This weekend it’s an Aussie band on the leading edge of their greatest success. Iva Davies and company originally called themselves Flowers, but were forced to take on a new name after signing with Chrysalis Records for international distribution; they settled on using the title song of their debut album. I did hear “Icehouse” a time or two back in 81 after a friend down the street told me about it.
Personnel changes were the order of the day over the next few years. It wouldn’t be until 86’s Measure for Measure that they came to my attention again: both “No Promises,” which kinda brings to mind now “This Is Not America,” and “Cross the Border” got play on the AOR stations within my hearing that summer and fall. I didn’t dislike the songs, but can’t say I found them much more than serviceable, either. (Re-listening the last couple of days makes me wonder if I shouldn’t go back and dig on them a little deeper, however.)
Their next release, Man of Colours, gave the band their two biggest hits in both the UK and US. “Crazy” was ascendant at the very end of 87 (#21 this week, heading toward #14), while “Electric Blue” would go Top 10 here and #1 in Britain. I might like “Electric Blue” a little better myself, but how can I not promote what must be one of the last videos ever made to show a 45 spinning on a radio station turntable?
Davies seems to have kept Icehouse in some form or fashion a going concern to this day, though their releases over the last fifteen years or so have all been EPs, remix albums, live recordings, or compilations.
I’m guessing another song from their debut album will be popping up here sometime in the next couple of months.