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Articles Home » 1985 Articles » Icon - 1985 Night Of The Crime
Icon - 1985 Night Of The Crime

ALBUM: Night Of The Crime
LABEL: Capitol
SERIAL: ST-12395
YEAR: 1985
CD REISSUE: 1994, ATM, ATM 3826-AH * 2000, Axe Killer, 3057332 * 2005, Rock Candy Records (UK), CANDY003


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. 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 Songs
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 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'.

In Summary
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 a new album a new lineup in 1989, but that's another story.

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#1 | sabace on July 07 2007 19:12:28
#2 | rostoned on April 12 2008 21:43:13
'Missing' is a pure masterpiece of a song. Wow!!
#3 | jeffrey343 on April 13 2008 19:23:41
This would be a candidate for 'sophomore album most different in style from debut'. I bought the first one right when it came out, and I loved it. I bought this one when it came out, and it was quite different... but I loved it too. I just couldn't believe it was the same band. Over 20 years later, though, this is the one of those two that I still play.
#4 | gdazegod on April 13 2008 20:18:17
Yeah, there was a recent thread on about that 'second album being different from the debut' thing.
#5 | Eric on June 05 2008 02:09:02
One of the few 80's melodic rock albums I can handle. Perfect stuff.
#6 | george_the_jack on June 14 2008 19:11:49
By far their best effort and a milestone of melodic hard rock/AOR era... More than a jewel in my collection! 9,7/10
#7 | rostoned on June 22 2008 17:34:21
Luckily this got reissued on CD so many times and from so many different labels! First on ATM/Bear Tracks from Germany, then on Axe Killer from France and last in 2005 on uk's Rock Candy which sports an explosive sound and an amazing, long essay by the master Derek Oliver. The final word.
#8 | reyno-roxx on July 26 2008 13:54:46
As noted in Derek's essay in the Rock Candy reissue, Stephen Clifford had actually left the band before 'Night Of The Crime' was released. The band's manager had arranged a showcase gig at the Country Club in LA to introduce the new singer, Jerry Harrison, and to prove to the record execs at Capitol that the band were still a going concern. Harrison seemingly mouthed off on stage about the suits to the natural fury of those concerned. Capitol promptly moved to drop the band within days, although the album was (surprisingly) given a release. But with zero label support it was already dead in the water.
#9 | super80boy on December 24 2013 15:13:50
The first four songs are really sharp melodic rock gems. Overall, an excellent commercial outing that has a number of songs that could have been hard rock radio favorites, like the catchy 'Rock My Radio'.
#10 | george_the_jack on April 05 2017 15:09:28
This has to be one of the best A-sides of an album from the 80's. Really, the whole first part is out-of-this-world. Performances, production, melodies all Godsent. The second part of the album (apart from the sublime ''Frozen Tears'' )doesn't follow up this high standard imo but if it had, I can't imagine how highly ''Night Of The crime'' would have been ranked today! Still an absolute masterpiece in my book and one of the best things I've ever heard in rock music.
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