Thursday, February 18, 2021

"Electric Blue" by Icehouse

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  3409
Date:  02/13/1988
Debut:  88
Peak:  7
Weeks:  21
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  After five albums and a pair of lower charting singles, this Aussie band finally broke through in a bigger way in the US with "Crazy," the first single from their sixth album Man of Colours. The track cracked the Pop Top 20 while getting to #10 Rock. To keep up the momentum, this next single was issued out. It would also get to #10 at Rock, but this time the band was finally able to get inside the Pop Top 10. After seven years of trying, Icehouse finally had a pair of hits in the US. While the singles performed well, the album just sold okay reaching a respectable, but perhaps lower than expected #43. Ultimately, it would be their last charting album in the US and this single their one and only Pop Top 10. Back home in Australia, this song became the band's sixth Top 10 and only #1.

ReduxReview:  "Crazy" should have gone Top 10, but even its #14 showing set the band up well for this follow-up. When I first heard this track there was no doubt in my mind it was headed for the Top 10. The chorus on this song was a bit stronger than the one in "Crazy," and that is saying something. I'm sure the song's co-writer (see below), who had just a bit of experience making hit singles, helped to shape the song into something quite radio-friendly. The band was really at their mainstream peak with the Man of Colours album, which had a few other good tracks. It was too bad that they couldn't sustain or improve upon these results (at least in the US).

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  This tune was written by Icehouse's lead singer and main songwriter Iva Davies along with John Oates, one-half of the superstar duo Hall & Oates. It seems that Davies and Oates ran into each other at an airport in Australia sometime around '82 and the subject of co-writing may have briefly come up. Four years later, Icehouse was touring the US and while in New York Davies was contacted by Oates. A more serious conversation took place about writing together and it resulted in Oates flying to Sydney the following year to work with Davies. It took a while for the pair to find their footing together, but once they did, the song flowed and "Electric Blue" came out. The band got it recorded with Oates providing backing vocals. In an interview that appeared in the Aussie newspaper The Courier Mail, Davies stated that the title came from the T. Rex song "Jewel," which was a track on their 1970 self-titled album. Davies recalled a repeated line in the song that went "her thoughts are gold, her eyes electric blue" and he thought the last part would be a good song title. The article also mentioned that the band almost didn't record the song and nearly handed it over to Oates for Hall & Oates to record. Apparently, there existed a British soft-porn film series called Electric Blue and the band was leery about the song and the series getting associated. However, in the end they didn't want to give the song up and kept it.


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