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12. Chicago

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Had we done this list with the criteria of chart success, Chicago would have easily been in our top ten. Having charted over multiple decades, Chicago has enjoyed a devoted following that few on this list can match. One has to wonder if the band was a little flashier, and the fans a little louder if it would not come as such a great shock as to the average music fan as to just how successful they were.

Chicago blended Jazz, Blues, Rock and Pop that combined with a rich assortment of horns created a melodic sound that reached mass audiences.   Although it was a successful style, the critics never seemed to respect them, despite the obvious technical talents they had.  In terms of seeking induction to Cleveland, Chicago developed a more Adult Contemporary style in the 80’s which although successful was even more critically disliked than before.  Despite their large fan base and Billboard success, there is a good chance that they could remain the most successful group of musicians to never gain enshrinement.



The Bullet Points:

Previous Rank:

2010: #20 


Eligible Since:



Country of Origin:

U.S.A. (Chicago, IL)


Why They Will Get In:    

Their extensive body of work has a large contingent of fans. 


Why They Won’t Get In:

Could this be another Jann Wenner snub?


Nominated In:



Essential Albums:

The Chicago Transit Authority (1969)

Chicago II (1970)

Chicago VII (1974)

Chicago X (1976)


Our Five Favorite Songs as Chosen by Each Member of the NIHOF Committee:

Beginnings (From The Chicago Transit Authority, 1969)

Questions 67 or 68 (From The Chicago Transit Authority, 1969)

25 or 6 to 4 (From Chicago II, 1970)

If You Leave Me Now (From Chicago X, 1976)

Baby, What a Big Surprise (From Chicago XI, 1977)




Should Chicago be in the Hall of Fame?

(You must be registered and logged in to vote!)
Definitely put them in! - 65.1%
Maybe, but others deserve it first. - 11.6%
Probably not, but it wouldn't be the end of the world. - 2.3%
No opinion. - 2.3%
No way! - 18.6%

Last modified on Friday, 16 January 2015 10:05


+2 #21 Jay Bodean 2015-04-12 06:50
Chicago? The Summit of Rock & Roll!!
+1 #22 Glen J 2015-04-21 18:29
I used to love Chicago. I had their first 11 albums (minus Greates Hits). It was not a coincidence that these were the ones with Terry Kath as their guitarist. After Kath's death the band rapidly changed to a sound which I can only describe as "candy ass". I stopped listening after that. Even their early work alone warrants them a place in the R&RHOF.

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