Icon – An Even More Perfect Union [1987]

ICON_AEMPU

What can I say about ICON? One of my Top 25 bands of the ’80s, and their fantastic 2nd album “Night Of The Crime”, The Greatest Melodic Hard AOR Album Of All Time ever, my #1 favourite.

When the awesome lead vocalist Steve Clifford quit the band after the recording of NOTC, the group auditioned hundreds of potential singers looking for the right replacement. Jerry Harrison was chosen, the new ICON then showcased for their label in an effort to persuade them that they were ready to continue. But the company drop the band. Without a deal, ICON set about resurrecting their career. Choosing a different musical approach, the group then took it upon themselves to self finance their third album.

Recorded in their native Arizona and produced by leader Dan Wexler, “More Perfect Union” was self released locally on cassette only, containing 10 tracks. Its intention was introduce the new members and melodic style to the fans and re-establish them for hopes of being signed with a new label. Thanks to the action of a rabid fan group, this ‘lost’ ICON album was properly released on CD for the first time in 1995, re-entitled “An Even More Perfect Union” including 7 previously unreleased tracks: 4 songs from the same recording sessions not included in the cassette, 2 songs written in preparation for their third major label release (“Right Between The Eyes” 1989) and a melodic rocking version of the classic christmas song “Little Drummer Boy” recorded around 1988.

“More Perfect Union” was the natural evolution of this kind of bands circa ’86-’88: melodic rock / AOR, radio-friendly tunes, with great catchy melodies and polished sound. You may like ICON or not but you can’t argue that they have done the same record twice. Full of persistent keys courtesy of the new keyboardist Kevin Stroller, this album has a really good production for an indie, and the ’95 remaster job from the old tapes by Steve Escallier (who originally produced and engineered the album with Wexler) is more than satisfactory. I can’t recommend one track, all are good, I am a sucker for this style and for this band.

“An Even More Perfect Union” was pressed in limited quantities, each one signed and numbered, and now fetches extremely high prices at auction sites. There’s also an unauthorized 2 on 1 CD (together with “Night Of The Crime”) but due to the lack of physical CD space only features 12 tracks. Recently (2009) a second reissue was released by a small label, also a fairly limited edition, and has become pretty scarce too.

Band Members
Dan Wexler – Guitars
Jerry Harrison – Vocals
Kevin Stoller – Synthesizers
Pat Dixon – Drums
Tracy Wallach – Bass
John Aquilino – Additional guitar

Tracks
01. In Your Eyes (3:56)
02. Local Heroes (4:47)
03. One Step Behind (3:42)
04. Walk Away (3:42)
05. Forever Young (3:49)
06. Lost Love (2:50)
07. Eyes Of A Prisoner (4:31)
08. Better Left Unsaid (4:29)
09. Left To Be Alone (4:58)
10. Hold On (4:35)

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Icon - An Even More Perfect Union [1987], 10.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings