skip to nav skip to content
Starting in 1967, well before all the hits started flowing, Chicago established a reputation for its powerful live show. Fueled by a passion for music, Chicago's members exploded the conventions of what rock music could or should be. The result was a groundbreaking new form, played by extraordinarily talented musicians. Early fans like Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin were sufficiently impressed - they took the group out on their respective tours. Once the group began making records, fans rewarded the group with record sales of 100,000,000, 21 Top 10 singles, 5 consecutive Number One albums, 11 Number One Singles and 5 Gold singles. An incredible 25 of their 33 albums have been certified platinum. To date, Chicago is the first American band to chart Top 40 albums in five decades - a landmark accomplishment. Of course, in 1967, success was measured in more modest terms. Each member had learned a variety of styles while playing for the many different racial and ethnic groups that populate Chicago. This musical fusion struck the lovely chord that became Chicago. Paramount for this nascent group was creating a rock 'n roll band with horns.
Initially called The Big Thing, they hit the Midwest club circuit in 1967. In 1968, they took the name Chicago Transit Authority, moved to Los Angeles and signed to Columbia Records. Chicago II (January, 1970), another two-record set, contained their first two Top Ten hits, "Make Me Smile," and "25 or 6 to 4." Their debut album held two more belated hits and also two of the band's most requested songs, "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" and "Beginnings." A third double album, Chicago III (January, 1971) consolidated their success. Chicago’s historic, four-disc boxed set live album, Chicago at Carnegie Hall (October, 1971), marked the first time a rock and roll band played at Carnegie Hall.
Chicago V (July, 1972) topped the charts for nine weeks and spawned the gold single, "Saturday In The Park." Chicago VI (June, 1973) was Number One for five weeks and contained the hits "Feelin' Stronger Every Day" and "Just You 'N Me," the latter a Number One in Cash Box and another gold single. Chicago VII (March, 1974) was yet another Number One LP whose hits included "(I've Been) Searchin' So Long," "Call On Me," and "Wishing You Were Here." Chicago VIII (March, 1975) had the group's fourth straight chart topper, the nostalgic hit, "Old Days." It's no small wonder that Chicago IX - Chicago's Greatest Hits (November, 1975) eventually sold five million copies.
In 2012 Chicago also received notice of gold certification for the Best of Chicago 40th Anniversary Edition (Rhino). This is their 22nd gold award - another milestone. The band now has a total of 47 gold and platinum awards.
Through it all, Chicago continues to be true ambassadors for their beloved hometown, carrying the city's name with pride and dignity around the world.