In The 1970s Chicago



Not surprisingly the Group Chicago came from Chicago and was formed in the late 1960s. To say they were successful is an understatement as in the U.S. alone they sold over 38 million records giving them twenty two gold albums. The best-selling band all started at the De Paul University.

The original five members were Terry Kath who had over twenty guitars at one point. Apart from being an excellent guitarist Terry also was a drunk and a drug taker too. He died at the age of 32 in what may have been a freak accident or suicide. He kept firing a gun without bullets to his head. In front of a friend he picked up another gun and said it was not loaded. He pulled the trigger and a live round left then chamber. He died instantly in 1978.

Danny Seraphine was the drummer who played with the band from 1967 all the way through to 1990.  According to the Rolling Stones magazine Danny is ranked in the top 100 drummers I the whole world.
James Pankov was on trombone and Lee Loughnane was on trumpet. In fact around nineteen members have come and gone from the Chicago band. The group has almost had fifty albums out over their entire recording career.

They are only behind the Beach Boys in terms of record sales in the U.S. Billboard charts.
Single wise the group had far more success than in the UK. In 1970 the single Make Me Smile was No.9 in the U.S. and came from the album Chicago II. It was the next single that was an international hit with vocals by Peter Cetera called 25 Or 6 To 4. The single was from Chicago II also, and was written by band member Robert Lamm. The song appears to be about the time on a clock, as simple as that.
Several singles followed in the U.S. only including Beginnings which got to No. 1. That was 1971, and that was also the year of their next cross Atlantic hit called I’m A Man which was a cover of the 1967 British group The Spencer Davis Group and was written by Steve Windwood.

Chicago were pumping out the albums like there was no tomorrow, and Chicago VII scored two U.S. No.1s with Call On Me and Wishing You Were Here. The second hit had vocals from the Beach Boys on it. In fact Chicago had ten top thirty U.S. hits during July 1972 to 1976. 


A number one all over the world for the classic If You Leave Me Now from the album  Chicago X. This beautiful song was written by Cetera and sung by him. The song won two Grammy’s and sold millions in the States alone and launched even more sales of their albums. The beautiful ballad was lucky to be released at all. It only appeared on the album at the very last moment, and was not initially planned for single release.

As far as the UK was concerned that was the last single to chart in the top thirty in the 1970s. But America kept them well and truly in the charts with another three top thirty singles. But it would not be until 1982 when Hard To Say I’m Sorry made the top ten in most charts

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