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2023 Albums Thing 168 - The Icicle Works “Seven Singles Deep”

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This one really should sit after the next one but it’s my collection and I’ll file it however I want, OK ? As the title suggests this is a singles compilation that I bought on cassette when it was originally released in 1986. On the cassette the 7 tracks that make up this LP were all on side one and on side 2 were another 7 songs that I presume were B-sides but that don’t appear on this album and I really need to get around to replacing them. The other note about this record is that 6 of the 7 singles that appear here do so in their extended/12” remix versions and not the regular single versions.

The Icicle Works were a very, very good singles band. “Birds Fly (Whisper To A Scream)”, “Love Is A Wonderful Colour”, “Hollow Horse”, “All The Daughters (Of Her Fathers House)”, “Seven Horses”, many a band would be happy to release singles of that quality over their career…those were just the Icicle Works first five ! They carried on well after that. Three of those 5 make up side 1 of this album, it’s like being pummelled with melody in the most pleasurable way imaginable.

These are prime, shiny ‘80’s pop tunes but not in that synthesised 80’s style. Ian McNabb’s guitars ring and chime, Chris Sharrock’s drums are thunderous and sound like actual drums and not machines. The choruses are where they should be and repeated enough so they are easily memorised and singalongable, McNabb is a master tunesmith to this day and delivers them in a voice that has obviously sung along to a few Scott Walker songs.

It’s a great, great collection of some sublime singles.

Birds Fly (Whisper To A Scream) (Frantic Mix) - https://youtu.be/k1isvLNnark?si=yTkZOS5UTfLF7T85

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