Winnipeg's Ironhorse were formed in 1978 after Randy Bachman had exited BTO and exeprienced failure as a solo artist. With new label backing by Scotti Brothers, Bachman assembled the band while recording demos for what would eventually become Ironhorse's debut album. The album hit the streets in 1979 and quickly their first single cracked the Billboard Top 40. Two subsequent singles and a North Amercian tour brought the band moderate success, but pressure from the label to refine the sound resulted in the ousting of keyboardist Tom Sparks. Ex-Trooper keysman Frank Ludwig stepped into the vacancy and the band's sophomore album "Everything Is Grey" was released in 1980. The singles from the album failed to chart and the band's fortunes went from hopeful to hopeless, prompting the band to split after their final tour stop in 1981. Bachman would soon draft Ex-BTO bassist CF Turner, as well as two Ironhorse members for his new project, Union. He has also issued numerous solo recordings over the years, as well as several brief reunions with BTO and The Guess Who.
"Ironhorse" unsurprisingly bears shades of late period BTO, with a greater emphasis on pop. Though the material is mostly decent, there does seem to be something lacking in the songwriting. Nothing major, but there's a homogenized sound that sees Bachman at his most frivolous. Without the contrast of Bachman & CF Turner's voices (as had been the case with BTO), Ironhorse simply suffers as a result of Bachman's rather unrefined vocals. Though Sparks vocals are significantly better, the lifeless production renders much of the material bland. Overall, "Ironhorse" is a pleasant album that just never quite reaches transcendence. It's still worth a listen, so be sure to check this offering from 'orchman' and see what Ironhorse was all about.
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