Chicago: The Studio Albums 1979-2008

Those ballad years in full...

Why you can trust Louder Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

There was a time when Chicago’s blend of rock, prog and horn- laden jazz would have sounded like the perfect, prog-friendly fit for many of our readers. But all that changed on 31 July 1976, when they released a track from Chicago X as a single.

The hit singles dried up after that, as did the platinum albums, but if you’re fond of AOR mixed with the odd proggy flourish, there’s still enjoyable fare on Twenty 1 (1991), although less to like on the big band Night & Day (1995) and 2006’s Chicago XXX. But this collection ends on a triumphant note with the excellent Stone Of Sisyphus, the album rejected by Warners in 1994 when the band attempted to turn their back on the ballads and return to their former sound. Idiots. (Warners, that is…)

Writer and broadcaster Jerry Ewing is the Editor of Prog Magazine which he founded for Future Publishing in 2009. He grew up in Sydney and began his writing career in London for Metal Forces magazine in 1989. He has since written for Metal Hammer, Maxim, Vox, Stuff and Bizarre magazines, among others. He created and edited Classic Rock Magazine for Dennis Publishing in 1998 and is the author of a variety of books on both music and sport, including Wonderous Stories; A Journey Through The Landscape Of Progressive Rock, as well as sleevenotes for many major record labels. He lives in North London and happily indulges a passion for AC/DC, Chelsea Football Club and Sydney Roosters.