Icon’s ‘Night Of The Crime’ is deemed by many to be a classic melodic rock album. They are considered to be Arizona’s best rock export.
Written by: gdmonline
ALBUM: Night Of The Crime
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Stephen Clifford – vocals * Dan Wexler – guitars, guitar synthesizer * John Acquilino – guitars, guitar synthesizer * Tracy Wallach – bass * Pat Dixon – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Naked Eyes * 02 Missing * 03 Danger Calling * 04 Shot At My Heart * 05 Out For Blood * 06 Raise The Hammer * 07 Frozen Tears * 08 The Whites Of Their Eyes * 09 Hungry For Love * 10 Rock My Radio
Icon’s ‘Night Of The Crime’ is deemed by many to be a classic melodic rock album. They are considered to be Arizona’s best rock export. Icon are definitely at the heavier end of the spectrum with the twin guitar attack of Wexler and Aquilino cutting through the soundscape in true metal fashion. This album follows on from their rather heavy-handed self titled debut the year before. ‘Night Of The Crime’ by comparison to the debut, is a commercial album and very much signaled a change in direction for the band.
Songwriters were bought in to boost the creative juices of Clifford and Wexler in particular, and though the songs themselves are musically wonderful, to these ears vocalist Stephen Clifford doesn’t sound that comfortable singing someone else’s lyrics. In fact, some of the lyrical content just seems to be too clever, too poetic. That’s not surprising when you consider Bob Halligan Jnr is all over this album like a rash. In saying that though, there are some pretty special moments throughout.
The opening trio of ‘Naked Eyes’, ‘Missing’ and in particular ‘Danger Calling’ show Icon in a new light, and one which turned on melodic rock followers in 1985. There are some hark backs to the heaviness of the Icon debut such as ‘Out For Blood’, ‘Raise The Hammer’ and ‘The Whites Of Their Eyes’ but other classic moments include the sublime heartfelt ballad ‘Frozen Tears’ (a great song title dontcha think?) as well as the melodic rocking of ‘Hungry For Love’, a sizzler.
Two of the more interesting elements of ‘Night Of The Crime’ is Wexler’s venture into using Roland GR700 guitar synthesizers instead of the traditional keyboards, and Bob Halligan Jnr‘s comical attempts at verse and rhyme on songs such as ‘Missing’ and ‘Raise The Hammer’. However, he redeems himself because he also wrote the aforementioned fantastic ‘Frozen Tears’.
After the non-performance of this album in the market, Icon’s fortunes suffered somewhat. Clifford and Aquilino departed, as did Capitol Records. A new deal was stitched up with the Atlantic Records subsidiary Megaforce and the band returned with demos circa 1987, and a new album and a new lineup in 1989, but that’s another story.