Icehouse

Icehouse was an Australian new wave band from Sydney that released five albums on Chrysalis between 1981 and 1987, followed by a trio of titles on Massive during the 1990s. The band were originally called Flowers and released their first album, Icehouse, under that name on Regular in 1980. The name-change was prompted by the album’s Northern Hemisphere issue the following year, when it was decided that the title was more congruent with the band’s musical style and image.

Members: Iva Davies (lead vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards, oboe), John Lloyd (drums, percussion, 1981-84), Keith Welsh (bass, vocals, 1981), Robert Kretschmer (guitar, backing vocals, 1982-89), Andy Qunta (keyboards, guitar, backing vocals, 1982-88), Guy Pratt (bass, backing vocals, 1982-86), Michael Hoste (keyboards, 1982-83), Simon Lloyd (saxophone, trumpet, keyboards, backing vocals, 1984-91), Paul Wheeler (drums, percussion, 1985-present), Glenn Krawczyk (bass, 1986), Steve Morgan (bass, backing vocals, 1987-91)


Background

Icehouse formed in 1977 when multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Iva Davies teamed with bassist Keith Welsh. Davies was working part-time at a squash court owned by Welsh’s mom.

Davies (b. Ivor Arthur Davies, May 22, 1955, Wauchope) had studied oboe and composition at the New South Wales Conservatorium of Music. In 1971, at age 16, he was briefly contracted to M7 Records with the Lucy Fields Jug Band, but a change in company hands thwarted the project. In 1974, Davies performed Handel’s Concerto for Oboe in E♭ major with the Strathfield Symphony. His first single, “Leading Lady” (b/w “I’m Gonna Give You All My Love”), appeared on RCA Victor in 1975. Its followup, “Back to California” (b/w “I Can Reach You”), was co-credited to Afghan.

Davies, Welsh, and keyboardist Michael Hoste named their new band Flowers. They hit the local pub circuit playing covers by Ultravox, Brian Eno, Roxy Music, and David Bowie. In 1979, John Lloyd (ex-Paul Kelly and the Dots) joined on drums and Hoste temporarily cleared way for keyboardist Anthony Smith. After signing with indie Regular Records, the band debuted with the single “Can’t Help Myself” (b/w “Send Somebody“) in May 1980.

“Send Somebody” (B-side to “Can’t Help Myself”) Davies, Hoste 3:42


Icehouse

Flowers released their debut album, Icehouse, in October 1980 on Regular Records. They following spring, the band renamed itself after the album and signed an international deal with Chrysalis, which issued Icehouse in June 1981 in Europe and North America.

1. “Icehouse” (4:22)
2. “We Can Get Together” (3:46)
3. “Fatman” (3:53)
4. “Sister” Iva Davies, Michael Hoste (3:22)
5. “Walls” (4:22)

6. “Can’t Help Myself” (4:41)
7. “Skin” Davies, Hoste (2:41)
8. “Sons” (4:32)
9. “Boulevarde” Davies, Hoste (3:14)
10. “Nothing to Do” Davies, Hoste (3:22)
11. “Not My Kind” (3:35)

Recorded January 1980
Studio Studios 301 (Sydney), Paradise (Sydney)

Iva Davies – vocals; guitar; oboe; keyboards
Michael Hoste – keyboards; piano (8) (replaced by Smith during recording sessions)
John Lloyd – drums; backing vocals
Anthony Smith – keyboards; backing vocals
Keith Welsh – bass guitar; backing vocals

Additional musicians
Ian Moss – guitar on “Skin”
Geoff Oakes – saxophone on “Sons”
James SK Wān – bamboo flute

Production team
Producer: Cameron Allan, Iva Davies
Engineer: John Bee, David Cafe, Gerry Nixon
Studios: Studios 301 except “Can’t Help Myself” and “Send Somebody”, recorded at Paradise Studios.

Cover art: John Lloyd
Inside art: Geoff Gifford
Photography: Grant Matthews

“We Can Get Together”
Released: September 1980
“Paradise Lost” (Instrumental – B-side to “We Can Get Together”) (5:53)

“Walls”
Released: January 1981
“All the Way” (B-side to “Walls”) (3:50)

“Icehouse” / “All the Way” (live)
Released: June 1981 (US only)

Australian (Kent Music Report)[10] 4
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[11] 2


Primitive Man

Icehouse released their second album, Primitive Man, on September 20, 1982, on Chrysalis.

