Saturday, September 29, 2007

Cassingle rewind: Electric Blue • Icehouse

Label: Chrysalis
Hot 100 peak: #7 in March 1988

"What was I thinking?" index: 0 (none)

// A SIDE // I just freeze every time you see through me and it's all over you … "Electric Blue" was one of the first singles I purchased, along with "What's on Your Mind (Pure Energy)" by Information Society, at a mall record store, possibly a Record Bar. I was just becoming seriously interested in music right at the tail end of the era of vinyl singles; I can remember purchasing two 45s — "Tell It to My Heart" by Taylor Dayne and "Valerie" by Steve Winwood — just before everything went to cassettes, or "cassingles." On the heels of the excellent top 20 hit "Crazy," Icehouse's "Electric Blue," a synth-laced pop-rocker, climbed to number 7 in 1988. Singer Iva Davies' warm voice, used to great effect in the chirpy background vocal, was a perfect fit for the song, which was co-written with John Oates — it's not a stretch to imagine a Hall & Oates rendition of the song. It sounds just as inviting today as it did in 1988, and I'm surprised it hasn't become more of a staple for '80s radio flashback shows. The band never again reached the U.S. top 40.

// B SIDE // The synthesizers were largely absent in extra song "Over My Head," yielding a grittier sound. It's pleasant enough but ultimately forgettable.

// C SIDE // The Australian band's music is conspicuously absent from iTunes, and the album, Man of Colours, is not one of those you can snag off eBay for 99 cents.

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