Friday, 12 February 2016

50 songs to take to my grave #42: Understanding Jane

I know very little about the Icicle Works. I think I once had Birds Fly (Whisper To A Scream) on some 80s chart compilation and that was about it, until my mate Steve who I worked with in Our Price recommended Understanding Jane. There was a Best Of coming out and a newly remixed version of Understanding Jane was released as a single. Steve was usually right about such things, but in this case he was even more right than usual.

It is a great song. You know I'm a sucker for a good chorus, and this has one, but the whole damn thing is one almighty earworm that twists and turns in your brain and takes up permanent residence. The band had a troubled history, mainly because of singer Ian McNabb's control freakery, but you'd never guess it from listening to Understanding Jane.

The purists will hate me for this, but I always preferred the remixed 1992 version to the original. It just sounds fuller and bolder. That's the version I'm taking with me, anyway.



  1. I have to recommend the album - If You Want To Defeat Your Enemy... - it is such an emotionally charged and urgent album of quality rock and singer/songwriter compositions. Understanding Jane is just wonderful (either version), but it's Evangeline and When You Were Mine that are my favorite songs by Ian McNabb and his band. Icicle Works were always sort of part of Liverpool's second string, having to compete with the dominance of Echo And The Bunnymen, Teardrop Explodes and even Orchestral Manoeuvers In The Dark and China Crisis, but McNabb and Co. never shrank from the hard work it took to make a name for themselves.

  2. I'm with Echorich on Evangeline... a song I have featured to some acclaim (well, with Echorich anyway). This is a fine selection, Robster, and a band that will certainly get some attention at my place when I get to the letter I. Up in the air about which version I like better today. Just a great song all around.

  3. I expected to come out firmly in favour of the original after comparing and contrasting, but the remix really is very good isn't it?