Warming Up to the Ice Age

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Warming Up to the Ice Age
Hiatt Ice.jpg
Studio album by John Hiatt
Released January 1985
Genre Rock
Length 38:51
Label Geffen
Producer Norbert Putnam
John Hiatt chronology
Riding with the King
Warming Up to the Ice Age
Bring the Family
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau (B)[2]
Spin (favorable)[3]

Warming Up to the Ice Age was singer-songwriter John Hiatt's seventh album, released in 1985. It was his last album with Geffen Records, who dropped Hiatt after the album failed to chart. It was the last Hiatt studio album to miss the Billboard 200. "The Usual" would later be covered by Bob Dylan. "Living a Little, Laughing a Little", originally a hit for The Spinners, was a duet with Elvis Costello.

During the recording of the album Hiatt was still doing drugs and drinking which, he felt, diminished the quality of the album and also meant he was short on material. "The wholeness got dissipated by my personal problems, and I think that kind of showed up on 'Warming Up to the Ice Age'. I was drinking and drugging a lot and eventually I was consumed by it. After 'Ice Age' I got sober."[4] Influencing Hiatt's decision to become sober was the birth of his daughter Lily in 1984. Shortly after giving birth to Lily, Hiatt's estranged wife committed suicide, leaving him a single father. Hiatt remained sober throughout the "Warming Up to the Ice Age" tour, which he called a "scary experience".

The album failed to build on the critical momentum of its predecessor, Riding with the King, and Hiatt found himself without a label as Geffen dropped him from their roster.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by John Hiatt, except where noted

  1. "The Usual" – 3:46
  2. "The Crush" – 4:11
  3. "When We Ran" – 4:44
  4. "She Said The Same Things To Me" – 4:01
  5. "Living A Little, Laughing A Little" – 4:03 (Thom Bell, Linda Creed)
  6. "Zero House" – 3:41
  7. "Warming Up To The Ice Age" – 3:42
  8. "I'm A Real Man" – 2:32
  9. "Number One Honest Game" – 4:26
  10. "I Got A Gun" – 3:48


  • John Hiatt - guitar, vocals
  • Jesse Boyce - bass guitar, rhythm guitar on "The Usual" & "The Crush"
  • Larrie Londin - drums
  • Randy McCormick - keyboards
  • Willie Green, Jr. - bass vocals on "The Crush" & "She Said The Same Things To Me"
  • Bobby King - background vocals on "The Crush"
  • Elvis Costello - vocals on "Living A Little, Laughing A Little"
  • Jon Goin - guitar on "Living A Little, Laughing A Little", "Zero House", "Warming Up To The Ice Age"
  • Mac Gayden - rhythm guitar on "She Said The Same Things To Me"
  • Frieda Woody - vocals on "Living A Little, Laughing A Little" & "She Said The Same Things To Me"
  • Jerry Hey - trumpet on "The Usual" & "The Crush"
  • Gary Grant - trumpet on "The Usual" & "The Crush"
  • Chuck Findley - trombone on "The Usual" & "The Crush"
  • Bill Reichenbach Jr. - trombone on "The Usual" & "The Crush"
  • Larry Williams - saxophone on "The Usual" & "The Crush"
  • Kim Hutchcroft - saxophone on "The Usual" & "The Crush"


  1. ^ Ruhlmann, William. Warming Up to the Ice Age at AllMusic. Retrieved 12 August 2011.
  2. ^ "Consumer Guide, John Hiatt reviews". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 12 August 2011. 
  3. ^ O'Brien, Glenn (May 1985). "John Hiatt – Warming Up to the Ice Age". Spin. Vol. 1 no. 1. p. 31. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  4. ^ John Schinder, 2001 liner notes for "John Hiatt Anthology", Hip-O