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Man of Colours

Man Of Colours
Studio album by Icehouse
Released AUS: 21 September 1987
USA: 22 September 1987
Recorded February to May 1987 @ E.M.I. Studios 301 and Trash Studios, Sydney, Australia and Crescent Studios, Bath, England
Genre Rock, new wave
Length 44:36 AUS 1987 LP
56:45 AUS 1987 CD
Label Regular / Chrysalis
Producer David Lord
Icehouse chronology
Measure for Measure
Man of Colours
Great Southern Land
Singles from Man of Colours
  1. "Crazy"
    Released: 8 June 1987 (1987-06-08)
  2. "Electric Blue"
    Released: 31 August 1987 (1987-08-31)
  3. "My Obsession"
    Released: 23 November 1987 (1987-11-23)
  4. "Man of Colours"
    Released: 8 February 1988 (1988-02-08)
  5. "Nothing Too Serious"
    Released: 16 May 1988 (1988-05-16)
Man of Colours
1988 Black-sleeve release (Regular Records)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic [1]

Man Of Colours is Australian rock/synthpop band Icehouse's best-selling album, which was released in September 1987 on Regular Records / Chrysalis Records.[2][3][4] The album peaked at #1 on the Australian album charts for 11 weeks from 5 October 1987[5] and has sold over 700,000 copies.[4] "Electric Blue" was their only Australian #1 single,[5] the release of the album and its singles marked the zenith of Icehouse's commercial success, both locally and internationally. Several other songs from the album also charted well.

Founding Icehouse member Iva Davies (vocals, guitars, keyboards, Fairlight CMI, Cor Anglais) was joined by Robert Kretschmer (guitars), Andy Qunta (keyboards, piano), Simon Lloyd (reeds, brass, keyboards, programming), Stephen Morgan (bass guitar) and Paul Wheeler (drums, percussion)[6] in recording the album from February 1987.

It was the first Australian album to supply five top 30 hit singles "Crazy" (3# in July), "Electric Blue" (co-written by Davies and John Oates of US band Hall & Oates)[7] (#1, October), "My Obsession" (#5, December), "Man of Colours" (#28, February 1988) and "Nothing Too Serious" (#29, May 1988).[5] With US chart success for "Crazy", which reached #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #10 on its Mainstream Rock chart, and "Electric Blue" (#7 Hot 100, #10 Mainstream), the album Man of Colours reached #43 on the Billboard 200.[8][9]

Man of Colours was lauded in Australia during 1988. The album won two ARIA Awards, 'Album of the Year' and 'Highest Selling Album';[10] the associated song "Electric Blue" won 'Most Performed Australasian Popular Work' at the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) Music Awards for its writers Davies and Oates.[11]

The cover artwork, designed by Davies and Kretschmer, depicts a human figure holding three different coloured flowers.[12] Different versions of the album have been released, the initial Australian release by Regular Records (see infobox above right) was as a ten track vinyl LP or as a music cassette or as a twelve track CD with two additional mixes of "Crazy". An alternate Limited Black Sleeve release depicted the cover art on a reversed background (see infobox bottom right) from Regular Records in Australia but had the same tracklisting. The US / UK release by Chrysalis Records had a different track order from the Australian LP, and the track lengths for the two big singles ("Crazy" and "Electric Blue") are longer on this version of the album. The 1997 Japanese CD version released by For Life Records had two different tracks added. In 2002, Warner Music Australia re-released Man of Colours, with Davies and Ryan Scott digitally remastering, including five bonus tracks.[12] In Australia, the album was also offered on three limited edition coloured vinyl pressings, which were the colours of the flowers that the human figure on the cover was holding.

Track listing

Songwriters according to Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA).[13]

Australian releases

  1. "Crazy" (Iva Davies, Robert Kretschmer, Andy Qunta) – 3:24
  2. "Electric Blue" (Davies, John Oates) – 4:24
  3. "Nothing Too Serious" (Davies) – 3:28
  4. "Man of Colours" (Davies) – 5:12
  5. "Heartbreak Kid" (Davies, Kretschmer) – 5:19
  6. "Kingdom" (Davies) – 4:52
  7. "My Obsession" (Davies) – 4:09
  8. "Girl in the Moon" (Davies, Kretschmer) – 4:01
  9. "Anybody's War" (Davies) – 4:05
  10. "Sunrise" (Davies, Kretschmer) – 5:45
  1. "Crazy" (12" Version) – 7:21 *
  2. "Crazy" (Midnight Mix) – 4:48 *

[* Denotes 1987 CD bonus tracks]

  1. "Shakin' the Cage" (Davies, Kretschmer, Qunta, Simon Lloyd) – 4:00 **
  2. "Over My Head" (Davies, Kretschmer, Qunta, Lloyd) – 3:47 **
  3. "Touch the Fire" (Davies) – 3:46 **
  4. "Jimmy Dean" (Davies, Kretschmer) – 4:00 **
  5. "Electric Blue" (Extended Mix) – 7:34 **

[** Denotes bonus tracks on Australian 2002 remastered version]

