Top 10 Songs by Chicago

Formed in 1967 by a group of DePaul University music students, Chicago started as a politically charged and sometimes experimental rock band. The group started off playing in clubs, on and off campus. They became known as one of the first rock bands to use such instruments as the horn extensively, producing a number of hit ballads. Later, they would add more members, totalling seven players all together. As a cover band, their first name was The Big Thing.

Later, after gaining popularity and success, the band would come to the new name of Chicago Transit Authority, but they were forced to change it simply to Chicago when the actual Chicago Transit Authority threatened to pursue legal action. Then, Chicago would go on to release a steady stream of great hits throughout the ’70s and ’80s.

The band’s first album, The Chicago Transit Authority was a double-album with songs composed of jazzy tunes, long jams featuring Latin percussion, and experimental, feedback-laden guitar abstraction. The album started playing all over FM radio. People were thrilled by such memorable Chicago tracks as “Beginnings”, and “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?”.

Finally, after the release of their second album, Chicago, the band’s popularity soared. Its centerpiece track was a “Ballet For A Girl In Buchannon”. Such great songs as “Make Me Smile”, “25 or 6 to 4” and “Colour My World” were some of the album’s best, even more reason for Chicago’s success. All three songs are also featured in my list below.

1) Make Me Smile – released on the album, Chicago (later renamed Chicago II) in January, 1970. Listen to it at Amazon.com.
2) Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? – released on the album, The Chicago Transit Authority in April, 1969. Listen to it at Amazon.com.
3) Saturday In The Park – released on the album, Chicago V in July, 1972. Listen to it at Amazon.com.
4) 25 or 6 to 4 – released on the album, Chicago (later renamed Chicago II) in January, 1970. Listen to it at Amazon.com.
5) Feelin’ Stronger Every Day – released on the album, Chicago VI in June, 1973. Listen to it at Amazon.com.
6) Beginnings – released on the album, The Chicago Transit Authority in April, 1969. Listen to it at Amazon.com.
7) Wishing You Were Here – released on the album, Chicago VII in March, 1974. Listen to it at Amazon.com.
8) You’re The Inspiration – released on the album, Chicago 17 in May, 1984. Listen to it at Amazon.com.
9) If You Leave Me Now – released on the album, Chicago X in June, 1976. Listen to it at Amazon.com.
10) (I’ve Been) Searchin’ For So Long – released on the album, Chicago VII in March, 1974. Listen to it at Amazon.com.

This is only a handful of great Chicago songs. They’ve released a great deal of popular and not-so-popular songs since their debut in the late ’60s. There are also many great resources online to look for these songs. For some of the best rocks songs by one of the best rock bands, you can’t go wrong by going ‘back to Chicago’.

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