Monday, October 25, 2010

ICON - An Even More Perfect Union (1987-95)

ICON - An Even More Perfect Union
What can I say about ICON?
One of my Top 25 bands of the '80s, and their fantastic 2nd album "Night Of The Crime", The Greatest Melodic Hard AOR Album Of All Time ever, my #1 favourite.

When the awesome lead vocalist Steve Clifford quit the band after the recording of NOTC, the group auditioned hundreds of potential singers looking for the right replacement.
Jerry Harrison was chosen, the new ICON then showcased for their label in an effort to persuade them that they were ready to continue. But the company drop the band.
Without a deal, ICON set about resurrecting their career.
Choosing a different musical approach, the group then took it upon themselves to self finance their third album.

Recorded in their native Arizona and produced by leader Dan Wexler, "More Perfect Union" was self released locally on cassette only, containing 10 tracks.
Its intention was introduce the new members and melodic style to the fans and re-establish them for hopes of being signed with a new label.
Thanks to the action of a rabid fan group, this 'lost' ICON album was properly released on CD for the first time in 1995, re-entitled "An Even More Perfect Union" including 7 previously unreleased tracks: 4 songs from the same recording sessions not included in the cassette, 2 songs written in preparation for their third major label release ("Right Between The Eyes" 1989) and a melodic rocking version of the classic christmas song "Little Drummer Boy" recorded around 1988.

"More Perfect Union" was the natural evolution of this kind of bands circa '86-'88: melodic rock / AOR, radio-friendly tunes, with great catchy melodies and polished sound. You may like ICON or not but you can't argue that they have done the same record twice.
Full of persistent keys courtesy of the new keyboardist Kevin Stroller, this album has a really good production for an indie, and the '95 remaster job from the old tapes by Steve Escallier (who originally produced and engineered the album with Wexler) is more than satisfactory.
I can't recommend one track, all are good, I am a sucker for this style and for this band.

"An Even More Perfect Union" was pressed in limited quantities, each one signed and numbered, and now fetches extremely high prices at auction sites.
There's also an unauthorized 2 on 1 CD (together with "Night Of The Crime") but due to the lack of physical CD space only features 12 tracks.
Recently (2009) a second reissue was released by a small label, also a fairly limited edition, and has become pretty scarce too.
This is a copy at maximum quality of the original '95 numbered press CD, including FULL artwork.
More than Highly Recommended; Mandatory Download

01 - In Your Eyes
02 - Local Heroes
03 - One Step Behind
04 - Walk Away
05 - Forever Young
06 - Lost Love
07 - Eyes Of The Prisoner
08 - Better Left Unsaid
09 - Left To be Alone
10 - Hold On
11 - Way Back To My Heart (prev. unreleased)
12 - Stranger Things (prev. unreleased)
13 - Strong Love (prev. unreleased)
14 - Second Hand People (prev. unreleased)
15 - Sweet Young Sinner (bonus track)
16 - Gold Bullets (bonus track)
17 - Little Drummer Boy (bonus track)

KEVIN STROLLER: Digital & Analog Syntesizers
JOHN AQUILINO: Additional Guitars



gonzaloaor said...

Totalmente de acuerdo contigo Camel.
Despues del Night Of The Crime para mi su mejor lanzamiento.
Una mezcla perfecta entre el AOR mas comercial y el Hard mas melodico
Fuerza y garra hacen de este disco un imprescindible

Camelblue said...

@ gonzaloaor :
Como estas amigo.
Un honor que visites estas paginas.
Grandisimo abrazo.

DEEMON said...

meu amigo camel,meu disco preferido de todos os tempos é justamente o night of the gosto de todos do ICON,mas night of the crime é um classico do hard/aor.acho que mr.cliford esta voltando para o icon.vamos aguardar um novo cd que dan wexler esta querendo gracar.abraço.

Anonymous said...

whoooo this is super
great songs. is this the same icon of *on your feet* ???

troynew said...

Didn't know the original of this album was such a rare, limited edition pressing that goes for a lot of money on auction sites these days.
I wouldn't mind selling my copy if the price were right. :o)

ritchie said...

Pues este disco a mi, personalmente, es el que más me gusta de Icon.
Gracias camel ;)

Camelblue said...

@ ritchie:
Un placer leerte por estas paginas amigo.
Dale las gracias a orbil (y para ti por supuesto) por esa joyita de Magnum. Como siempre impecablemente empacado.

ritchie said...

Bueno, el de Magnum es un libro, tal cual, bastante trabajoso para poder hacerle un escaneado decente, sobre todo aquí (en el trabajo), por lo que incluí lo que pude... Un abrazo amigo.

Anonymous said...

dead link!!! Re-up, please

Camelblue said...

New link added