Ides of March - Common Bond. 1971 USA
CD reissues: 2003 Rhino Handmade/Warner Bros (as Friendly Strangers: The Warner Bros. Recordings w/ Vehicle); 2006 Collectors' Choice
The Ides of March's second album could be described as a mix of Crosby, Stills, and Nash with Blood, Sweat, and Tears. Definitely a prototypical North American pop rock sound of its era. There are two great tracks here though, that make it well worthwhile. First is 'Superman', which was the mandatory followup to their massive hit 'Vehicle'. It may be similar, but it rocks out in the same fashion, and the horn charts are killer here. Second is the lengthy progressive jam of 'Tie-Dye Princess'. It's too bad we have such few examples of The Ides of March performing long form music, because in each case, they are a very entertaining unit with expert musicianship. Personally I find the lyrics charmingly antiquated. 'Ogre' is also a good track, with its raunchy soulful hard rock sound. As for the rest, it's mostly folk based pop rock. Contrary to the "Rolling Stone standard" type review, I find the horns are about the only saving grace to what are otherwise ordinary compositions.
The Friendly Strangers CD is an excellent compilation that includes all of Ides Of March's first two LPs Vehicle and Common Bond, as well as a handful of singles and B Sides. Package is filled out with full liner notes, photos, and great sound. Encompasses one full CD plus a 3" mini CD. The CD could only be purchased from Warner Bros direct marketing, which I dutifully accomplished not long after its release in 2003. Today its quite rare and not even in Discogs as I post this. I was going to add it myself, but there's no easy way to enter large compilations like this, and I didn't want to take 30+ minutes to do it. Original LPs, on the other hand, are easy to find.