For my money they are the most important American rock and roll band in history. They were a phenomenon to be sure. And the statistics would tend to back up these assertions. Whether you were addicted to Top 40 radio in the 1970's or a fan of progressive or classic rock you were sure to find the music of Chicago emanating from your radio.
It all began with an LP entitled "Chicago Transit Authority" in the spring of 1969. While the album would never attain Top Ten status it would remain on the charts a staggering 171 weeks! From this LP would emerge a couple of classic hit singles "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is" and a tune appropriately entitled "Beginnings". Chicago would never look back. Over the next two decades the band would have over four dozen hit singles and produce some of the finest and most successful albums of the period.
In late 2007, Rhino records released the impressive two disc collection "The Best of Chicago 40th Anniversary" which includes 29 of the groups biggest and best hit singles on both the Columbia and Warner Brothers labels between 1969 and 1991. I enjoyed them all! Among the early hits on Disc One I am most partial to "Questions 67 and 68", "Old Days" and the aforementioned "Beginnings". I know I might be in the minority on this but I actually prefer some of the band's later Warner Bros. hits that can be found on Disc Two. I hardly seemed to notice when the highly regarded Peter Cetera left the band to pursue a solo career in the mid-eighties. I thought "Hard Habit To Break" was perhaps the finest single they ever made. And I also enjoyed many of the other 80's hits like "You're The Inspiration", "Look Away" and "Will You Still Love Me?" Given my druthers, I might prefer the 2002 Rhino release "The Very Best of Chicago" which also included hits like "Dialogue (Parts I & II)" and the rollicking 1980's tune "Along Comes A Woman". However, it would appear that this collection is in the process of being discontinued.
At the end of the day I think it is fair to say that "The Best of Chicago" 40th Anniversary Edition" is really an abridged version of the prior collection. But on the plus side, Rhino is offering this collection at an extremely affordable price. The fact of the matter is that "The Best of Chicago: 40th Anniversary Edition" should more than satisfy all but the most diehard Chicago Fans. Very highly recommended!
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The most comprehensive double-disc Chicago collection to date, the title pulls favorites from their landmark 1969 debut LP Chicago Transit Authority through Rhino's 2006 release Chicago XXX (the group's first album of new material in a decade). Offered at a great value price, the retrospective also features new liner notes by veteran music writer Bill DeYoung, with cover art and internal graphics conceived by a fan whose submission was selected through an Internet-based contest overseen by Rhino and Chicago.
Saluting Chicago's forty year mark and their extensive, genre-defying legacy finds no shortage of musical milestones to celebrate. The first band to accomplish the feat of placing albums in the Top 40 of Billboard's pop albums chart for five successive decades, Chicago is second only to the Beach Boys as the most successfully charting American group ever. Their career encompasses over 100 million records sold worldwide, five consecutive #1 albums, 13 platinum and 18 gold albums...