It’s not uncommon for a band member to leave a successful group and form his (or her) own group. Sometimes those later groups are successful themselves, and sometimes they aren’t. In the group of those bands which were somewhat successful, but forgotten, is the group Ironhorse.
Where did Ironhorse come from?
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.
(Ironhorse peaked at #153 on Billboard’s Hot LPs and Tape chart. Album ℗1979 Scotti Bros. Records. Photo courtesy Amazon.com.)
Ironhorse 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”.
“Sweet Lui-Louise” entered Billboard’s Hot 100 at #87 for the week ending March 17, 1979 (chart | magazine). It managed to enter the top 40, just barely, at #39 for the week ending April 21 (chart | magazine) and peaked two weeks later (chart | magazine) 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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