ICON – Night Of The Crime [Rock Candy Remastered & Reloaded]
Few days ago it was the 33 year anniversary of “Night Of The Crime” original release, ICON‘s second LP, easily among our Top-10 greatest Melodic Hard Rock / AOR albums of all time. Coincidentally, it was requested here Icon’s self-titled debut in its remastered form, so it’s much obliged to feature as well “Night Of The Crime”, essential in your collection and this Rock Candy digitally remastered reissue is the one to get.
Few days ago it was the 33 year anniversary of “Night Of The Crime” original release, ICON’s second LP, easily among our Top-10 greatest Melodic Hard Rock / AOR albums of all time. Coincidentally, it was requested here Icon’s self-titled debut in its remastered form, so it’s much obliged to feature as well “Night Of The Crime”, essential in your collection and this Rock Candy digitally remastered reissue is the one to get.
Hailing from Phoenix, Arizona, Icon burst into the American hard rock scene in 1984 with a surprisingly mature self-titled debut, compared to Dokken, Quiet Riot and alike.
By 1985, the genre was morphing to a more melodic, AOR, polished sound and Icon and the label decided to go in this direction, so the approach for second album was completely different.
They joined talented AOR songwriter Bob Halligan Jr. to pen half the songs, and legendary Eddie Kramer produced, plus genius Ron Nevison mixed the whole thing resulting in a fan-damn-tastic piece of mid-80s AOR / Melodic Hard.
“Night Of The Crime” comprises like few in one single disc all these ’80s rock musical styles with class, ranging from punchy melodic hard rockers to heavenly AOR numbers.
You have stunning AOR gems with massive keyboards such as “Naked Eyes”, “Missing” or the awesome mid-tempo “Frozen Tears”. If you want lush melodic rockers check out the irresistible “Danger Calling”, “Shot At My Heart” or “Raise The Hammer”.
And there’s more; “Hungry For Love” is a melodic hard rock pearl, “Out For Blood” is pure double-lead guitar American Eighties Hard Rock, the ‘hair metal’ style is covered on “Hungry For Love” and on the superb (just perfect) “The Whites Of Their Eyes”.
Even the ‘arena rock anthem’ sub-genre is represented with “Rock My Radio”.
“Night Of The Crime” is a perfect compendium of all these sub-genres that ruled the middle of the glorious decade.
Icon’s musicianship is simple awesome on “Night Of The Crime”. Vocalist Stephen Clifford has a dynamic, powerful range reaching impossible octaves, the bass is fat, deep and precise, Pat Dixon’s drumming agile & smashing (both contribute to the excellent harmony vocal arrangements) and John Aquilino’s lead guitars are melodic yet punchy, with a rich tone.
But the ‘brain’ of this exciting band is the skillful Dan Wexler. This underrated musician is the orchestrator here; his guitar riffs, sublime keyboards and the great use of the synth guitar (unusual in this kind of genre) are the foundation of the band’s style in this album. Discovered by Alice Cooper (who helped to get Icon’s signed by Capitol Records) while he was still in high school in Arizona and playing in the first incarnation of the band (The Schoolboys), Wexler has played, written and arranged songs anonymously for many major acts during the ’80s & ’90s.
An then you have another remarkable aspect: “Night Of The Crime” is the perfect example of mid-80s US Rock sound.
Produced by legend Eddie Kramer (Kiss, Hendrix, Beatles) who has provided a polished, glazed, brilliant sound, and mixed & engineered by the best of all times (in my humble opinion): Mr. Ron Nevison (Survivor, Led Zeppelin, Heart, Damn Yankees), “Night Of The Crime” is, sound-wise, one of the best representation (again) of the Eighties.
There’s a very good remaster of this album done by Axe Killer, but I prefer this Rock Candy job: sharper, “Night Of The Crime” was voted 3rd Best AOR album of all time by legendary Kerrang! magazine readers, and without a doubt, well deserved.
Icon’s “Night Of The Crime” is much more than ‘a must have’, this is simple ESSENTIAL into any AOR / Melodic Hard collection.
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
Stephen Clifford – vocals
Dan Wexler – guitar, synth guitar
Tracy Wallach – bass, vocals
John Aquilino – guitar
Pat Dixon – drums
BUY IT !