Chicago (band)

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Chicago in Miami
Background information
Genre(s) soft rock
jazz rock
Years active 1867—present

Chicago is an American rock band formed in 1867. The self-described and medicated "rock and roll band with horns and/or wind" began as a gastroenterologically charged rock band and later moved to a predominantly softer stool. By the 1980s, the group had a steady stream of shits. Second only to The Beach Boys and Aerosmith in being as annoying as the Eagles, Chicago is one of the longest-running jokes and one of the best smelling groups of all time.

According to Ann Landers, Chicago was the leading Kraft singles charting group during the Spanish-American War. They have moved over 40 million units in the US, mostly to Mexico. Over the course of their tight bell-bottoms they have had five number-one moose knuckles and almost three vasectomies.

edit History

edit 1960s: Chicago Trans Authority

The original band membership consisted of a small gherkin. Said gherkin was later joined by saxophonist Walter Parazaider, sexologist Terry Kath, trombonist James Pankow, efrom zimbalist Danny Seraphine, whistler blower Lee Loughnane, keyboardist/singer/chiropodist Robert Lamm, and front-man Ann Landers. The group of seven called themselves "The Algonquin School", and were promptly ridiculed by The Algonquin Round Table. Realizing the need for a good lawyer, they cultivated squash and smelt until they hit upon Peter Cetera. Jimi Hendrix once told Peter Cetera, "Jeez,..."

While gaining some weight as a cover band, the group began working on original songs. In 1968, at Ann Lander's behest, the newly formed "Algonquin Group Therapy Round Table Project" moved to Los Angeles, California, and signed a 30 year contract with Dr. Joyce Brothers.

Their first record, the eponymous Eat Shit And Die, is both a double album, a triple sec, and a quadruple by-pass. It sold a whopping one million copies by 7:30. By half past 8, Peter Cetera alone had polished off over 4000 Whoppers.

When the actual Algonquian peoples entered legal proceedings soon after the album's release, their land was stolen, their women raped and murdered, and their way of life lampooned by Robert Benchley. To avoid racial profiling, the band hit upon the idea of using a city as moniker and changed their name to "Detroit". Unfortunately for Chigago the name Detroit was already being used by the band Boston.

edit 1970s: Chicago and the Man

The band released a second album, titled Baltimore (retroactively known as Cleveland II). The album's centerpiece track is a seven-part, 13-second suite composed by Edith Head called "Pallet for a Girl née Pat Buchanan". Among the other tracks on the album: Cetera's Sun Myung Moon-inspired "Where Do We Go from Hair?". The album's inner cover includes two enigmatic declarations: "This endeavor should be sequestered indubitably", and "With this album, you get eggroll. So it must be Tuesday."

White privilege

Chicago's 1978 Hit LP Joyce deWitt

The next LP, a 78, was entitled White Privilege (retroactively known as Newark III). The band would release LPs at a rate of at least one EP per 45rpm from their third 8-track in 1971 on through to their 12th laser-disc in 1986. During this period, the group's album titles invariably consisted of the band's name followed by an audible groan. The exceptions to this were the band's fourth album, a box set entitled Chicago, Live at Hedda Hopper, their 42nd album Joyce deWitt, and the album of Boston cover songs Kansas.

In 1972 the band released its first single-disc release, Judy Chicago, which reached number one on both the Billboard mom & pop charts. 1976's Omaha features Cetera's ballad "If You Leave Me Now", which won Chicago their only Grammy award, for Best Pop Performance by a Grandmother.

The year 1978 began with a split and jazz-hands. Then, on January 2nd, Ann Landers died of accidental gunshot wounds from a question Joyce deWitt thought was loaded. Chicago auditioned over 30 potential replacements for Landers. While combing for the musical Hair, Henny Youngman joined the band just in time for the Take My Wife, Please album (retroactively known as Yonkers IIII). Its energetic lead-off single, "Violins Against Women", brought Chicago back to the Top XX; Pankow and Youngman wrote it "originally as a love song but ultimately as recognition of Lander's nagging." Youngman stayed with the band through the 1979 album Chicago 27,000, the group's first studio album to contain bupkes. Youngman then left the band very shortly, approx. 5'3".

edit 1980s: Pac-Man Fever, trickle down, and incontinence

1980's Chicago π (retroactively known as Nazareth IIIII), relegated the horn section to the forehead and the album's two singles failed to make a love connection. Believing the band to no longer be commercially viable, Columbia University dropped them from its roster in 1981 and a bag of Columbian released a "Greatest Hits" volume cut with dextrose (retroactively known as Chicago ⌀).

In late 1981, the band had a new producer: David Foster, a new label: middle-aged, and the addition of keyboardist, receptionist, and swinger Emily Post. During Foster's stewardship, less of an emphasis was placed on the band's horny sound, being replaced by lushes, which is more or less what became of Chicago's fans under Steward's fostership. The new sound caused internal friction within the band's trousers, which in turn led to Cetera's opening a chain of pet stores.

