1985 brought a new drive to Icehouse since the previous album, “Sidewalk” saw a marked shift downward from the growth curve that had moved from “Icehouse” to “Primitive Man.” The pressure was on, but the band had now gelled around the Iva Davies/Bob Kretschmer writing nexus. Guy Pratt was present on the album, but with all of his many irons in the fire, something had to give and he was replaced for touring the fourth album with Glen Krawczyk. The album was “Measure For Measure” and it went a far distance in making up for the commercial slack that had happened with “Sidewalk.” Once more, there would be North American releases and a more vibrant mixture of mixes and B-sides to fuel this proposed BSOG.
Icehouse Rarities 1985-1987
• The Perfect Crime
Though the “Measure For Measure” CD contained the first bonus tracks on an Icehouse album, “The Perfect Crime” was not amongst them, not was it on the OZ 12″ of this title.
• No Promises [OZ Ext. mix – 6:09]
Local man Warne Livesy remixed “No Promises” for 12″ release in the Southern Hemisphere. There were three instrumental B-sides from “Boxes” included instead of “The Perfect Crime,” but given that the “Boxes” OST is available separately, these instrumentals will not fall within the scope of this proposed compilation.
• No Promises [Club mix – 8:45]
• No Promises [Dub – 5:10]
• No Promises [Inst. – 4:40]
As usual, the A-side was remixed by local talent for North America. Steve Thompson + Michael Barbiero got the nod here, and not for the first time with this band. When reviewing my collection, I was certain that I had all of the many US Chrysalis commercial and promo-only singles locked down, but this one is scandalously absent from the Record Cell! Memo to self…
Baby, You’re So Strange [a.k.a. Single Measures] OZ EP
• Too Late Now – 310
• Into The Wild – 4:52
• Just A Word – 4:14
The Ziggy-esque rocker “Baby, You’re So Strange” sported 3 non-LP B-sides as the “Single Measures” EP. Available in Australia only as a 12″ and 2×7″ with all the same tracks.
• Mr. Big [Ext. ver. – 5:56]
• Sister [live@Tivoli]
• No Promises [live@Tivoli]
A third single got an extended remix by Livesy again for the OZ and German markets. Live tracks from the Tivoli concert began to filter out on B-sides.
• Cross The Border [Ext. mix – 6:37]
• The Flame [live@Tivoli]
• Cross The Border [Dub – 5:41]
The muscular “Cross The Border” had been the track I was waiting for an extended mix of. The remix was by Michael Brauer and in a rare move, it’s the only mix on either side of the equator. The US 12″ lacked sleeve art and swapped the 7″ mix of the A-side for the live track.
• No Promises [live@The Ritz – 4:37]
• Cross The Border [live@ the Ritz – 4:39]
America and England got the fine mid-tempo ballad “Paradise” as a single and the US promo 12″ featured live cuts from the band’s NYC visit instead of the Tivoli show in Sydney.
• Crazy [Mad mix – 6:18]
• Crazy [Midnight mix – 4:41]
The lead single from the band’s monster fifth album was available in mixes by David Hemming and Davies himself.
Next: …An explosion of Colours
Seeing Icehouse live on the Measure To Measure tour was a singular treat. At the time, The Ritz either attracted a crowd of hipster/record company sycophants or really, intensely devoted fans of the band performing. My memories may be colored by time, but I seem to remember this was a audience of the latter.
That Thompson/Barbieri remix of No Promises is possibly one of their most minimal transformations. They took some of the similar care with No Promises that they gave to their attention to Tears For Fears at around the same time. Nothing is lost and there is a driving pulse that T/B capture and elevate. This was a big song to begin with and they respected that power that Davies/Kretschmer along with Rhett Davies created.
Paradise is one of my favorite Icehouse songs. Davies lyrics are just beautiful poetry. The chorus is musically simple and stirring.
Echorich – Thankfully, the Ritz show on MTV [“Live At The Ritz”] broadcast at least an hour of the concert, as I recall. I have a videotape of it in the Dead Media Archives but it’s recently been added to the DLX RM on the OZ “Man Of Colours” bonus DVD as one of two concerts included. Which I need to get.
I also have a Westwood One radio show on vinyl for the MeasureTo Measure tour. It has some interesting deeper cuts like Regular Boys and Angel Street. Since this project may be a collaborative effort to get all the stray bits covered, maybe this should be considered?
Mr. Ware – !!! There’s no record of that on the web to my knowledge. Absolutely!
Measure For Measure had some brilliant deep album cuts – The Flame & Angel Street being two of the very best songs they’ve ever released and Spanish Gold being a gem too. Combine those with No Promises, Paradise & Cross The Border and this is one gem of an album. Cross The Border was a massive KROQ hit back in the day.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have seen the band live three times and once as DubHouse (their back catalogue reimagined as reggae songs, two shows – Melbourne & Sydney, and immortalized on the DubHouse Live CD only available here in Australia) since I’ve moved to Australia – they’ve reactivated back in 2011/2012 I believe and have been selling out shows ever since. Sadly, not many cuts from this LP make the set list these days – Cross The Border is always there and No Promises is played on occasion (but never when I’ve seen them)
Rob C – Well, the massive “Man Of Colours” album eclipsed the almost perfect “Measure For Measure” album to become the standard-bearer for Icehouse, unfortunately. Artistic peaks will always lose out to commercial peaks. Particularly when nostalgia is driving the bus. I’ll never forget the first time that “Lucky Me” jumped out of the speakers at me! It was terribly exciting and the least likely thing I ever expected form them at that time.