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-'60s in the Windy City, the original Ides were put together by founding member Jim Peterik 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 '60s, however, Peterik had reconfigured the band to include a full horn section, and a new sound and style for the band were 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 sound-alike 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 hits going all the way back to "You Wouldn't Listen," and in the following years Peterik remained active both as a tunesmith and producer. Meanwhile, the Ides of March have continued to tour in the years following the turn of the millennium. ~ Cub Koda, Rovi