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Chicago
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Chicago is an American rock band formed in 1967 in Chicago, Illinois. The self-described "rock and roll band with horns" began as a politically charged, sometimes experimental, rock band and later moved to a predominantly softer sound, generating several hit ballads. The group had a steady stream of hits throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Since at least 2008, Billboard has shown Chicago to be the "greatest of all time" American band in singles chart success,  and since 2015, the "greatest of all time" American band in album chart success as well.  Chicago is one of the longest-running and most successful rock groups, and one of the world's best-selling groups of all time, having sold more than 100 million records.

According to Billboard, Chicago was the leading U.S. singles charting group during the 1970s.[citation needed] They have sold over 40 million units in the U.S., with 23 gold, 18 platinum, and 8 multi-platinum albums.  Over the course of their career they have had five number-one albums and 21 top-ten singles. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 8, 2016 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Original band members Peter Cetera, Robert Lamm, and James Pankow are among the 2017 Songwriters Hall of Fame inductees for their songwriting efforts as members of the music group, Chicago.

The original band membership consisted of saxophonist Walter Parazaider, guitarist Terry Kath, drummer Danny Seraphine, trombonist James Pankow, trumpet player Lee Loughnane, and keyboardist/singer Robert Lamm. Parazaider, Kath, Seraphine, Pankow and Loughnane met in 1967 while students at DePaul University. Lamm was recruited from Roosevelt University. The group of six called themselves "The Big Thing", and continued playing top 40 hits. Realizing the need for both a tenor to complement baritones Lamm and Kath, and a bass player because Lamm's use of organ bass pedals did not provide "adequate bass sound," they added local tenor and bassist Peter Cetera.

While gaining some success as a cover band, the group began working on original songs. In June 1968, at manager James William Guercio's request, The Big Thing moved to Los Angeles, California, and signed with Columbia Records. The band changed its name to "Chicago Transit Authority".  It was while performing on a regular basis at the Whisky a Go Go nightclub in West Hollywood that the band got exposure to more famous musical artists of the time. Subsequently, they were the opening act for Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix.[14]:7778,106107[15] As related to William James Ruhlmann by Walt Parazaider, Jimi Hendrix once told Parazaider, " ' "Jeez, your horn players are like one set of lungs and your guitar player is better than me." ' "

Their first record (April 1969), the eponymous Chicago Transit Authority, is a double album, which is rare for a band's first release. It sold over one million copies by 1970, and was awarded a platinum disc.  The album included a number of pop-rock songs "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?", "Beginnings", "Questions 67 and 68", and "I'm a Man" which were later released as singles.
After the release of their first album, the band's name was shortened to Chicago to avoid legal action being threatened by the actual mass-transit company of the same name.

#1 - April 12, 2017, 01:34:43 PM
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Chicago - Hard to say I am Sorry



Hard to Say I'm Sorry" is a song by American rock group Chicago. It was written by lead singer Peter Cetera and producer David Foster, and released on May 17, 1982 as the lead single from the album Chicago 16. The song hit number one for two weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on September 11 of that year.  It was their first top 50 hit since "No Tell Lover" in 1978 and spent twelve weeks in the top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart .

The song, as well as the album on which it is featured, was a marked departure from Chicago's traditional soft rock, horns-driven sound, taking on a polished and modern feel. There were minimal horns on the track, instead featuring more layered synthesizers and heavier distorted electric guitars in a contemporary 1980s styling. This was done to revitalize the band that was considered by some to be past its commercial prime at the time.

The album version of "Hard to Say I'm Sorry" segued into a second song written by Robert Lamm titled "Get Away," which was closer to the older horn-driven Chicago sound. Most adult contemporary radio stations at the time did not play the entire album track, however, choosing to cut it off just before "Hard to Say I'm Sorry" segued into "Get Away." About half the Top 40 radio stations played the longer version with "Get Away".

