Part of one-hit wonder group post hosted by Danica at: Living a Beautiful Life
I love a non-sense lyric.
Or as the immortal Goooey would say “whatsat about?”
Nothing exemplifies the 80’s for me more than The Icicle Works single Birds Fly(whisper to a scream) with it’s nonsensical lyrics, tribal drumbeat and bass and psychedelic guitars. The chorus alone is worth the price of admission:
We are, we are, we are but your children, finding our way
Around indecision, we are, we are, we are ever helpless,
Take us forever, a whisper to a scream.
Now don’t get me wrong, this is a song I love, I also stole the lyrics from some online source so they may be wrong. Wacky lyrics do not a bad single make and this one is designed for dancing. The type of dancing that in the 80’s I excelled in, notably the joyous dervish like unrestrained twirling that only the inebriated can artfully achieve. This would in general drive all members of the opposite sex to the far corners of the room resulting in a somewhat lonely and nomadic 80’s for yours truly.
What I truly appreciate about this song is that in no way is it concerned with romantic love, the usual fodder of the 80’s pop song. It is about headier subjects, the meaning of life, spirituality, faith and yes ultimately love leading to nirvana(the state of mind not the band).
It’s a pretentious load of old codswallop as you may have guessed, or in the words of Goooey at the time “it’s bollocks but it rocks” this of course is the standard by which all great songs should be judged when we come to one-hit wonders, is it bollocks and does it rock?
Pretentious lyrics – BOLLOCKS.
Guitar/bass/drums – ROCKS.
Case closed it’s a classic.
They were so good that Dave Gilmour took them on his US tour with him which resulted in well very little attention from the record buying public in the US, which is in my opinion a shame.
The real problem for The Icicle Works may just be that they missed the wave that carried Echo and the Bunnymen and The Teardrop Explodes to success by a year or two. They continued to release excellent singles throughout the 80’s consistently not having anymore hits.
Of course if you were a UK resident at the time The Icicle Works had more than one semi-hit which had great bass playing, drumming and psychedelic guitars. You may notice in the next video the leaves are still on the trees, heavy shit man.
In fact they went on to be a rather great rock band showing a propensity for choosing excellent B-Sides for their 12 inch singles that showed that they were that most important of bands, a group of fans playing rock music.
They also managed to be the last thing heard on Stranger Things Season 2.
18 thoughts on “One-Hit Wonder Group Post: Sacrifice for a new nirvana…”
Pingback: Welcome to One-Hit Wonder Group Post! – Living a Beautiful Life
Birds Fly is one of my favorites! Intriguing standard by which to judge all one-hit wonders. I like it. I also tend to appreciate artists not taking themselves too seriously.
BTW – Can you believe I’ve never seen Stranger Things?
The standard changes with the song, there is a long tale about the importance of Seasons In The Sun by Terry Jacks based on an entirely different standard that is just as valid.
I’d like to hear that one sometime.
You need to watch Stranger Things now…
Yes right now…
Seems like it would be reason enough to get netflix…
Thanks to your dervish self and Mr Goooey for the low-down in this one, Neil.
Did you have a floppy fringe hairstyle that wiffled about as you danced?
No my hairstyle when I had hair was more the unkempt too long and in need of a brush look. I also had a nice line in flowing white shirts open to the navel.
It was a long time ago and a different waist line.
This post had me laughing out loud at both you’re wonderful turn of phrase and the memories of haircuts past.
For your other post titles alone I’m going to start following you. Thanks Danica for this fab One Hit Wonder cross over thing.
Thanks for the kind words, hope you enjoy the trawl through the past there.
I love when bands put effort into their B-sides – and I quite like that closing definition of an important band too!
Hmmm. I like psychedelic guitars. Maybe I should check them out a little more. if they were good enough for David Gilmour, they should be good enough for me. As I was reading the post and saw the title Birds Fly I thought, what the hell song is that? Then I read the lyrics. I assumed the song title was Whisper to a Scream. In all fairness it was titled this over here. Not that I cared back then as I was into the metal, but apparently a lot of Canadians did. Canada had the most successful release of the single, reaching # 19 on the Canadian charts.
Pretentious Lyrics- Bollocks. Classic!!!
Man, I was saying over on the other post about this band… I’d totally forgotten! I never got into the discography or b-sides with them, but I could see how it could happen…
I remember “Birds Fly” now. I didn’t note it too much back in the 80s because it wasn’t all things metal.