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.