Chi-town has played second fiddle to New York City since it was incorporated in 1837. This number two spot on the "greatest cities in America" list has earned it the nickname "Second City", in addition to numerous other labels.
This fine Illinois metropolis is a ganglion of American culture, and it's musical heritage could spin off piles of fine playlists.
For this one however, we focus on songs that pay homage to the city in some way. Of course, the list contains no-brainers like "Sweet Home Chicago" by Robert Johnson, "My Kind Of Town" by Frank Sinatra and "The Night Chicago Died" by Paper Lace, but also contains lesser-known odes from scads of musical genres.
Sufjan Stevens kicks off this playlist with "Chicago" from my favorite album of 2005, Illinois, which is the second effort in his audacious attempt to create on full-length album for each of the 50 states. (Also, see Michigan). Other artists in the list include Ryan Adams, Wilco, Jim Croce, Merle Haggard, Smashing Pumpkins and more.
So if you love the city, don't miss the soundtrack.
1. Chicago - Sufjan Stevens
2. Dear Chicago - Ryan Adams
3. Via Chicago - Wilco
4. The El - Rhett Miller
5. Born In Chicago - Paul Butterfield
6. Sweet Home Chicago - Robert Johnson
7. Chicago Bound - Jimmy Rogers
8. My Kind Of Town - Frank Sinatra
9. Chicago (That Toddling Town) - Count Basie
10. Jesus Just Left Chicago - ZZ Top
11. Tonight, Tonight - Smashing Pumpkins
12. In The Ghetto - Elvis Presley
13. Bad, Bad Leroy Brown - Jim Croce
14. Chicago - The Doobie Brothers
15. Take Me Back To Chicago - Chicago
16. Chicago - Tossers
17. The Woman Downstairs - The Handsome Family
18. Chicago Wind - Merle Haggard
19. Little Joe From Chicago - Nat King Cole
20. Is Chicago, Is Not Chicago - Soul Coughing
21. Chicago, Damn - Bobbi Humphrey
22. Windy City Rag - Alison Krauss & Union Station
23. Chicago Song - David Sanborn
24. Windy City - Sweet
25. And On To Chicagoland - Tomfoolio
26. Chicago (Chi-Town) Blues - Earth, Wind & Fire
27. Lake Shore Drive - Aliotta Haynes Jeremiah
28. Dead End Street - Lou Rawls
29. Chicago Is So Two Years Ago - Fall Out Boy
30. Chicago Fanphair '93 - Local H
31. Second City Blues - Ben Hollis
32. L.A. Goodbye - The Ides Of March
33. C.H.I.C.A.G.O. - Suede
34. Chi-Town Stranglers - Deadliest Niggas Alive
35. The Eggplant That Ate Chicago - Sadie Green Sales Ragtime Jugband
36. North Side Story - Street Brats