Tuesday, 2 September 2008

“Primitive Man”/"Love In Motion" by ICEHOUSE. 1982/1983 Australian Pop Classics Remastered To Perfection By Their Creator IVA DAVIES!

This album was originally released in 1982 in the USA and Australia as "Primitive Man". However, confusion arises because it was re-issued in the UK in 1983 as "Love In Motion" with a different track list and different front cover. The UK 1983 version had the same inner sleeve as the original 1982 issue, which is what's reproduced in the expanded CD booklet here. This CD is called "Primitive Man" because it's been based on the USA issue (Warner Brothers Remasters).

The original 1982 LP "Primitive Land" tracks were:
Side 1. 1. Great Southern Land 2. Uniform 3. Hey Little Girl 4. Street Cafe 5. Glam
Side 2. 1. Trojan Blue 2. One By One 3. Break These Chains 4. Mysterious Thing 5. Goodnight Mr. Matthews

The 1983 UK LP "Love In Motion" tracks were:
Side 1. 1. Uniform 2. Street Cafe 3. Hey Little Girl 4. Glam 5. Great Southern Land
Side 2. 1. Trojan Blue 2. Love In Motion 3. Mysterious Thing 4. One By One 5. Goodnight, Mr. Matthews

The 11 tracks spread across both of the LP variants above are all on this 17-track CD along with 6 extras added on:
"Over The Line", "Glam (12" Version)", Uniform (12" German Version)", "Street Cafe (Single Mix)", "Can't Help Myself (Live)" and "We Can Get Together (Live)"

The bonus tracks mostly gather up rare 12" single B-sides - like the German sung version of "Uniform" which is incredibly difficult to find on original vinyl - so they're all welcome inclusions here.

I bought these albums in the 80's and loved their sound then - and still do - a sort of Australian Cars meets Roxy Music meets Talk Talk meets Spandau meets Thomas Dolby meets Prefab Sprout meets...well you get the idea. Icehouse' sound is I suppose closest to the hypnotic and superb synth melody of "Heartbeat City" by The Cars. It hasn't dated either like some of the dire 80's productions.

They were re-issued in the USA at the very beginning of CD re-issuing (about 1987 and 88) and they were better than the vinyl versions then, but only ok soundwise - as most of those early CDs were. These new IVA DAVIES (principal songwriter in the band) remastered versions from 2002 are fabulous - superb sounding - and stacked with bonus tracks that will thrill fans. There's little hiss on the tracks, he's not cranked the treble for effect - in fact, they're just muscular in their sound - really great.

"Great Southern Land", "Street Cafe", the groove of the funky instrumental "Glam" - all ripe for rediscovery.

Of their albums, I recommend heartily the superb "Sidewalk" from 1984 where they seemed to hit their stride and "Measure For Measure" with the stunning "No Promises" from 1986. "Man Of Colours" too from 1987 is another peach - the 2002 reissue contains the 2 bonus 12" mixes of "Crazy" that were on initial releases of the CD + 5 more bonus tracks.

Icehouse are held in great affection - and on rehearing these albums again - in this glorious sound quality - it's easy to see why.

Great band - superb sounding re-issues with fan-pleasing extras. Way to go guys.

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