I don’t know when I heard Crazy for the first time, but I still know that I was electrified by the song. I knew Icehouse from their first international hit single Hey Little Girl, which was played over and over again on the radio here. And I remember Street Café and No Promises; both songs were also minor hits here during the 80ies. But none of those songs touched me like Crazy did. But let’s go back first.
Australians Icehouse released their first album simply called after the band in 1980. Well, that’s only half the truth: the band’s name in their homeland was still Flowers by then (as it was since the beginnings in 1977), and it was only changed to Icehouse for the release of the album in the US. The debut became a success in Australia and sparked some interest in the U.K. as well. But it was only with their second album Primitive Man when the rest of the world took notice of Icehouse. Not only did this album include Hey Little Girl, but also Street Café and another of my personal favourites, Great Southern Land (which was used in Aussie-Comedy Young Einstein by the end of the 80ies… very memorable scene!). This album was less synthies, more rock, and it seemed to be the right way for the band to go.
The next album Sidewalk was released in 1984, followed by Measure For Measure in 1985. Although both albums were received well, none of it made as big as an impact like Primitive Man. And then came 1987 , and with it the release of Man Of Colours, their best-selling album to date. Above-mentioned epic Crazy and second single Electric Blue were the standout tracks, but also the title track and the semi-ballad Heartbreak Kid have grown into classics. Man Of Colours was the peak in Icehouse‘s musical history as neither of the follow-up albums (Code Blue in 1990 and Big Wheel in 1993) were as successful. Many Best-Of- and Remix-albums were released during the last decade, and in August last year, Icehouse were inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Australian Recording Industry Association.
Frontman Iva Davis never quit making music; he wrote scores for Dance Companies and movie soundtracks, most famous being 2003’s score to Russel Crowe’s vehicle Master & Commander. And apparently, there is a new Icehouse album in the works called Bi-Polar Poems. News about the release is rather blurry; I’ve found some sites that think it will be released this year (but then, I also found some sources that say it has been released last year…). Anyway, the official site of Icehouse/Iva Davies has a new song as a free download, and it really doesn’t sound too bad. And the fact that the band has an official MySpace-site shows that something must be going on…
Here are a few songs for you. Let’s start with some album versions:
And then some remixes. That fabulous Manic Mix of Crazy from 1987 (I’ve spent years searching for that one!!!), a great mix of No Promises from the remix-album Meltdown, released in 2002, and from that very same album, a nice mix of Man Of Colours.
And here’s that new song from Bi-Polar Poems:
And last but not least, two videos:
Electric Blue (I’ve posted this only for the nice haircut of Iva! 🙂 )
Great Southern Land (Great song, great country, great video… slightly better haircuts! 🙂 )