1. “Great Southern Land” 95:19)
2. “Uniform” (4:14)
3. “Street Café” (4:13)
4. “Hey Little Girl” (4:25)
5. “Glam” (Instrumental) (3:27)

6. “Trojan Blue” (5:03)
7. “One by One” (4:02)
8. “Break These Chains” (3:43)
9. “Mysterious Thing” (4:26)
10. “Goodnight Mr. Matthews” (re-recording) (4:00)

Recorded May 1982
Studio Paradise Studios, Sydney; Westlake Audio, Eldorado and Musicland West Studios, Los Angeles

Iva Davies – vocals, guitar, Sequential Circuits Prophet-5, bass guitar, Linn drum machine, Fairlight CMI
Michael Hoste – keyboards (bonus tracks)
Bob Kretschmer – guitar (bonus tracks)
John Lloyd – drums (bonus tracks)
Guy Pratt – bass guitar (bonus tracks)

Additional musicians
Keith Forsey – additional percussion
Abraham Laboriel – bass guitar (bonus tracks)
James SK Wān – bamboo flute

Recording details
Mixing – Cameron Allan, Bob Clearmountain, Iva Davies, Keith Forsey
Engineer – Dave Jerden, Brian Reeves, David Price, Rick Butz
Produced – Iva Davies, Keith Forsey

Art work
Front Cover – Bill Tom
Sleeve & Back Cover Photography – Craig Dietz
Cover Concept – Janet Levinson, Iva Davies
Cover design (Love in Motion) – David Storey

“Great Southern Land”
Released: August 1982
“Uniform” (German version, B-side to “Great Southern Land” single) 4:06

“Hey Little Girl”
Released: November 1982
12″ “Glam” (12″ version, B-side to “Hey Little Girl” 12″ single) 6:34
12″ “Hey Little Girl” (12″ version) 6:59

“Street Café”
Released: March 1983
“Over the Line” (B-side to “Street Café” single) 2:46

“Uniform”
Released: 1983 (US/European release only)

Australian (Kent Music Report)[19] 3
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[20] 1


Sidewalk

Icehouse released their third album, Sidewalk, on June 24, 1984, on Chrysalis.

1. “Taking the Town” (3:34)
2. “This Time” (4:15)
3. “Someone Like You” (4:17)
4. “Stay Close Tonight” (5:09)
5. “Don’t Believe Anymore” (5:18)

6. “Sidewalk” (4:08)
7. “Dusty Pages” (4:48)
8. “On My Mind” (3:43)
9. “Shot Down” (5:02)
10. “The Mountain” (4:52)

Recorded February 1984
Studio EMI Studios 301 (Sydney), Baby-Oh (Los Angeles), El Dorado (Los Angeles)

Iva Davies – vocals; guitar; oboe; Fairlight CMI programming; drum programming
Robert Kretschmer – guitar; backing vocals
John Lloyd – drums; percussion; backing vocals
Guy Pratt – bass guitar; backing vocals
Andy Qunta – keyboards

Additional musicians
Joe Camilleri – saxophone (2, 3, 5, 10)
Remy Corps – backing vocals (1)
James SK Wān – bamboo flute

Production
Iva Davies – producer; engineer; mixing
John Brand – producer
Andy Hilton – engineer
Jim Taig – assistant engineer
David Jerden – mixing

“Taking the Town”
Released: April 1984
12″ Single
“Taking the Town (Extended Dance Mix)” – 5:11
B. “Dance On” (3:54)
“Taking the Town” – 3:32
7″ Single
“Taking the Town” – 3:32
B. “Java” (4:41)

“Don’t Believe Anymore”
Released: 2 July 1984
“Don’t Believe Anymore” [single version] – 3:50
“Don’t Believe Anymore” [full version] – 5:26
B. “Je N’y Crois Plus” (3:48)

“Dusty Pages” / “Stay Close Tonight”
Released: 26 November 1984

New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[14] 2
Australian Albums (Kent Music Report)[12] 8


Measure for Measure

Icehouse released their fourth album, Measure for Measure, on April 21, 1986, on Chrysalis.

