Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Ides Of March 50th Anniversary Box Set (1)


2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the band that drove the 1970 Billboard smash “Vehicle” to the top of the charts: The Ides Of March. To commemorate this momentous occasion, the band has just released a deluxe limited edition 5-Disc set Last Band Standing – The Definitive 50-Year Anniversary Collection via Ides Of March Records.   

Last Band Standing is a perfectly executed celebration of The Ides Of March history and a showcase of a band still in their prime at 50 years deep. Original members Jim Peterik (also of Survivor fame and songwriter behind “Eye Of The Tiger,” as well as many other chart-toppers), Bob Bergland, Larry Millas, and Mike Borch started as a group of teenagers whose love of Rock N Roll and R&B led them to showcases and bandstands around their native Chicago, eventually hitting it big nationally with “Vehicle.”   

The first four audio discs contain material from across their storied career. Included are Warner Brothers albums Vehicle (1970) and Common Bond (1971), first-time-ever releases of the best of their RCA releases World Woven (1972) and Midnight Oil (1973), and choice cuts from the 90s, such as Spirit Of Chicago – an ode to the Windy City featuring some of the area’s most prominent artists – Rick Nielsen (Cheap Trick), Dennis DeYoung (Styx), Gary Loizzo (American Breed), cult favorite Jim Ellison, and many more.   

Rarities like “Like It Or Lump It” and “No Two Ways About It” have been remastered in all their mono glory, along with other highlights culled from the Ides vault, such as 1966’s Billboard charter You Wouldn’t Listen (Parrot). The audio portion is completed with brand new Ides of March tracks, including the brass driven “Who I Am,” the harmonious “Too Far To Turn Around,” and the aptly titled “Last Band Standing,” featuring Steve Cropper – the iconic songsmith of Booker T and the MG’s and organizer of the Blues Brothers.   

Disc five is a live DVD of The Ides Of March performing 15 of their most iconic songs in an eleven camera shoot at the House Of Blues, Chicago on May 31, 2014. In addition to this high-energy hometown set, this DVD boasts a slew of extras: archival footage from their TV appearances in the 70's, new interviews, a look behind-the-scenes, a photo collage spanning 50 years plus an exciting new music video for the title track  “Last Band Standing.”   

Jim Peterik recently released his autobiography Through The Eye Of The Tiger: The Rock ‘N’ Roll Life Of Survivor’s Founding Member (BenBella Books). 

Showing no signs of slowing down, The Ides Of March, who continue to tour to this day, are truly worthy of the title Last Band Standing.


No media outlet has given The Ides Of March the amount of coverage that WE have here in Forgotten Hits over the past fifteen years.  For years we saluted them every time March 15th (The Ides Of March) came around.  Although we're a few years apart in age, we all went to the same high school where their presence was felt ... and is STILL felt ... every single day.  (A few years back, they renamed the street near the high school Ides Of March Way, commemorating all that these guys have done to put Berwyn, IL, on the map worldwide.  Even 50 years on, they have never lost sight of their very humble beginnings.)   

A few weeks ago, we received a nice review from Clark Besch for the brand new Ides Of March 50th Anniversary Box Set, a BEAUTIFUL package featuring four CD's (much of it previously unavailable on disc) and a fifth DVD disc featuring live performances and videos collected over the years.

At the request of Carol Kay at Kayos Productions, the PR firm handling this release (who wrote the introductory pieces shown above), we have added some of our own commentary to Clark's piece ... as well as a couple of back-and-forths with Jim Peterik of The Ides, too.  (This is a brand new, never-before-seen EXCLUSIVE Forgotten Hits interview with the band's show-stopper ... and you're NOT going to want to miss it!!!)  

And, to help sweeten the deal, Clark even dug up a few rare tracks NOT featured on the new box set to include as bonus material.  

Together, we've teamed up to give you some VERY special Ides of March coverage this week in Forgotten Hits ... so stick with us this week for a VERY special, one-of-a-kind  Clark / Kent Review of "Last Band Standing:  The 50th Anniversary Ides Of March Box Set".   

(Of course if we're going to use a catch phrase like that ... Clark / Kent Review ... then we just HAVE to kick this thing off with their 1970 Hit "Superman" (#48 in Record World, #64 in Billboard and, incredibly NOT charting here in Chicago!)  Where else are you gonna find a byline like THIS one?!?!?

Clark / Kent ... Hilarious! 
Jim Peterik