Friday, October 23, 2020

"Crazy" by Icehouse

Song#:  3296
Date:  10/17/1987
Debut:  95
Peak:  14
Weeks:  21
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  Since 1980, this Australian band had been having solid success at home gathering a string of hits including four Top 10s. Their success in other countries was spotty including in the US where they could only manage two minor Pop chart entries including 1985's "No Promises," which got to #79 (#7 Rock, #9 Dance). Then came their sixth album Man of Colours. This first single was released and at home it became the band's fifth and biggest to-date Top 10 hit (#4). The song then started to take hold in the US eventually getting to #10 at Rock while cracking the Pop Top 20. The news would get even better with their next single.

ReduxReview:  While this band was extremely popular at home, their music didn't necessarily translate well internationally. They finally mixed the right formula for mainstream success with this song. The whole tune was very good and well-produced, yet it was the hooky chorus with that dreamy chord progression that got them close to pop perfection. The song really should have ducked inside the Top 10, but making the Top 20 was a definite win.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  The original video for this song that was shown in Australia was set up to be filmed in one continuous take. Directed by Mark Joffe, the video followed lead singer Iva Davies walking around an abandoned power station while crazy things happen around him like explosions, motorcycle stunts, and even a car crash. For some reason, it was decided that the video wasn't quite right for an international audience and a second one was filmed to be show in places like the US. The second version, directed by John Jopson, was a bit of an homage to the 1971 thriller Play Misty for Me. That film, which starred Jessica Walter and Clint Eastwood, served as Eastwood's first directorial effort. The plot was about a late night DJ who ends up having a causal fling with a woman who had been calling into his show asking for him to play the song "Misty" (originally an instrumental written by Errol Garner and recorded by him in 1955 later made famous in a 1959 vocal version by Johnny Mathis, #12 Pop/#10 R&B). Things go downhill when he tries to end the relationship and she becomes revengeful and dangerous. The film was a critical and box office success with Walter getting a Golden Globe nod for Best Actress in a Drama. While the title referenced "Misty," it was another tune used in the film that would become a major hit. While working on the movie, Eastwood just happen to hear a song on the radio by a new artist named Roberta Flack. He had heard her version of the 1957 Ewan MacColl folk song "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face," which was included on Flack's 1969 debut album First Take. The LP tanked upon initial release, but after people reacted to the song when used over a love scene in the movie, it was decided a single release was in order. It ended up becoming a major hit reaching #1 Pop/#4 R&B/#1 AC and going gold. In turn, First Take would then hit #1 Pop/#1 R&B and go platinum nearly four years after its original release. The song would then go on to win the Grammy for Record of the Year, the first of two consecutive Record of the Year wins for Flack (the second one was for her hit "Killing Me Softly" #1 Pop/#2 R&B/#2 AC).


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