Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Horns o' plenty

On Chicago Magazine's list of the 40 greatest records by Chicago-based artists you will find releases by Kanye West, Liz Phair, R. Kelly, Andrew Bird and Lupe Fiasco. You will not find anything by Steve Goodman or Buddy Guy.  Seriously, who compiles these lists?

We were wondering how Chicago (the group) stacked up because it happens to be the anniversary of their debut album's release. Yep, Chicago Transit Authority hit the stores on this day in 1969. We remember CTA as a defining moment in music history when horns met fuzz guitar, jazz met rock and the fusion was pretty spectacular.

But Chicago, the city, has a very rich and diverse musical heritage and limiting a list to 40 artists is at best problematic, and at worst, well, just plain impossible.  But that's what happens when a magazine is celebrating its 40th anniversary.  So here's hoping Chicago Magazine makes it to 50 and its list improves!

We wouldn't have relished this task.To make room for the likes of Paul Butterfield, Curtis Mayfield, Ramsey Lewis and Muddy Waters some worthy people were going to get left off.  But not Naked Raygun, Screeching Weasel, Tortoise -- all of which cracked the Top 40 at the expense of Goodman, one of the greatest songwriters from any city or country in the world.

Meanwhile, CTA -- which isn't even our favorite Chicago album -- rates no better than No. 17, just below offerings by Big Black, Earth Wind & Fire and Cheap Trick. As for No. 1, that was bestowed upon Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, a fine album but the best of the best ever from Chicago?  What in Willie Dixon's Chess Box is going on here? Check out the list here.

1 comment:

  1. I guess the Howlin' Wolf fans don't buy many magazines with ads for fancy restaurants and plastic surgery.