Chicago’s Beloved 2003 Holiday Album “What’s It Gonna Be, Santa?” Reaches Gold

Chicago’s Christmas albums are fan favorites. Through the years, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers have recorded a wide range of holiday songs, putting its distinctive musical imprint on everything from “O Christmas Tree” and “Silent Night” to band originals like “Child’s Prayer” and “Merry Christmas, I Love You.”

The yuletide tradition began in 1998 with the band’s first-holiday album, Chicago XXV: The Christmas Album. Roy Bittan (pianist with the E Street Band) produced the 14-track collection, which spent seven weeks on the charts on its way to being certified gold.

Chicago revisited the album a few years later when it recorded six new songs with producer Phil Ramone. The collection – newly expanded to 20 tracks – was reissued in 2003 under the new title, What’s It Gonna Be, Santa? Given the holiday season, it’s fitting that the RIAA announced that What’s It Gonna Be, Santa? has been certified gold. It is the 26th gold album of the band’s career.

Looking beyond the holidays to summer, Chicago and Brian Wilson, co-founder of The Beach Boys, will co-headline a 25-city tour. It begins on June 7 at the Ak-Chin Pavilion in Phoenix, Arizona, and ends on July 26 in Clarkston, Michigan, at the DTE Energy Music Theatre. Wilson will be joined by another Beach Boys co-founder, singer/guitarist Al Jardine, and South African singer/guitarist Blondie Chaplin, who was a member of the Beach Boys from 1972-1973. See the full tour schedule below. Tickets are on sale now and available HERE.

As 2021 winds down, Chicago looks back on an eventful year that included the 50th anniversary of its historic performances at Carnegie Hall in April 1971. The band recorded all eight shows there and picked the best performance to release that October on the band’s first live album, Chicago at Carnegie Hall. That quadruple-LP reached #3 on the Billboard 200, was certified platinum, and is still the band’s best-selling live album.

To celebrate the anniversary of those special shows, Rhino released Chicago At Carnegie Hall Complete in September. This ambitious, 16-CD collection includes every Carnegie Hall show the band played in its entirety. Each show was lovingly restored by Chicago founding member and trumpeter Lee Loughnane and engineer Tim Jessup. They spent nearly a year going through more than 40 concert tapes at Loughnane’s new studio to remaster each concert. Their hard work gave fans eight incredible-sounding live recordings that capture Chicago hitting its stride on stage during a key moment in the band’s history.

Chicago, known as the “rock band with horns,” is one of the longest-running and best-selling groups of all time. It’s the first American band to ever chart albums in Billboard’s Pop Top 40 in six consecutive decades, the highest charting American band in Billboard’s Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists, and the #4 band on Billboard’s All-Time Top Bands and Duos list. The group’s extensive accomplishments include: two Grammy Awards® and a Lifetime Achievement Award from The Recording Academy, multiple American Music Awards, 11 Number One singles, five consecutive Number One albums, and record sales in excess of 100,000,000, with 48 albums earning gold and platinum certification. Chicago was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2016, and Chicago’s first album, Chicago Transit Authority, was inducted into the GRAMMY® Hall Of Fame in 2014. In 2017, the Songwriters Hall of Fame inducted songwriters Robert Lamm (“25 or 6 to 4”, “Saturday In The Park”) and James Pankow (“Feelin’ Stronger Every Day,” “Make Me Smile”).

 

 

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