Chicago are one of the most long running band’s in the world. Second only to The Beach Boys in terms of singles and albums, Chicago were, according to Billboard, the leading U.S. singles charting group of the 1970s.
The band was formed in 1967 in Chicago, Illinois, by a number of DePaul University music students. Originally, it was a politically charged, sometimes experimental rock band, and at first it’s title was The Big Thing. The band featured an unusual for rock-band line-up of instrumentalists, including saxophonist, trombonist and trumpet player. Chicago first record The Chicago Transit Authority was released in 1969, but the band’s popularity began to grow in 1970, when their second album Chicago (also known as Chicago II) was released. It’s central song was a thirteen-minute suite called Ballet For A Girl In Buchannon. In 1971, Chicago released four live albums together, titled Chicago At Carnegie Hall Volumes I, II, III and IV. It consisted of the band’s live recordings. The band’s next record Chicago V reached number one on both the Billboard pop and jazz albums charts, with the successful single Saturday In The Park that was telling about everyday life and political situation. This album was followed by 1973's Chicago VI and 1974’s double-disc album Chicago VII, which featured collaborations with The Beach Boys. It also included one of the band’s most famous hits (I've Been) Searchin' So Long. Chicago X appeared in stores in 1976. It featured track If You Leave Me Now, which has won Chicago’s only Grammy award, for Best Pop Performance by a Group.
1978 became a tragic year for Chicago. It began with a split with the band’s long-time manager and continued with the death of Chicago co-founder. This year the band released Hot Streets, the first album with an actual title rather than a number. It also marked a move away from the jazz-rock direction towards more pop songs and ballads. Chicago next two albums, Chicago 13 (1979) and Chicago XIV (1980), were commercially unsuccessful, and Columbia Records dropped Chicago from its roster. The second major phase of the Chicago's career took off in 1982 with the album Chicago 16, which once again topped the charts with the single Hard To Say I'm Sorry/Get Away. The following album, Chicago 17 (1984), became the biggest selling album in the band's history, with two famous singles – You're The Inspiration and Hard Habit To Break. In 1985 the band’s singer Peter Cetera was replaced by Jason Scheff. In 1986 the band recorded Chicago 18, which was not so commercially successful, but also prduced a number of hits. In 1988, the band released Chicago 19 – it featured such hit as Look Away. This album was followed by Greatest Hits 1982-1989.
Chicago continued it’s existance in 1990s, and, although their popularity began to decline, their albums were still successful. In 1991, they released pop-styled album Twenty 1. In 1993, Chicago recorded their 22nd album, Stone Of Sisyphus, but it was not released because record company was unhappy with the finished result. In 1995, the band released Night & Day Big Band album, which consisted of covers of songs originally recorded by such artists as Sarah Vaughan, Glenn Miller, and Duke Ellington. In 1998, Chicago released Chicago XXV: The Christmas Album, which mixed traditional holiday songs with the band’s own tracks. It went gold in the USA and was re-released with additional tracks in 2003, under the title What's It Gonna Be, Santa? The band released live album in 1999, titled Chicago XXVI. Later, two-disc compilation The Very Best of Chicago: Only The Beginning was released in 2002, followed by another compilation entitled Love Songs in 2005. But there were no studio albums until 2006, when Chicago XXX was released. It was followed by the release of Chicago XXXII: Stone Of Sisyphus in 2008. Chicago XXXII was original Stone Of Sisyphus album that was recorded in 1993.