Sweet Lui-Louise by Ironhorse

In the 1960s and 1970s, Randy Bachman was in one successful band after another (though with varying degrees of success).  He co-founded the group that eventually came to be called The Guess Who, which hit #1 with “American Woman” before Bachman left the group in 1970.  His next group was originally called Brave Belt, though most people know it better by its later name, Bachman-Turner Overdrive.  After some disagreements within the band, Randy Bachman left that band in 1977.

After Bachman-Turner Overdrive, and one solo album, Randy Bachman’s next band was called Ironhorse.  Ironhorse released an eponymous album in early 1979; it was moderately successful in a year when musical tastes were rapidly evolving, and it had one charting single, “Sweet Lui-Louise”, a song that I, at least, find rather catchy, possibly due to its use of similar vocal stylings to those used in BTO’s Bachman-penned hit “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet”.

(Ironhorse peaked at #153 on Billboard’s Hot LPs and Tape chart.  Album ℗1979 Scotti Bros. Records.  Photo courtesy Amazon.com.)

“Sweet Lui-Louise” entered Billboard’s Hot 100 at #87 for the week ending March 17, 1979 (chart).  It managed to enter the top 40, just barely, at #39 for the week ending April 21 (chart) and peaked two weeks later (chart) at #36 before falling out of the top 40 the very next week.  In total it spent ten weeks on the Hot 100.

Afterward, Ironhorse released a follow-up album, Everything is Grey, which also featured one charting hit, “What’s Your Hurry Darlin'”, although that song only made it to #89.  After that, the band evolved into a group called Union and released one more album; it didn’t chart.

I have only ever heard “Sweet Lui-Louise” on the radio during an episode of “American Top 40: The 70s”, but perhaps there might be good news on that front:  Randy Bachman has acquired the rights to both Ironhorse albums (source) and hopes to reissue them in the future.


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