US/UK release

  1. "Crazy" (4:48)
  2. "Electric Blue" (4:38)
  3. "My Obsession" (4:07)
  4. "Man Of Colours" (5:09)
  5. "Heartbreak Kid" (5:18)
  6. "The Kingdom" (4:51)
  7. "Nothing Too Serious" (3:25)
  8. "Girl In The Moon" (4:00)
  9. "Anybody's War" (4:05)
  10. "Sunrise" (5:44)
  11. "Crazy" (12" Mix) * (7:22)
  12. "Crazy" (Midnight Mix) * (4:49)

[* Denotes CD bonus tracks]

[1], [2]

Japanese release

  1. "Crazy"
  2. "Electric Blue"
  3. "Nothing Too Serious"
  4. "Man of Colours"
  5. "Heartbreak Kid"
  6. "Kingdom"
  7. "My Obsession"
  8. "Girl in the Moon"
  9. "Anybody's War"
  10. "Sunrise"
  11. "Man of Colours" (6 am Mix) *
  12. "Shakin' the Cage" (D. Lord Mix) *

[* Denotes remix version on 1997 CD by For Life Records]

Chart positions

Year Chart Peak
1987 Australian Chart 1
New Zealand Chart 1
Billboard 200 43
UK Album Chart 49
Year Song Chart Peak
1987 "Crazy" Mainstream Rock Tracks 10
1988 Billboard Hot 100 14
1988 UK Singles Chart 38
1988 "Electric Blue" Billboard Hot 100 7
1988 Mainstream Rock Tracks 10
1988 Australian Charts 1
1988 New Zealand Charts 4
1988 Netherlands Charts 83
1988 "My Obsession" Australian Chart 5
1988 New Zealand Chart 14
1988 Billboard Hot 100 88


Credited to:[12]

Icehouse members

Additional musicians

  • Andy Cichon – bass guitar
  • Stuart Gordon – strings
  • David Lord – additional keyboards
  • Glenn Tommey – guitar, percussion
  • John Oates – guest backing vocals
  • Shena Power – backing vocals
  • Tommy Dassolo – Triangle
  • Karl Chandler – Tuba

Recording details

  • Producer – David Lord
  • Engineer – David Hemming, David Wright
    • Assistants – Carrie Motzing, Greg Henderson
  • Studio – E.M.I. Studios 301 and Trash Studios, Sydney, Australia and Crescent Studios, Bath, England
  • Mixer – David Lord, assisted by Raine Shine @ Crescent Studios, except:
    • "Crazy", mixed by David Lord, assisted by David Hemming @ E.M.I. Studios 301, Sydney
    • "Man Of Colours" mixed by Iva Davies, assisted by David Hemming @ Albert Studios, Sydney
    • "Electric Blue" and "My Obsession" mixed by Michael Brauer @ Sigma Sound Studios, New York, USA
  • Mastering: Don Bartley, assisted by David Hemming @ E.M.I. Studios, Sydney
  • Digital remastering (2002) – Iva Davies, Ryan Scott

Art work

  • Artwork – Iva Davies, Robert Kretschmer
  • Art Direction & Layout – Sue Goff
  • Photography – Hugh Stewart


Australian-born classical-crossover soprano, Grace Bawden released a version of "Man of Colours" as her debut single.[14] Her rendition of the track received Davies' blessing and was aired on national television program, Rage on 4 September 2009.[15][16][17]


  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ McFarlane, Ian (1999). Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop (doc). Allen & Unwin. ISBN . Archived from the original on 2003-05-17. Retrieved 2008-07-03. 
  3. ^ Grech, Jason (2004-07-23). "An interview with Iva Davies". Countdown Memories. Retrieved 2008-07-03. 
  4. ^ a b "Artist: Icehouse". Warner Music Australia. Retrieved 2008-07-03. 
  5. ^ a b c Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970-1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN .  NOTE: Used for Australian Singles and Albums charting from 1970 until ARIA created their own charts in mid-1988.
  6. ^ Holmgren, Magnus. "The Flowers / Icehouse". Australian Rock Database. (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 29 September 2013. Retrieved 21 March 2014. 
  7. ^ Electric Blue" search result""". Australasian Performing Right Association. Retrieved 2008-06-25. 
  8. ^ singles charts"Billboard". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-06-11. 
  9. ^ albums charts"Billboard". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-06-13. 
  10. ^ "ARIA Awards winners by artist". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Retrieved 2008-06-13. 
  11. ^ "APRA Music Awards – winners 1988". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Archived from the original on 2008-07-23. Retrieved 2008-06-13. 
  12. ^ a b c (import bonus tracks) credits"Man of Colours". allmusic guide. Retrieved 2008-07-05. 
  13. ^ "Australasian Performing Right Association". APRA. Retrieved 2008-07-02.  Note: requires user to input song title e.g. CRAZY
  14. ^ Man of Colours, Debut Single 
  15. ^ ReverbNation 
  16. ^ Vlach,Anna,Adelaide Confidential,"Iva shows good grace", 25 August 2009
  17. ^ Rage Playlist 
Preceded by
Diesel and Dust by Midnight Oil
Australian Kent Music Report number-one album
5 October - 20 December 1987
Succeeded by
Freight Train Heart by Jimmy Barnes
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