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The Ides Of March

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Chicago’s Ides of March burst onto the national scene in 1970 with the million-selling single “Vehicle,” a tune that bore more than a passing resemblance to the then mega-selling Blood, Sweat & Tears. But the band’s pedigree went back further than BS&T’s, and with a much different origin. Formed in the mid-1960s in the Windy City, founding member Jim Peterik put the original Ides together as a teen band, strong on original material and British pop harmonies. Soon the band was recording for London’s Parrot Records subsidiary, releasing five singles between 1966 and 1967, including the local hit “You Wouldn’t Listen. ” By the late 1960s, however, Peterik had reconfigured the band to include a full horn section, and a new sound and style for the band was born. Ever the crafty commercial songwriter, Peterik fashioned a new single, “Vehicle,” to showcase this sound, which mirrored the success of horn rock bands like Chase and Blood, Sweat & Tears. The record was a huge hit, spawning the soundalike follow-up “Superman.” The other chart hit for the group (and a complete about-face from the horn-dominated sound of “Vehicle”) was the wistful “L.A. Goodbye.” Personnel problems and a label shift to RCA-Victor spelled the end of the band as Peterik eased into the 1980s in the role of producer/songwriter, penning several hits for the likes of .38 Special and others. The group re-formed in 1993 to record an album of new material and recuts of their hits going all the way back to “You Wouldn’t Listen,” and Peterik remains quite active both as a tunesmith and producer. ~ Cub Koda, All Music Guide

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