Deviating from Chicago's practice of having mostly band members playing on their albums, "Hard to Say I'm Sorry" featured several session musicians. The song featured producer David Foster on the piano, as well as three members of the American rock band Toto: Steve Lukather on guitar, while David Paich and Steve Porcaro both contributed synthesizers. The song's vocals were performed by Peter Cetera. The only other member of Chicago besides Cetera that played on the track was drummer Danny Seraphine. Foster took over playing the bass from Cetera on the song when, after messing up on a take, a frustrated Cetera told Foster he didn't want to play the bass for the song.

The song was also featured in the movie and soundtrack for Summer Lovers,  a 1982 film written and directed by Randal Kleiser, starring Peter Gallagher, Daryl Hannah and Valerie Quennessen, and filmed on location on the island of Santorini, Greece.

#2 - April 12, 2017, 02:16:31 PM
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Chicago - Color My World


"Colour My World" is a song written by American musician James Pankow, one of the founding members of the rock/jazz fusion band Chicago. Part of Pankow's "Ballet for a Girl in Buchannon" song cycle/suite, it was recorded for their second album Chicago, also called Chicago II (1970). Terry Kath sings the lead vocal, and Walter Parazaider performs the highly recognizable flute solo.

The song was brought to Acuff-Rose Music in Nashville as a simple 5 chord song with lyric line. A&R Tech Earl Knosher then expanded and arranged the progression, adding the colorful major 7th and 9th chords that make the song so unique. In fact, the major seventh chord that begins the song has been called, "the most famous major seventh chord in the history of music." Mr. Knosher also arranged the flute solo and played piano on the first demo of the song.

The song was initially released as the B-side to "Make Me Smile" in March 1970. It was re-released in June 1971 as the B-side to the re-release of "Beginnings"; this second single reached #7 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.

"Colour My World" became a popular "slow dance" song at high school proms and university dances during the 1970s.

Chicago continues to perform the song, either on its own, or as part of the Ballet. Since Kath's death in 1978 and being brought back into their set list in 1982, lead vocals were performed by Bill Champlin until 1991, when Robert Lamm took the lead. It has been sung by trumpeter Lee Loughnane since 2009.
#3 - September 09, 2017, 01:25:58 PM
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Chicago - You're My Inspiration


"You're the Inspiration" is a song written by Peter Cetera and David Foster for the group Chicago and recorded for their album Chicago 17 (1984), with Cetera singing lead vocals. The third single released from that album, it reached number 3 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart in January 1985, and also climbed to the top position on the adult contemporary chart at the same time.

 Peter Cetera re-recorded the song for his 1997 solo album You're the Inspiration: A Collection. That same year he also recorded a single version with the vocal R&B group, Az Yet.

#4 - January 10, 2018, 07:05:57 PM
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Chicago - If You Leave Me Now


If You Leave Me Now" is the title of a popular hit ballad by the American rock group Chicago, from their album Chicago X. It was written and sung by bass guitar player Peter Cetera and released as a single on July 31, 1976. It is also the title of a Chicago compilation album released by Columbia Records (Columbia 38590) in 1983.

The single topped the US charts on October 23, 1976, and stayed there for two weeks, making it the first number one hit for the group as well as hitting number one on the Easy Listening charts. "If You Leave Me Now" was also Chicago's biggest hit internationally, topping the charts in other countries such as the UK, Australia, Ireland, Canada, and Netherlands. In the UK it maintained the number one position for three weeks. It was one of only five "non-disco" songs to make it to number one in the US in a nine-month period of 1976. According to writer Zachary Houle of PopMatters, "The song was so pervasive on radio upon its release that, reportedly, those tuning in in New York could hear the song playing on four different stations, each with varying formats, simultaneously."

The song won Grammy Awards for Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) (strings) for arranger Jimmie Haskell and producer James William Guercio  and Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus,  the first Grammy Award won by the group. It also received a Grammy nomination for Record of the Year. In addition, by August 1978 it had sold 1.4 million copies in the United States alone.  It has been certified gold and platinum by the RIAA.

In 2010 Chicago teamed with the American Cancer Society and offered the opportunity to bid on the chance to sing their hit, "If You Leave Me Now" with them on stage live at their concerts, with proceeds going to the American Cancer Society to fight breast cancer. The fund raising effort has continued in succeeding years.
#5 - June 15, 2018, 09:33:01 AM
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