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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.








Should Chicago be in the Hall of Fame?

Definitely put them in! - 80.9%
Maybe, but others deserve it first. - 5.5%
Probably not, but it wouldn't be the end of the world. - 1.8%
No opinion. - 0.9%
No way! - 10.9%

The Bullet Points

  • Previous Rank: 2010: #20
  • Eligible Since: Saturday, 01 January 1994
  • 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: Never
  • 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)

  • Social Groups: Join the NIHOF Chicago Fans Social Group!

Should Chicago be in the Hall of Fame?

Definitely put them in! - 80.9%
Maybe, but others deserve it first. - 5.5%
Probably not, but it wouldn't be the end of the world. - 1.8%
No opinion. - 0.9%
No way! - 10.9%


Feb 07, 2020

Buy your Tickets to see The Dustbowl Revival - Washington at 9:30 Club in Washington, DC HERE for as little as $48!

Birds of Chicago
The Dustbowl Revival


Feb 11, 2020

Buy your Tickets to see Chicago Bulls at Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena in Washington, DC HERE for as little as $14!

Chicago Bulls
Washington Wizards


Mar 14, 2020

Buy your Tickets to see Chicago Blackhawks at Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena in Washington, DC HERE for as little as $105!

Washington Capitals
Chicago Blackhawks


Apr 14, 2020

Buy your Tickets to see Chicago Cubs at Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, MD HERE for as little as $38!

Chicago Cubs
Baltimore Orioles
Last modified on Wednesday, 12 October 2016 21:05
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+2 #22 Glen J 2015-04-21 22:29
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.
+3 #21 Jay Bodean 2015-04-12 10:50
Chicago? The Summit of Rock & Roll!!
+4 #20 Lee Roschen 2015-04-03 14:51
Of course this is another Jann Wenner snub! Just this one rock'n'roll "expert" (laughable) has too much influence in saying who will be nominated and inducted, and has no vision whatsoever when it comes to recognizing true musical and rock and roll talent. The guy needs to take his frickin' blinders off, stop showing his discriminato ry stripes, and consider the input from websites like this one who is RRHF worthy. AND THAT INCLUDES CHICAGO. They have my full support for induction.
0 #19 diggitee 2015-02-10 01:59
I think Chicago should be in I mean damn 1967 and still going is enough.I also think Boston should be in as well
+1 #18 Eskimo 2014-12-23 19:18
I believe that the original R&R HOF was designed to honor and promote Rock n' Roll musicians who's music inspired, influenced, propelled and expanded the boundaries of Rock n' Roll. You can see this in the many non-actual rock acts that were inducted such as the blues musicians including Ray Charles, Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters, Bobby Darin, Lavern Baker, Johnny Cash, Etta James, Brenda Lee and Abba...
So where does Chicago fall into this scheme? I believe that they were/are a solid rock band that incorporated Jazz influences that indeed did influence, propelled and expanded the boundaries of Rock n' Roll. They should've been voted into the R&R HOF in 1994. End of story! Their day will come...and a glorious one it will be.
+3 #17 Kenny Herbert 2014-10-19 15:37
Chicago's founding members were inspired by the Beatles' "Got To Get You Into My Life," deciding "THAT'S what we want to do!" So the "non-rock/ja zz" arguments against them are BS. (And as noted above, "25 or 6 to 4" DESTROYS that argument.) Yes, Chicago changed to adult contemporary after Kath died, but they still had a solid ten-album discography by then (including four double albums and a four-album live set), or more than most groups released in their entire careers, along with a dozen mostly still known top 10 singles.

Unlike many NIHOF bands, Chicago doesn't have a single monster hit that everyone identifies them with (e.g., Deep Purple: Smoke on the Water). Ask a dozen Chicago fans their most identifiable hit, and you'll probably get five or six different answers: Saturday in the Park, 25 or 6 to 4, Beginnings, Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?, Color My World, Feeling Stronger Every Day, etc. Chicago should be in the HOF. Period.
+4 #16 Jennifer Smith 2014-10-18 01:51
Inexcusable. Shame on the HOF.
+2 #15 Kevin in Toronto 2014-10-12 01:30
It is an absolute travesty that Chicago is not in the RRHOF. It blows my mind. 17 platinum+ albums, 19 top 10 singles, 50 top 100 singles. Utilized almost every instrument under the sun. Were probably the most successful rock/jazz fusion group in musical history. There is absolutely nothing credible that should have or will keep them from achieving HOF membership. I hold out hope - Hall & Oates only got in last year and they are arguably the most successful duo of all time.
+3 #14 ews1707e 2014-10-03 18:13
Fans have been complaining loudly for years. The hea of the HoF is also the head of Rolling Stone & he never liked the band.
+2 #13 Carl Hardy 2014-06-30 19:31
You really are kidding? Chicago is not in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame? Once again the R&RHF is out of touch with the true roots of great rock and roll. Chicago meshed rock with brass and made it work. No other band has done that mix as successfully as Chicago. They are a magical mixture of rock and jazz. But then again let us look at the source. Rolling Stone magazine did not give any LOVE to Chicago. I suppose they won't give them any LOVE here either. Like I have said many times Rolling Stone should have NO say as to who gets in the RRHF. Rolling Stone should get out of reviewing or writing about Rock & Roll. They are out ot touch.

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