ICON – Icon [Axe Killer / Bad Reputation digitally remastered]
This baby was requested by one of you, ICON‘s self-titled debut “Icon’ digitally remastered by Axe Killer Records, a version not easy to find but one that worth every penny because the quality sound obtained is fantastic.
Originally known as Schoolboys, Icon was formed in 1981 in Phoenix, Arizona by high school friends Dan Wexler (guitar), Stephen Clifford (vocals) and Tracy Wallach (bass). They were joined by future King Kobra guitarist David Henzerling and John Covington (drums). Schoolboys released an EP “Singin´ Shoutin´” and had a few songs on compilation albums.
In 1983, the band was signed to Capitol Records, and changed its name to Icon. By this point, Henzerling, and Covington had left the band and were replaced by John Aquilino (guitar) and Pat Dixon (drums).
While the band opted for big hair and spandex image, the sound of their debut ‘Icon’ is quite heavy, very melodic and catchy, but edgy.
As in a similar case to what happened with King Kobra, their first effort was an excellent expression of 80’s hard / US metal – however “Icon” sounds much heavier, as mixture between Dokken, Lizzy Borden and Quiet Riot.
“Icon” had all the necessary elements to become a big success back in 1984 when the new wave of American hard rock exploded by the hand of Quiet Riot’s Metal health.
They had Mike Varney (renowned owner of Shrapnel Records) as manager, but after recording the album taking notice of their big potential, he decided to “sell” them to Capitol Records. The sound, style and songwriting of the album was way better than most of the things recorded back in the day, specially for a debut album.
The catchy and punchy ‘On Your Feet’ was an instant hit, it ruled MTV for weeks and it’s one of Icon’s best songs ever, and a mid-80s US hard rock classic.
But the rest of the albums is great as well, with other tracks with strong hit potential such as ‘(Rock On) Through the Night’, the epic ‘World War’, or the midtempo / metal semi-ballad ‘It’s Up to You’.
And obviously they also counted with a really awesome singer as Stephen Dixon, and an excellent guitar team formed by Dan Wexler and John Aquilino (Mike Varney would never sign a band without good guitar players).
“Icon” is killer rocking album, simply one of the best US Hard Rock LP released in 1984.
This Axe Killer remaster is excellent, one of the best I heard from them. The original Eighties CD release sounds flat as most the pressings from the era, but this Axe Killer reissue is a blast: punchy but perfectly balanced not killing the harmonics.
A HIGHLY Recommended piece of polished US hard rock from a band that shoulda been huge.
You’ve seen it first here, at 0dayrox
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 – Iconclast
08 – Rock ‘N’ Roll Maniac
09 – I’m Alive
10 – It’s Up to You
Stephen Clifford – vocals
Dan Wexler – guitars
Tracy Wallach – bass, vocals
John Aquilino – guitars
Pat Dixon – drums
BUY IT !