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The Best Bands from Illinois

Updated June 8, 2017 48.0k views17 items

Chicago bands and Illinois bands in general. As a native Chicagoan who went to school in Champaign, i feel entitled to weigh in on this matter. That said, i'm probably missing the boat on some less prominent Chicago bands of the late nineties and "oughts".

One side note to this list - for the most part, i have a thing where i can tell by a band name if i WON"T like a band, it's about 95% accurate for bands that have albums out, and probably even more for all bands. the two times in my life where i have been most wrong about band names happened when i was still living in Illinois back in 1991. I saw a band whose name i hated but who had some local buzz at the Lounge Ax - they were called the Vulgar Boatmen. As predicted, they totally weren't for me. So, having broken my rule and gone out to see a band with a horrible name, i decided i wasn't going to get burned twice. The next two young bands i blew off, for "lame band name reasons" were called Uncle Tupelo and the Smashing Pumpkins.

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    Cheap Trick !

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    More Liz Phair 

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    Yes, Styx has spit out quite a bit of garbage over the years, but "the hits" and "the almost hit album tracks" add up. i would even go see an original Styx reunion, but i think 2 of them are now dead or something.

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    More The Jesus Lizard 

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    Would probably rank a bit higher but I never saw live...

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    without a shred of doubt, the Best Band Ever from Aurora!

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    More Tortoise 

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    Local H

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    see my comment about Styx and multiply it X5 or so. REO defined cheesy AOR in the 70s, but they did have a couple of classic FM tracks in the mix, particularly "Golden Country" and "Ridin' The Storm Out"

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