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Ice on Fire, released in November 1985, is the nineteenth studio album by Elton John. Recorded at Sol Studios, it was his first album since Blue Moves produced by his original long-time producer, Gus Dudgeon. David Paton and Charlie Morgan appear for the first time on bass and drums respectively, replacing original band members Dee Murray and Nigel Olsson. Fred Mandel, who had played with John during the Breaking Hearts tour, also contributed guitar and keyboards. George Michael, then of Wham!, appears on two tracks on the album: "Nikita" and "Wrap Her Up". Other notable guests include Nik Kershaw, Sister Sledge, Pino Palladino, Mel Gaynor and Millie Jackson, who duetted with John on "Act of war". Roger Taylor and John Deacon of Queen play drums and bass guitar on "Too Young".

Ice on Fire
Ice on fire.jpg
Studio album by
Released4 November 1985
RecordedJanuary - June 1985 at the Sol Studios, Cookham, Berkshire
GenreSoft rock, pop rock, new wave
LabelGeffen (US)
Rocket (UK)
ProducerGus Dudgeon
Elton John chronology
Breaking Hearts
Ice on Fire
Leather Jackets
Singles from Ice on Fire
  1. "Nikita[1]"
    Released: 29 October 1985 (UK), February 1986 (US)
  2. "Wrap Her Up[2]"
    Released: November 1985
  3. "Cry to Heaven[3]"
    Released: February 1986
  4. "Soul Glove (Spain Only) [4]"
    Released: 1985
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic2.5/5 stars[5]
Rolling Stone(not rated)[6]

The album was met with little praise, and only reached #48 on the US charts, although it reached #3 in the UK. "Nikita" and "Wrap Her Up" became top 20 hits, the former reaching #7 in the US and #3 in the UK. In the US it was certified gold in June 1986 by the RIAA.


Track listingEdit

All songs written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, except where noted.

Side oneEdit

  1. "This Town" – 3:56
  2. "Cry to Heaven" – 4:16
  3. "Soul Glove" – 3:31
  4. "Nikita" – 5:43
  5. "Too Young" – 5:12

Side twoEdit

  1. "Wrap Her Up" (John, Taupin, Davey Johnstone, Fred Mandel, Charlie Morgan, Paul Westwood) – 6:21
  2. "Satellite" – 3:57 (4:37 on CD reissue)
  3. "Tell Me What the Papers Say" – 3:40
  4. "Candy by the Pound" – 3:56
  5. "Shoot Down the Moon" – 5:09
  • Sides one and two were combined as tracks 1–10 on CD releases.

Bonus track (On the 1985 original CD and the 1992 MCA reissue)Edit

  1. "Act of War" (Duet with Millie Jackson) – 4:43

Bonus tracks (1999 Mercury reissue)Edit

  1. "The Man Who Never Died" (John) – 5:12
  2. "Restless" (Live 1984) – 4:25
  3. "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" (Live 1977) (Erroneously listed as "Live 1984") – 3:23
  4. "I'm Still Standing" (Live 1984) – 4:52

The remastered 1999 version did not include "Act of War"; the 1999 remaster had a longer intro to "Satellite" than the LP and the 1985 CD issue, and has a slightly different vocal mix. The live version of "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" is not the version found on the 12" single of "Nikita", but is an unreleased version from 1977 (Live at Rainbow Rock in May). It is unknown why the switch occurred. The other two live tracks were recorded at Wembley Stadium during the tour for the album Breaking Hearts.

According to Elizabeth Rosenthal in her book, His Songs: The Musical Journey of Elton John (p. 260; First edition), the LP's closing track, "Shoot Down the Moon", was considered for the James Bond film A View to a Kill, but the producers instead decided to go with the title track as performed by Duran Duran.

"The Man Who Never Died" is a song written about John Lennon, in addition to "Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny)", from Elton John's album Jump Up!




Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[7] Platinum 70,000^
France (SNEP)[8] Gold 100,000*
Germany (BVMI)[9] Gold 250,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[10] Gold 50,000^
Sweden (GLF)[11] Platinum 100,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[12] 2× Platinum 100,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[13] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[14] Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone



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  2. ^
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  5. ^ Ice on Fire at AllMusic
  6. ^ [1] Archived 2 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1986 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association.
  8. ^ "French album certifications – Elton John – Ice on Fire" (in French). InfoDisc. Select ELTON JOHN and click OK. 
  9. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Elton John; 'Ice on Fire')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie.
  10. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Elton John – Ice on Fire" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Enter Ice on Fire in the "Artiest of titel" box.
  11. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1987−1998" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden.
  12. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Elton John; 'Ice on Fire')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien.
  13. ^ "British album certifications – Elton John – Ice on Fire". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Ice on Fire in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  14. ^ "American album certifications – Elton John – Ice on Fire". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  15. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970-1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  16. ^ " Elton John - Ice on Fire" (ASP). Hung Medien (in German). Retrieved 2011-10-29.
  17. ^ Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 2011-10-29
  18. ^ " Elton John - Ice on Fire" (ASP). Hung Medien (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved 2011-10-29.
  19. ^ " Elton John - Ice on Fire" (ASP). Hung Medien. Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 2011-10-29.
  20. ^ " Elton John - Ice on Fire" (ASP). Hung Medien. VG-lista. Retrieved 2011-10-29.
  21. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  22. ^ " Elton John - Ice on Fire" (ASP) (in Swedish). Retrieved 2011-10-29.
  23. ^ "Elton John - Ice on Fire -" (ASP). Hung Medien (in German). Swiss Music Charts. Retrieved 2011-10-29.
  24. ^ "Chart Stats - Elton John - Ice on Fire" (PHP). UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 2011-10-29.
  25. ^ "allmusic ((( Ice on Fire > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". Retrieved 2011-10-29.
  26. ^ "Album Search: Elton John - Ice on Fire" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 2011-10-29.
  27. ^ "Complete UK Year-End Album Charts". Archived from the original on 19 May 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
  28. ^ " - Jahreshitparade 1986" (in German). Hung Medien. Archived from the original (ASP) on 12 October 2011. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
  29. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1986". RPM. Retrieved 2011-10-03.
  30. ^ "Les Albums (CD) de 1986 par InfoDisc" (in French). Archived from the original (PHP) on 9 February 2012. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  31. ^ " - Schweizer Jahreshitparade 1986". Swiss Music Charts (in Swedish). Hung Medien. Archived from the original (ASP) on 23 March 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
  32. ^ "Billboard.BIZ - Year-end Charts - Billboard 200 - 1986". Retrieved 2011-10-24.