The debut album Vehicle and its 1971 successor Common Bond — both originally issued on Warner Bros. Records — will be released on CD as individual albums for the first time with remastered sound and liner notes from original band members Jim Peterik and Larry Millas.
As did Los Angeles and Detroit, Chicago had its own sound in the late ’60s, in which R&B/jazz horn sections were added to crisp British Invasion-style pop. The Buckinghams may have been the first on board with their hits “Kind Of A Drag” and “Don’t You Care,” followed by Ides of March, and later the bands Chicago and The Flock. A thousand miles east in New York, Blood, Sweat & Tears were preparing to blast the sound wide open. But one of the strongest hits to emerge from this movement was undoubtedly the Ides Of March’s steamroller hit “Vehicle.” Its unforgettable first line: “I’m the friendly stranger in the black sedan/Won’t you hop inside my car.” Bo Bice recently revived the song on “American Idol.”
The album Vehicle contains “Symphony For Eleanor,” an extended orchestral version of The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby,” plus a cover of Crosby Stills & Nash’s “Wooden Ships” melded with Jethro Tull’s “Dharma for One,” and a Creedence Clearwater Revival homage in “Factory Band.”
The Ides’ follow-up album, Common Bond, yielded two hits of its own – the horn-driven “Superman” and the acoustic “L.A. Goodbye,” which was a monster hit on Chicago’s two ‘60s/’70s Top 40 stations, WLS-AM and WCFL-AM and made it to #40 nationally.
The Ides made two more albums for RCA. Ides leader Jim Peterik went on to form Survivor, which rode Rocky madness to its pinnacle with the anthemic hit “Eye of the Tiger,” from the 1982 film Rocky III. Since then, the original Ides, still based in Chicago, have reunited and perform frequently.
According to Peterik: “Hearing the first two Ides of March albums in full fidelity feels like being 19 again when we cut them. Sitting in front of the huge Altec playback speakers at Columbia Studios in Chicago. We were young and green then and it sounded like a miracle. You know what? It still does. Six schoolmates from Berwyn, Ill., taking on the world. Blood, Sweat & Tears were a jazz band playing rock. The Idea Of March were a garage band trying to sound jazzy. It works for me.”
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The Ides Of March from suburban Berwyn, Ill., who scored a #2 national hit with “Vehicle” in 1970, will have their first two albums reissued on Collectors Choice on June 6, 2006. www.theidesofmarch.com