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Ironhorse (Canada) - 1980 Everything Is Grey




ARTIST: Ironhorse (Canada)
ALBUM: Everything Is Grey
LABEL: Scotti Bros
SERIAL: SB701B
YEAR: 1980

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Randy Bachman - vocals, guitars * Frank Ludwig - lead vocals, keyboards * Ron Foos - bass * Chris Leighton - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Everything Is Grey * 02 What's Your Hurry * 03 Symphony * 04 Only Way To Fly * 05 Try A Little Harder * 06 I'm Hurting Inside * 07 Playin' That Same Old Song * 08 Railroad Love * 09 Somewhere, Sometime * 10 Keep Your Motor Running


Background
Randy Bachman needs no introduction on these hallowed pages. From The Guess Who to Brave Belt and BTO, the man's chugalugging guitar style is the stuff of legend but here's an album that threw everyone off back in 1980. The Ironhorse debut released in 1979 was a noticeable departure from the guitar onslaught that was BTO although it gave the band a minor hit with 'Sweet Lui-Louise', an obligatory tour of Canada and support slots with The Beach Boys in the U.S. followed, but changes were in the air for the follow-up. With guitarist Tom Sparks sent packing, bringing on Frank Ludwig of Trooper fame; 'Everything Is Grey' was a masterstroke as it sounds more like a band effort although the question most Bachman fans ask 'where's the guitar'?


The Songs
Indeed, there's not a whole lot of the sound that made Bachman famous with BTO, leaning to the other end of the spectrum of lightweight pop rock. Now, I've never been a big fan of Randy's gruff vocals and thankfully he hands the wheel over to Frank Ludwig on much of the record and in turn 'Everything Is Grey' sounds very much like a Trooper album, that is after you get past the title track which is nothing more than Euro disco. What was that all about? Much better is the albums single 'What's Your Hurry Darlin' which was co-written by Bachman and The Beach Boys Carl Wilson. Big hooks on this forgotten radio classic that should have had more airplay than it did. 'Only Way To Fly' and 'Try A Little Harder' are both top notch pop rockers, but guitar fans wanting to hear Bachman cut loose will be sorely disappointed. 'Somewhere, Sometime' is the best tune on the flip side and is poppy to the max, but the quality does slip a bit on the remaining material making 'Everything Is Grey' a minor Canadian classic at best.


In Summary
Bassist Ron Foos would leave Ironhorse for his old gig in Paul Revere & The Raiders where he remains today while Bachman would reorganize with his former BTO band mate Fred Turner transforming Ironhorse into Union. That didn't go too well either, lasting just one album with Bachman revamping BTO for a 1984 studio album and a 1986 live record coinciding with the band appearing as opening act for Van Halen's '5150' tour.


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Comments

#1 | super80boy on February 06 2016 15:52:07
The snappy chorus and swirling keyboards in 'What's Your Hurry Darlin'' make for a standout cut. Side Two's 'Playin' That Same Old Song', 'Somewhere, Sometime' and closer 'Keep Your Motor Running' are solid offerings with the latter having a crunchy blues tinged approach that changes things up nicely. Their debut s/t album is worthy of a GDM review as well.

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