1. “Paradise” Iva Davies (4:47)
2. “No Promises” (4:40)
3. “Mr Big” (3:33)
4. “Angel Street” (4:46)
5. “The Flame” Davies (5:11)

6. “Regular Boys” (3:30)
7. “Cross the Border” (4:25)
8. “Spanish Gold” Davies (4:17)
9. “Lucky Me” (aka “American Way”) (4:38)
10. “Baby, You’re So Strange” (3:59)

Recorded August 1985
Studio Crescent Studios (Bath), Whitehouse (Livingston), Air Studios (London)

Iva Davies – vocals, guitar, keyboards (Fairlight CMI), drum programming, bass guitar
Simon Lloyd – reeds, brass, trumpet, keyboard programming, Fairlight CMI
Robert Kretschmer – guitar
Guy Pratt – bass guitar, fretless bass guitar
Andy Qunta – keyboards, backing vocals
Steve Jansen – drums, percussion (2, 5, 7)
Masaki Tanazawa – drums, percussion

Additional musicians
Brian Eno – backing vocals, piano, keyboards
Stuart Gordon – strings
Maurice Green – backing vocals
Gasper Lawal – percussion
David Lord – keyboards, string arrangement, percussion
Shena Power – female voices
Glen Tommey – percussion

Recording
Engineer – Rhett Davies, David Lord, Andy Lyden, Iva Davies, Warne Livesey
Assistant – George Shilling, Matt Howe
Mastering – Paul Ibbotson
Mixing – David Hemmings, Warne Livesey, Glen Tommey
Assistant – Raine Shine
Producer – Rhett Davies, David Lord (1,4,6,8,9)

Artwork
Brett Cabot – Cover Photography
David McKenzie – Artwork

“No Promises”
Released: 28 October 1985

7″ single (UK/Europe release)
“No Promises” – 4:10
B. “The Perfect Crime” (3:34)

12″ single (Australian/NZ release)
1. “No Promises” (extended mix)
2. “The Tempest”
3. “Gravity”
4. “Terra Incognito”

“Baby, You’re So Strange”
Released: 10 March 1986

“Mr. Big”
Released: 16 June 1986

“Cross the Border”
Released: 20 October 1986

“Paradise”
Released: 1986 (US and UK only)

New Zealand Albums (RMNZ) 2
Australian Albums (Kent Music Report) 8


Man of Colours

Icehouse released their fifth album, Man of Colours, on September 21, 1987, on Chrysalis.

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)

Recorded February – May 1987
Studio EMI Studios 301 (Sydney), Trash (Sydney), Crescent (Bath)

Iva Davies – vocals, guitars, keyboards, Fairlight CMI, cor anglais
Robert Kretschmer – guitars
Simon Lloyd – reeds, brass, keyboards, programming
Stephen Morgan – bass guitar
Andy Qunta – keyboards, piano, backing vocals
Paul Wheeler – drums, percussion

Additional musicians
Andy Cichon – bass guitar
Stuart Gordon – strings
David Lord – additional keyboards
Glenn Tommey – guitar, percussion
John Oates – backing vocals on “Electric Blue”
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 – EMI Studios 301 and Trash Studios, Sydney, Australia and Crescent Studios, Bath, Somerset

Art work
Artwork – Iva Davies, Robert Kretschmer
Art direction and layout – Sue Goff
Photography – Hugh Stewart

“Crazy”
Released: 8 June 1987
B. “Completely Gone” ()

“Electric Blue”
Released: 31 August 1987
B. “Over My Head” (3:48)

“My Obsession”
Released: 23 November 1987
B. “Your Confession” (4:12)

“Man of Colours”
Released: 8 February 1988

“Nothing Too Serious”
Released: 16 May 1988

Australian Albums (Kent Music Report) 1
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ) 1
US Billboard 200 43


Discography:

  • Icehouse (1981)
  • Primitive Man (1982)
  • Sidewalk (1984)
  • Measure for Measure (1986)
  • Man of Colours (1987)
  • Code Blue (1990)
  • Big Wheel (1993)
  • The Berlin Tapes (1995 • Iva Davies & Icehouse)

Sources:

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