Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Icehouse - Crazy

"Man of Colours" was Icehouse's fifth album; the band dates back to 1977, and began as a pub rock group from Sydney, Australia.  The group was originally called Flowers, but changed their name in 1981 (after signing with Chrysalis) to avoid legal issues, as there was a signed Scottish band with the same name.  Icehouse was chosen as it was the name of Flower's debut album in Australia, which in turn was named after a song, inspired by frontman Iva Davies' flat (apparently the building was cold and in a dodgy part of town).

Speaking of Iva Davies, it is worth pointing out that Icehouse really was his band, as he was the lead singer and songwriter for Icehouse.  (He also played keyboards and guitars on their studio recordings).  The other members of the band tended to turn over every few years (with a few exceptions).  [This explains why both videos below feature Iva so much.]

As with many Australian bands, they were much bigger in their home market than they were abroad.  Icehouse had 18 top 40 hits in their homeland between 1980 and 1990; in contrast they had 2 in the U.S. -- "Crazy" (which hit #14) and "Electric Blue" (Co-written by John Oats of Hall & Oats, which peaked at #7).  By the way, "Electric Blue" was their only #1 in Australia, although "Crazy" did hit #3.  While the band's success diminished after 1990, they have remained active to this date.

Lastly, it is worth noting that the band shot two videos for the song -- the first version was the Australian music video, directed by Mark Joffe:

The second version is the U.S./International version directed by John Jopson.  If that name is familiar, it is because Jopson directed a ton of videos in the 1980's, including songs by the Hooters, Poison, Choirboys, the Outfield and John Waite:

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