Thursday, February 3, 2011

CHICAGO: The Hit List

How is it even REMOTELY possible that Chicago is NOT in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame? Incredibly, they've never even made the ballot!!!

What's wrong with this picture???

They've entertained us for DECADES, helped pioneer and spearhead the whole horn-rock era of rock and roll, fused rock and jazz YEARS before Steely Dan came along, incorporated political candor along side progressive, free-form guitar jams ... composed ALL of their own material ... with EVERY member of the band contributing to these hits over the years ... and retained at least half of their original members some 43 years later. They remain today, without question, the greatest injustice that can be attributed to the boneheads who determine such factors at The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame ... a GROSS oversight and royal slap in the face to some of the most consummate musicians to ever pick up and study the craft of their instruments.

Just check out The CHICAGO Hit List:
1969 - Questions 67 and 68 (#71, national peak)
1970 - Make Me Smile (#9)
25 or 6 to 4 (#4)
1971 - Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? (#5)
Free (#19)
Lowdown (#25)
Beginnings (#7)
Colour My World (#7 flipside)
Questions 67 and 68 (#13, reissue)
I'm A Man (#49)
1972 - Saturday In The Park (#3)
Dialogue (Part 1 and 2) #17
1973 - Feelin' Stronger Every Day (#8)
Just You 'n' Me (#1)
1974 - (I've Been) Searchin' So Long (#6)
Call On Me (#6)
Wishing You Were Here (with The Beach Boys) #9
1975 - Harry Truman (#13)
Old Days (#5)
Brand New Love Affair (Part 1 and 2) #43
1976 - Another Rainy Day In New York City (#32)
If You Leave Me Now (#1)
1977 - You Are On My Mind (#49)
Baby What A Big Surprise (#4)
1978 - Little One (#44)
Take Me Back To Chicago (#62)
Alive Again (#13)
1979 - No Tell Lover (#14)
Gone Long Gone (#73)
Must Have Been Crazy (#83)
1980 - Thunder And Lightning (#56)
1982 - Hard To Say I'm Sorry (#1)
Love Me Tomorrow (#22)
1983 - What You're Missing (#81)
1984 - Stay The Night (#15)
Hard Habit To Break (#2)
1985 - You're The Inspiration (#3)
Along Comes A Woman (#14)
1986 - 25 or 6 to 4 (new versions) #46
1987 - Will You Still Love Me? (#3)
If She Would Have Been Faithful (#16)
Niagara Falls (#91)
1988 - I Don't Wanna Live Without Your Love (#3)
Look Away (#1)
1989 - You're Not Alone (#9)
We Can Last Forever (#53)
1990 - What Kind Of Man Would I Be? (#5)
Hearts In Trouble (#57)
1991 - Chasin' The Wind (#31)
1997 - Here in My Heart (#59)

Fifty charted singles ... plus 31 charted albums (including six gold, eight platinum and eight multi-platinum LPs!!!) Not worthy of Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction, my ass!!! (kk)


Forgotten Hits Reader (and radio big-wig) Tom Cuddy sent me THIS note ... along with a list of the most-played Chicago songs on the radio, 2010. A few surprises here: without looking at the list, Frannie and I both guessed "Saturday In The Park" would come in at #1 ... but it came in at #6! A few others that I seem to hear all of the time include "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is", "Beginnings", "If You Leave Me Now", "Old Days", "25 or 6 to 4" and "Make Me Smile" ... but a couple of those didn't even make The Top Ten!
Here's Tom's note ... and list:

Reading your stories for the past few days about the band Chicago inspired me to forward to you a story I wrote late last year for the band's official fan club publication, "Scrapbook."

The first concert I ever attended as a teen was Chicago at the Rhode Island Auditorium. They have been one of my all-time favorites ever since. Through my jobs in radio and divine intervention I have become fortunate enough over the years to become friends with the members of Chicago. They have displayed enormous kindness by even thanking me in the liner notes of a few of their CDs. (Kent: Remember liner notes?!)
I have worked with hundreds of artists over the years, but very few as talented, down-to-earth, and appreciative as the guys in Chicago.
New York, NY

(click to enlarge)

The band Chicago holds a special place in our hearts, too.

Before we even met each other, Frannie and I had each seen Chicago live in concert at least half a dozen times ... seeing them IN Chicago was always an extra bonus ... but she says their shows down in the Dallas / Fort Worth area were always complete sell outs, too. Ironically, on the very first night of our honeymoon in Las Vegas ... (no, Nicholas Cage WASN'T there) ... we saw Chicago again (our very first time together) at the Stardust Hotel ... and I can honestly say it was the BEST performance I ever saw them give. (I've got some GREAT Chicago memories ... back in 1989, I took my then four year old daughter to see them with The Beach Boys at Poplar Creek, an outdoor music venue here in the Chicago area that is now, sadly, now part of history. That night, Jason Scheff singled my daughter out from the audience and sang "You're The Inspiration" to her ... a short while later that same night, Beach Boy Mike Love presented her with a beach ball ... man, talk about your magical nights!!! We had second row seats ... which I think spoiled her for life!!! lol)
I also talked to Scott Shannon after our Terry Kath / Chicago article ran and he told me that he had just finished reading original Drummer Danny Seraphine's new biography ... he said I did a GREAT job of putting into words Terry Kath's state of mind at the time of his death, capturing the very essence of his "inner demons" ... something that NOBODY (including Terry himself) could have properly verbalized or understood at the time. (I haven't read Danny's book yet but really want to ... Scott told me the book kicks off with the group arriving at the house to remove Terry's body ... pretty morbid stuff, to be sure ... but an undeniable part of the band's history.)
Thanks for sending us your list, Tom. We've got a lot of Chicago fans on the list ... and all over the world. (How have these guys been snubbed by The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame for so long?!?!? They should immediately jump to the top of the list for Mandatory Inductees for 2011!!!) kk