Top 20 Chicago Hits

Top 20 Chicago Hits

Originally called The Big Thing, in 1967, Chicago was also known as Chicago Transit Authority, before settling on the name Chicago in 1969. Consisting of original members Robert Lamm, James Pankow, Lee Loughnane, Terry Kath, Walt Parazaider, Peter Cetera and Danny Seraphine, this jazz-oriented rock group moved to Los Angeles in the late 1960’s.

Chicago first hit Billboard’s weekly Top 40 charts in 1970 and continued to do so 35 times, between 1970 and 1991. Best known for their albums, Chicago had five consecutive number one albums and 25 of their 32 albums have been certified platinum. They had twenty top 10 singles and three of them went to number one.

Bass player and vocalist, Peter Cetera, has had a successful solo career since 1986, topping the charts twice and he has teamed up with Amy Grant and Cher on two top 10 singles.

The band suffered a terrible blow in 1978 when guitarist Terry Kath died at the age of 31, while playing Russian roulette.

According to their official website, Chicago has received Grammy’s Lifetime Achievement Award, multiple American Music Awards and they even have their own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Below is a list of Chicago’s twenty biggest hits, according to the Billboard charts:

1. Hard To Say I’m Sorry – 1982 – The first top 10 hit in five years, this Peter Cetera and Don Foster tune came from the album “Chicago 16.” It was featured in the movie, “Summer Lovers.”

2. If You Leave me Now – 1976 – Their first number one single, it won two Grammy Awards and was featured in the Ashton Kutcher/Amanda Peet film, “A Lot Like Loving.”

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3. Look Away – 1988 – Bill Champlin had lead vocals, following Peter Cetera leaving the group. The song ended up being Billboard’s number one single for the year 1989.

4. Hard Habit To Break – 1984 – From the “Chicago 17” album, this song was nominated, but didn’t win, the Grammy Award for Record of the Year.

5. You’re The Inspiration – 1985 – Originally intended for Kenny Rogers, the music video of this song, features actor Matt Dillon in a cameo.

6. Will You Still Love Me? – 1987 – From “Chicago 18,” lead vocals went to bassist Jason Scheff. The flip side is a completely different version of their 1970 hit, “25 or 6 to 4.”

7. I Don’t Want To Live Without Your Love – 1988 – This hit was written by Diane warren and Albert Hammond. Hammond had the 1972 hit, “It Never rains In Southern California.”

8. Saturday In The Park – 1972 – Their first top ten single was inspired when songwriter Robert Lamm returned from Central Park in New York City on July 4 th . The song is usually played on Saturday afternoons at Chicago’s Wrigley Field.

9. Just You N’ Me – 1973 – Written by James Pankow after a fight with his future wife, Karen, the song was featured on the album, “Chicago VI.”

10. 25 Or 6 to 4 – 1970 – Chicago rerecorded this song with a completely different sound in 1988, but failed to crack the weekly Top 40 with it. The meaning is a reference to the time of day; 3:35, or 3:34, which makes it 25 or 6 to 4.

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11. Baby, What A Big Surprise – 1977 – Written by Peter Cetera and the first single from the “Chicago XI” album, this song featured Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys doing backing vocals.

12. What Kind of Man Would I Be? – 1990 – From their “Chicago 19” and “Greatest Hits – 1982-1989″ albums, the latter had a remix version that went top five on the weekly charts, and, as of this writing, is Chicago’s last top twenty single.

13. Old Days – 1975 – A nostalgic piece by Jams Pankow which mentions Howdy Doody, baseball cards and comic books. Since Peter Cetera was not fond of Howdy Doody as a child, he hated singing this song in concert.

14. Call On Me – 1974 – Lee Loughname wrote this song for “Chicago VII”, giving Lounghname the distinction of being the last original member of the group to receive a songwriting credit.

15. Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? – 1970 – From their debut album, “Chicago Transit Authority” (1969), this single wasn’t released until two singles (“Make Me Smile” and “25 Or 6 To 4”) were hits from their second album.

16. Beginnings – 1971 – Failing to chart on its initial release in 1969, it was re-released in 1971 with a new B side, “Colour My World” and went Top 10.

17. Colour My World – 1971 – Leads went to Terry Kath on this single, which has the distinction of being the B side on both “Make Me Smile” (1970) and “Beginnings” (1971).

18. Make Me Smile – 1970 – Their first top 10 hit was Part One of the seven part “Ballet For A Girl In Buchannon” suite, written by James Pankow.

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19. (I’ve Been) Searchin’ So Long – 1974 – The first single to be released from the “Chicago VII” album, which had two more Top 20 hits.

20. You’re Not Alone – 1989 – An electric guitar passage on the single is not heard on the original album version (“Chicago 19”).

According to Billboard’s latest list of Top 100 artists, Chicago was the highest scoring American band, coming in at #13.

Chicago is enjoyed their latest tour in 2012 with The Doobie Brothers.

As of 2013, it has been noted that Chicago is recording a new album.

Sources: The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits – Joel Whitburn- Billboard Publications.

En/ the official fan website