar, Keyboards, Percussion and Vocals. Walter Parazaider 1967 - Now Woodwinds and Backing Vocals. Jason Scheff 1985 - Now Bass, Keyboards and Vocals. Tris Inboden 1990 -Now Drums, Percussion and Harmonica. Keith Howland 1995 - Now Guitar and Vocals. Drew Hester 2009 - Now Keyboard, Percussion and Record Producer. Lou Pardini 2009 - Now Keyboard, Songwriter and Vocals.

The band has sold over 38 million records. They have 23 Gold Albums, 18 Platinum Albums and 8 Multi- Platinum Albums. The have over 21 songs that have gone on the top ten list.

Even though they have gone through band member changes this band  is still going strong. They have a lot of great music still. This is one band I would love to go and see in concert. When the band was about to break up I was really upset then I heard that they had another album and I was ecstatic. I use to have all of there albums but thanks to my ex I don't anymore.

I hope everyone likes this revue I have done and please leave your comments about it!♥


  1. Between 1993 and 2004 I saw these guys live 9 times and have had the pleasure of meeting and sharing email correspondence with some of them over the years. I even had the pleasure of conducting an email interview with founding member and former drummer, Danny Seraphine back in 1997 (I emailed him the questions and he emailed me his responses about a week later).

    I have several bootlegs from various incarnations of the band including 3 recorded in 1968 when they were still playing the club/bar circuit (2 of which were recorded at Barnaby's in Chicago) and include cover versions of Beatles, Hendrix, Beach Boys, other groups, early versions of some of the songs that ended up on their first couple albums, and even a couple original songs that never made it onto any of their albums (Once Upon a Life and Dedicated to Girl Number 1).

    I effectively lost interest in any new material by the band when they let go the monstrously talented but woefully under-utilized Bill Champlin after 28 years back in August of 2009.

  2. I'm not a die hard fan of Chicago, yet I have a huge respect for them, especially their early days. They are a talented band. I guess I'm still burnt out from the overkill of Chicago 17. (I had a ex-girlfriend that played "You're the Inspiration" CONSTANTLY to the point that I wanted to break the 45 in half just to regain my sanity)

  3. Perplexio- That had to of been real cool being able to email and talk to the band. I wish I could have seen them in concert. I lost all of my records and tapes of the group. I wish I could have gotten some bootlegs from there shows. But I never knew about them until my boyfriend told me about them. I really don't like the newer music I love the older music.

    Drew- I agree with you about the Chicago 17 album. That was played way to much on the radio too. But I have to say they do have some good songs on that one. I can not listen to one album over and over like that.

  4. Their 80s music is what sparked my interest initially... But it's their 60s & 70s material that has held my interest. Former drummer Danny Seraphine recently wrote a book about his time in the band and his rather acrimonious departure from the band in 1990. I've read a good chunk of it (while sitting at Borders) and it's quite intriguing because Danny grew up in Little Italy and had/has friends in "the outfit" (the Chicago mob). His book, Street Player goes into how he almost ended up going that route himself and it was only a timely phone call inviting him to join a band that gave him a musical career instead of a criminal career.

    I did get to see Peter Cetera live in 2003. He was backed by a small orchestra. He did both material from his solo career and his time in Chicago. It was a decent show but my wife & I and our friends who went to the concert with us were some of the youngest people there by about 15 years. Cetera wore a smoking jacket and came across more like a lounge singer than as the former lead singer of one of the most successful rock groups of the 70s. But I've got to say-- for a guy in his 60s-- an age when a lot of singers start to lose their singing voice... He's still got it!

    For perspective Roger Daltrey isn't much older than Cetera but his voice is basically shot. Cetera still sounds great though.

  5. So many awesome bands have come from Chicago! Very big punk scene at the moment :D

  6. Perplexio- I remember the Chicago mob. Some people thought my dad was in the mob. That was because he was a big man. I am glad that Danny to the right route with the music. He is really good.

    I would have liked to see Peter Cetera and Chicago do a reunion concert together. I think that would really be great to go and see. Maybe with Roger Daltrey's voice going they will ask Peter to come back.

    Kristy- There are a lot of bands that come from Chicago. I have listened to some of them. I really don't like the punk and rap bands out there.