The Ides Of March were a carbon copy of Blood Sweat and Tears and Chicago, brass heavy and soulful on their early work, evolving into something very different later on.
Written by: Eric
ARTIST: Ides Of March
ALBUM: Midnight Oil
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Jim Peterik – lead vocals, lead & acoustic guitars * Larry Millas – guitar, bass, flute, vocals * Mike Borch – drums, vibes, vocals * Bob Bergland – bass, vocals * Chris Soumar – congas, harmonica, percussion, vocals * Dave Arlano – keyboards * Rusty Young – steel guitar, dobro
TRACK LISTING: 01 Hot Water * 02 Nothing Love Won’t Cure * 03 Do What You’ve A Mind To * 04 Chicago’s Got The Blues * 05 Quicksilver * 06 Heavy On The Country * 07 Roadie Ode * 08 Lay Back * 09 Holy Love * 10 Ride The Music
WEBLINKS: Site Link
Slap the name Jim Peterik on a project and like white on rice, melodic rock fans and media will jump on whatever it is in no time flat. Such is the era we live in where the ‘old guys’ are still revered and held in high esteem even though their best work is decades behind them.
Those new to the scene or rockers who don’t bother with anything recorded before 1985 might be surprised to learn prior to Peterik’s work in Survivor and AOR sainthood was Ides Of March – a Chicago based band which gained notoriety through the single ‘Vehicle’.
The Ides Of March were a carbon copy of Blood Sweat and Tears and Chicago – brass heavy and soulful on their early work, evolving into something very different later on which I’ll get to in a moment.
The band toured constantly including gigs with classic rock biggies Jimi Hendrix, The Byrds and Led Zeppelin, but never broke out of the windy city in a big way and split in 1973 after four albums.
Peterik moved on to a brief solo career and later a wall of gold and platinum with Survivor but for some reason and odd considering their lack of success, reformed in 1990.
This would be the Ides Of March last album and it’s obvious they were out of fresh ideas. Gone are the horns and BS&T influences in favor of a laid back country rock sound ala the Eagles as well as The Doobie Brothers and early REO Speedwagon.
Not sure if this was by choice, or a record company tired of waiting for a hit single, but it’s hard for me to buy a bunch of suburban Chicago guys going blue jean and cowboy boot Americana without thinking ‘sellout’, yet here they were – citified lonesome cowboys passed out in a saloon on the back cover.
Questionable image and sound aside, there’s some nice tunes here including ‘Nothing Love Won’t Cure’ which will automatically draw parallels to the Doobies good time rock while ‘Do What You’ve A Mind To’ and ‘Chicago’s Got The Blues’ recalls the first Loggins And Messina album.
Side two’s more of the same and while not as strong ‘Holy Love’ saves the set with a jazzy Santana meets Doobie Brothers experience. More material in this direction would have made for a better album.
Despite some good moments here and there, it’s hard for me to recommend ‘Midnight Oil’ or any of the other Ides Of March titles for that matter unless of course you are a hardcore follower of early 70’s rock. Falling into that pocket myself, I must say Ides Of March do nothing for me and I can only imagine what the unassuming Survivor fan will think.