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Articles Home » 1984 Articles » Icon - 1984 Icon
Icon - 1984 Icon

LABEL: Capitol
SERIAL: ST-12336
YEAR: 1984
CD REISSUE: 1993, Capitol (Japan), TOCP-8055 * 2000, Axe Killer, 3056732


LINEUP: Stephen Clifford - vocals * John Aquilino - guitars * Dan Wexler - guitars * Tracy Wallach - bass * Pat Dixon - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 (Rock On) Through The Night * 02 Killer Machine * 03 On Your Feet * 04 World War * 05 Hot Desert Night * 06 Under My Gun * 07 Iconoclast * 08 Rock 'n' Roll Maniac * 09 I'm Alive * 10 It's Up To You

A rather engaging band from Arizona, who sent heads a-spinning around the 1983/84 timeframe with an excellent full-on debut metal album. You have to give Icon some credit. The album cover depicting some god-like entity in the shape of a tempest or whirlwind, spewing forth a burst of energy. Much of the same can be said of Icon's music, clean energetic metal which helped typify the burgeoning metal scene within the USA.

The Songs
The band were given a push from the head of Shrapnel Records, Mike Varney. In fact, he produced this album, the results enough to bring Capitol Records to the table, with a young bonafide act on their roster getting ready to duel with other young hopefuls on display in some of the recognised HM powerhouses of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York. Icon's sound was a youthful display of power, melding Judas Priest style crunch in their own US flavoured style. Surely with song-titles like 'Killer Machine' and 'Hot Desert Night' the Priest connection is immediately made. Elsewhere, the powerful introduction that is 'Rock On Through The Night' was enough for metallers and melodic rockers to sit up and take notice. Indeed, the review in the UK Sounds Magazine at the time, made this band better known in Europe rather than in the USA! The duel axework of Aquilino and Wexler provide the shred factor, similar to rivals Derek Frigo and Josh Ramos from the early lineup of Le Mans, though with more precision and less OTT antics from that pair! Listen to the sonic affair that is 'Under My Gun', an absolute monster of a track bar-none! Not far behind is the commercial metal heard on 'Rock 'n' Roll Maniac', the chugga-chugga guitarwork sends this track off the rails. The band tail off with a power ballad of sorts.. 'It's Up To You'. Personally, I don't think ballads are their thing, something they explored further on in their career, with mixed results unfortunately.

In Summary
For most of this site's pink and fluffy brigade, Icon really started to appeal with their next album 'Night Of The Crime', a more commercialised brand of metal with melodic rock leanings. However, one cannot go past their career history without first stopping off and acknowledging this mammoth slice of 80's US metal, all the more important considering it's their debut.

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#1 | jeffrey343 on January 01 1970 01:00:00
I got this record pretty much the first time I saw it in early summer 1984, right about the time I graduated from high school. I played it to death for several months and kept a cassette recording of it in my car. I pretty much forgot about it during the 90s & 00s until I bought the CD earlier this year. Unfortunately, this is not one that has aged that well for me. 'Night Of The Crime' appeals to me much more now.
#2 | Jokerdean on March 07 2006 18:46:57
This is one of my Faves of the 80's. icon should have been huge!
I dunno why they didn't make it.Killer guitars and riffs galore.
Top notch songs,groove,feel,sound,style....I guess I'm just
showing my age....but for me This is what Great Music has....
a must have!Cool
#3 | reyno-roxx on June 30 2008 09:27:39
It always amused me that the original band name was The Schoolboys! What WERE they thinking?!
#4 | dangerzone on July 10 2008 05:56:31
This is one of the greatest albums of the decade. True metal.
#5 | DIGITAL on November 01 2008 16:27:15
The guitars are awesome on this record, it's a shame for the band that they never became as succesful and sold the amount of records that they deserved, this album is as good a album in it's field you are likely to hear. top stuff.
#6 | sabace on November 07 2008 14:34:28
much more metal than night of the crime, strong judas priest influence!
#7 | rkbluez on June 09 2012 23:37:05
I might be in the minority here as usual but I'll take this kick ass monster of an album over 'Night Of The Crime' any day...this album has balls and totally rocks and has some amazing riffs and solo's...these guys musically could compete easily with any other band doing this kind of music and probably blow them away.

Don't get me wrong 'Night Of The Crime' is a solid album and much more radio friendly...but for me it was a disappointment after owning this killer first album and playing it to just seemed so watered down...a lot of the raw power that made Icon so great was gone...replaced with a lot more keyboards and songs penned by other people.

Wish Rock Candy would release this monster of an certainly deserves there top notch treatment.
#8 | gdazegod on September 03 2013 02:32:19
This would make a great Rock Candy reissue.. agreed RKB.
#9 | gdazegod on April 03 2016 11:49:58
I raised the point 3 year ago, and I'll repeat it, why hasn't this been picked up by either Wounded Bird or Rock Candy?
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