Friday, May 31, 2019

"No Promises" by Icehouse

Song#:  2785
Date:  07/05/1986
Debut:  95
Peak:  79
Weeks:  9
Genre:  Rock, New Wave

Pop Bits:  This Australian band first got on the US Pop chart back in 1981 with "We Can Get Together," a track from the US version of their self-titled debut album. It seemed to be a good start for them, but their next two albums failed to get any singles on the Pop chart. They had better luck back home scoring two further Top 10 hits and that allowed them to record their fourth studio LP Measure for Measure. This first single got things kicked off and it would do well on the US Rock and Dance charts getting to #7 and #9, respectively. It would cross over to the Pop chart for a couple of months, but couldn't manage to get out of the basement. It wasn't a major hit, but it did help the album get to #55, which was their best showing on the US chart to this point. Another track from the album, "Cross the Border," would be a minor entry on the Rock chart reaching #19.

ReduxReview:  The groove of this song along with its arrangement is strongly reminiscent of the David Bowie/Pat Metheny track "This Is Not America." It also doesn't help that band leader Iva Davies' vocals are akin to Bowie's. Even his inflections are quite similar. It's not close enough to be called a rip off, but the band had to have been influenced by the Bowie track (with shades of a-ha too). It's actually a quality, atmospheric track that nicely rolls along. The only thing that it's missing is a more memorable hook, which may be what held it back at Pop. The band would unleash more commercial friendly songs on their next LP, but at least this one got them re-noticed in the US.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  In 1985, the band's lead singer/songwriter Iva Davies was commissioned to write a score for choreographer Graeme Murphy's ballet Boxes. Davies did the work along with his bandmate and songwriting partner Bob Kretschmer. It was created for the Sydney Dance Company. A soundtrack of the work was recorded and released in Australia as by Icehouse. In other territories like the US, it was credited to the Sydney Dance Company. The song "No Promises" was part of the music for the ballet. The tune was edited for the band's Measure for Measure album and released as its first single. One other song from the ballet, "Regular Boys," was also used on the new album.


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