Suppose you wrote a song that combined every element of Chicago music in the last 50 years. It would include a guitar solo from an electric blues album, horns from Chicago IV, synthesizers from Chicago XVII, lyrics from a Richard Marx song, and vocals inspired by Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins. Also, it would sound like the theme from one of John Hughes’s 1980s teen comedies.
You’d have something very close to “See You In Chicago,” the new civic theme concocted by Choose Chicago, the city’s tourism agency, and performed by Buddy Guy, Umphrey’s McGee, and, of course, the remnants of Chicago.
Home Sweet Home/
There’s so much more than meets the eye/
From the water to the sky/
Every corner holds a new surprise/
The city shines/
There’s no limit to how high/
With no comparison don’t try/
Always a smile so come see why
Every one of these musicians has performed outstanding work on their own, but together, they’ve produced a power anthem that would have embarrassed Damn Yankees, The Outfield or White Lion. (But not Richard Marx. Richard Marx is shameless.)
It doesn’t even match 1985’s overwrought “Calling Me Home, Chicago,” which benefited from a soulful vocal. And, of course, it’s no “Sweet Home Chicago” or “My Kind of Town.”
Have a listen and see if you agree.
Buy this book! Ward Room blogger Edward McClelland's book, Young Mr. Obama: Chicago and the Making of a Black President , is available Amazon. Young Mr. Obama includes reporting on President Obama's earliest days in the Windy City, covering how a presumptuous young man transformed himself into presidential material. Buy it now!