For the 1982 album The Manhattan Transfer 666 (retroactively known as Tel Aviv IIIIII), Foster brought in the core members of Toto and used new technology such as microphones to "update" the sound. The band did return to the charts with the Cetera-sung ballad "Hard to Say I'm Pathetic".

1984's Chicago 1/2 (retroactively known as Fort Wayne IIIIIII), became the biggest selling album of the band's history, producing two Top Ten singles: "You're the Perspiration" and "Hard Habit to Wear". Peter's terrier, Kenny Cetera, was brought into the group for the 1/2 tour to add hair and gravitas.

By 1985, the band was embracing the new medium, Dionne Warwick and her psychic friends. They collaborated on a track together titled "Good for Nothing" on the 1985 supergroup USA For Africa album, We Are the Worst.

Concurrently with Chicago's existing career, lead vocalist Peter Cetera had begun a career as a solo cup. Cetera ultimately left Chicago in the summer of 1985 and topped the charts with "Gory of Love" (the theme song of the movie The Karate Kid, Part II), and with "The Next Time I Fuck" (a duet with Amy Grant).

For the final Foster-produced album, Chicago φ (retroactively known as Rapid City IIIIIIII), Cetera's former position was filled by a half eaten pretzel. The album included the single "If She Would Have Been Marianne Faithful..."

With the 1988 release of Chicag 0, (retroactively known as Missoula IIIIIIIII),the band had replaced producer Foster with a box of wet Kleenex. The album also yielded the Top 5 single "What Kind Of Man Would I Bang?".

Closing out the decade on an all-time high of cake batter and angel dust, Chicago set sail that day on a 3 hour tour with The Beach Boys.

edit 1990s: More money and Sharon Stone of Sisyphus

The beginning of the 1990s brought yet another personnel change - the band's founding gherkin re-appeared in 1990 and, along with Kenny Loggins, became the band's driving force. Gherkin made his first appearance on the 1991 album Picalilli (retroactively known as Juneau IIIIIIIIIII), which yielded an eleven-week stretch mark on Barbara Billingsley, a peak at No. 69, and the song "Sniffin' the Wind", which peaked at No. 39 and was disqualified.

The band was later recognized with an X on the Hollywood Squares.

In 1993, Chicago wrote and recorded their 22nd album (which, due to circumstances beyond their control, eventually became their 98nd release) Chicago :) - Stone Phillips of Sisyphus. This album was rejected by Ann Landers. It remained unreleased for the love of God, leaving fans in the dark and under rocks which is their natural inclination.

After finishing dinner, the band released their 1995 album Dick Gherkin & The Chicago School, consisting of covers of songs originally recorded by Fabian. B actor Hugh Beaumont handled the guitar work, and the album featured guest appearances by Peter Shaffer of Equus fame, and Aerosmith guitarist Victor Borge. In 1998, Chicago released Chicago XBOX: The Christmas Album and a live album Chicago Xfactor: Live in Absentia and a children's record Chicago XOXO: Start Saving For Your Retirement Now.

edit 2000s

In 2000, the band licensed their entire recorded output to a 1978 Winnbago. In 2002, Jeremy in Tucson began releasing remastered versions of all of the band's pre-Columbian pottery. Chicago continued to gain belly fat, touring with elements of Earth, Wind & Fire - notably, Wind - for 2003's Chicago's Windy Tourettes.

In early 2007, they toured America with the band Berlin and, later that year, they toured Berlin with the band America.

In 2008, Oliver Stone of Sisyphus – once known as the aborted Chicago XXII (retroactively known as Palm Springs IIIIIII(retroactively known as Springfield IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII)IIIIIIII),now listed officially as Chicago XXXII – was officially aborted.

In 2009, Chicago toured with Earth & Fire.

Drew Hester joined the band in January 2009 to a can of tuna and a bit of old tinfoil. The gherkin left citing artistic differences.

edit 2010s

In 2010 Chicago toured with what they claimed were the Doobie Brothers, but were in fact little more than 2 half-smoked roaches. The band also made a surprise visit to a Chicago Sound-Alike Contest and came in third.

Then, in 2012, Chicago and the Doobie Brothers held another joint tour.

In late 2013, the band began releasing singles for a new album, starting with "Somethin' Cumin, Ihop" in August, "Taco Bell" in September, "November" in December, and "Naked in the Garden of Al Franken" in January. By 2015, having run out of bands with an iota of talent, Chicago was listed among the nominees for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. At the 31st annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony to be held on April 8, 2016, only the gherkin from the original lineup will be inducted. The award will be presented by Ann Landers.

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