With an affinity for Roman numerals and disinterested in personal celebrity, Chicago has enjoyed an extremely successful 40-plus year career. Formed in Chicago in 1967 and barred from using its original name, the Chicago Transit Authority, by that agency's legal-eagles, the original septet relocated to Los Angeles in 1969, hired hard-driving James William Guercio as manager, and launched its meteoric jazz-rock/soft rock career. Though the group started out as a progressive/jazz-fusion group, they interjected soulful, radio-friendly rock, forming a sound that was lapped up by mainstream music fans.
Though the group has endured many lineup changes, Robert Lamm (keyboards, guitars, vocals), James Pankow (trombone, keyboards, vocals), Walter Parazaider (woodwinds, vocals), and Lee Loughnane (trumpets, guitars, keyboards, vocals) are all original members who are still with the group. Amazingly, the band's first 10 studio albums all sold over a million copies, with 1979's Chicago 13, only achieving gold status. The group got back on track with the back-to-back smash hits Chicago 16 and Chicago 17, which sold over 10 million copies between them.
Original vocalist and power balladeer Peter Cetera left the band in 1985, but after a mere hiccup, Chicago hit platinum again with Chicago 19. Chicago XXVI was released in 1999, with repackaged tracks following, and the band continues to tour, record, and own the air as a favorite of light-rock radio stations.