Aside from being one of the longest-running rock groups and having multiple gold and platinum albums, Chicago has played a major role in shaping the sound of pop music, with modern day musicians sampling some of their songs. Their latest achievement in their almost 50 years in the industry has to be their induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, an award-giving body that gives recognition to musicians that have made a big influence to the industry.
But here's the really exciting news for us Filipinos: The newly-inducted Hall of Famers will be coming to the Philippines to perform at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on January 20. Here are six of their most memorable songs and performances to familiarize yourself with before the big day:
1. "You’re the Inspiration"
Originally intended for Kenny Rogers, producer David Foster pitched this song to Chicago frontman Peter Cetera, who tweaked the song's lyrics and created the song's chord structure. Little did Foster and Cetera knew that the song would become one of the most popular songs of Chicago, and one of Foster's major contributions as producer of the band.
2. "Hard to Say I’m Sorry"
Aside from being one of Chicago's top hits, this song is also one of the band's notable collaborations with producer David Foster. In fact, the song features Foster playing the piano part, proof of his versatility in penning hit songs for different groups.
3. "Look Away"
Even if bassist and singer Peter Cetera left for a solo career in 1985, Chicago's 16th album Chicago 19 proved that the band still remained influential, even if it involved collaborating with different songwriters in the making of this album. "Look Away," a song penned by songwriter Diane Warren, brought the group back to star status.
Among one of the earlier Chicago songs, this track did not become a hit initially, but its re-release in the early 1970s helped pave the way for Chicago to become one of the most popular bands of all time. The original song may be almost eight minutes long, but anyone will appreciate the way the instruments harmonize with one another.
5. "Stone of Sisyphus"
Here’s one of their more recent songs performed in 2008. Released more than a decade later (the album was supposed to be released in the 1990s but managerial issues have caused its delay), this song proved that a few tweaks in their style of music (which included a few lineup changes) did not alienate their fans from loving them as a group. In fact, their later works are proof that they have weathered through the changing trends of music, as co-founder Robert Lamm said in an interview with Rolling Stone.
6. "Naked in the Garden of Allah"
Old age never stopped these guys from making music, with their most recent album NOW: Chicago XXXVI released in 2014. Check out how they rehearse the horn and trumpets for their song “Naked in the Garden of Allah.” Almost half a century later, they still have the skill and talent in making good songs, even if it meant dealing with changing trends in music.
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Banner photograph from Chicago’s Official Website