Monday, August 2, 2021

"My Obsession" by Icehouse

Song#:  3570
Date:  07/09/1988
Debut:  92
Peak:  88
Weeks:  4
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  The Aussie band finally grabbed their one and only Pop Top 10 in the US with "Electric Blue," the second single from their album Man of Colours. The track, which was co-penned by John Oates, reached #7 (#10 Rock) with the LP getting to #43. For a follow-up single, this next song was selected. It failed to gain an audience and only spent a month at the bottom of the Pop chart. Back in Australia, the song would do much better getting to #12. In the US, this would be the last single released from the album. Back home, the LP would spawn two more Top 30 singles. Man of Colours would end up spending eleven weeks at the top of the Australian chart and would win the ARIA award (Australia's Grammy equivalent) for Album of the Year.

ReduxReview:   This was a nicely done track, but it just wasn't as big and hooky as their previous two hits. Those tracks were instantly memorable. This one needed time to sink in. Unfortunately, the US pop audience around the time was a bit impatient and if they couldn't get into a song right away, chances were good it would get ignored and this one did. While the tune wasn't destined to be a Top 10 contender, it should have done a bit better. A Top 40 appearance would have been appropriate.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Around the same time that Icehouse member Andy Qunta co-wrote the band's hit "Crazy" (#14 US Pop), he also co-wrote a huge hit for an Australian superstar. Along with Chris Thompson, Maggie Ryder, and Keith Reid, Qunta would compose "You're the Voice," a song that got recorded by Australian singer John Farnham. It would be the lead single from Farnham's 1986 album Whispering Jack and would spend 7 weeks at #1 on the Australian chart. The album would end up spending 25 weeks at the top of the chart. It would become the biggest selling album in Australia by an Aussie artist and second best selling ever ranking just under Meat Loaf's mega-hit Bat Out of Hell. Farnham was in a career rut at the time. He had been a teen idol in the late 60s/early 70s scoring several hits, but his popularity significantly waned around 1975. He became the lead singer for the Little River Band in 1983 and grabbed a hit with the US #11 "The Other Guy," but he left the band in '86 to try and reignite his solo career. He gambled a lot on rebranding himself with Whispering Jack and it paid off big time. Since then, every one of Farnham's studio albums has hit #1 or #2 in Australia. In the US, he is virtually unknown. "You're the Voice" and Whispering Jack were both issued in the US, but neither charted. However, "You're the Voice" would be reissued in the US in 1990 after "Two Strong Hearts," a single from his next album Age of Reason, got to #38 on the US AC chart. The reissue would become Farnham's only single to reach the US Pop chart peaking at #82. Rock fans in the US may be more familiar with a remake of the song. In 1991, Heart would perform the song live and it would be included on their album Rock the House Live!. That version would be issued out as a single and it would get to #20 on the Rock chart. A studio version by the band had been recorded for their 1990 album Brigade, but it was left off the final track listing. It would later be released on a hits collection.


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