The Icicle Works


Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards - Ian McNabb
Vocals, Bass Guitar - Chris Layhe
Drums, Percussion - Chris Sharrock 



Release Type: Album
First appeared in chart (at position): 28/09/1985 (55)
Last seen in chart (at position): 12/10/1985 (97)
Length of time in chart: 3 weeks
Highest position in chart: 55 

Date Move Position
28/09/1985  New Entry  55
05/10/1985  Down 74
12/10/1985  Down 97


"We did Hollow Horse at Strawberry North studios in Stockport and it came out and flopped. Major blow. Reconvened at Studios De Miraval in La Val France a month later. It was like being at Colditz. Lots of arguments with the producer. A mistake which cost us dearly. Good songs, wrong vibes. Arista in the U.S. heard it and promptly dropped us labelling what they heard as 'Punk rock demos.' A disappointment. No hits. It was a shock to all of us." IMc 


There's actually nothing small about the Icicle Works' second album. Like early U2, Big Country, and Simple Minds, the Icicle Works paint with a large canvas; on The Small Price of a Bicycle, the Icicle Works don't stray from their formula of mammoth guitar riffs and epic choruses. While the LP doesn't have the bewitching wintry feel of the group's self-titled debut, Ian McNabb's husky voice compensates for the overall lack of immediate hooks. The galloping bass and sweeping vocals of "Hollow Horse" should've been as successful in the U.S. as the band's only American hit, "Birds Fly (Whisper to a Scream)." "We'll be as we are/When all the fools who doubt us fade away," McNabb bellows defiantly on "Hollow Horse," lyrics that are as catchy as the "We are, we are/We are but your children" singalong of "Birds Fly." Filled with high drama and a ceaselessly driving beat, "Hollow Horse" nearly stomps the rest of the album into mashed potatoes. "Perambulator" exposes the Icicle Works' more aggressive side, one that McNabb would explore further on his Head Like a Rock LP, while "Seven Horses" is more of the same, McNabb's throaty voice riding on a wave of colossal guitars and thumping basslines. The Small Price of a Bicycle has its boring moments, such as "All the Daughters (Of Her Father's House)," but McNabb's passion breathes life into every lyric. Even when the Icicle Works falter, McNabb goes down with guns blazing. 


[UK LP] Beggars Banquet BEGA 61

[UK LP] Beggars Banquet BEGA 61 Labels

[Japan LP] Virgin Records,Toshiba EMI 25VB 1051

[Japan LP] Virgin Records,Toshiba EMI 25VB 1051 Labels 

[UK Cassette RE] Beggars Banquet BBC 61

[UK CD RE] Beggars Banquet BBL 61 CD


[UK LP] Beggars Banquet BEGA 61
[UK Cassette] Beggars Banquet BEGC 61
[UK CD] Beggars Banquet BEGA 61 CD
[Germany LP] Virgin Schallplatten GmBH 207 214-620
[New Zealand LP] Beggars Banquet BEGA 61
[Japan LP] Virgin Records,Toshiba EMI 25VB 1051
[UK CD RE] Beggars Banquet BBL 61 CD
[UK Cassette RE] Beggars Banquet BBC 61
[UK CD RE] Beggars Banquet BBP 61 CD


Track Title Composer Time Notes
1* Hollow Horse Chris Layhe
Ian McNabb
2 Perambulator Chris Layhe
Ian McNabb
3 Seven Horses Ian McNabb 4:12
4 Rapids Ian McNabb 4:32
5 Windfall Ian McNabb 4:13
6 Assumed Sundown Ian McNabb 5:53
7 Saint's Sojourn Ian McNabb 4:33
8** All The Daughter's (Of Her Father's House) Ian McNabb 4:40
9 Book Of Reason Ian McNabb 3:45
10 Conscience Of Kings Ian McNabb 4:48


Producer | Wally Brill
Engineer | Richard Manwaring, assisted by Jacques de Jacques
* Producer | Hugh Jones
** Producer | Geoff Muir and The Icicle Works. 


UK LP | Beggars Banquet BEGA 61
On the labels: 
BEGA 61 
℗ & © 1985 Beggars Banquet 
Published by Chappell Music Ltd. 
Manufactured in the UK 

On the sleeve: 
BEGA 61 

This LP was recorded at; Studios de Miraval, Le Val, France; Strawberry North, Stockport; R.G. Jones, Wimbledon; Square One Studio, Bury and Angel Studio, Islington

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