is an Australian rock band, formed as Flowers
in 1977 in Sydney. Initially known in Australia for their pub rock style, they later achieved mainstream success playing new wave and synthpop music and attained Top 10 singles chart success in both Europe and the U.S. The mainstay of both Flowers and Icehouse has been Iva Davies (singer-songwriter, record producer, guitar, bass, keyboards, oboe) supplying additional musicians as required. The name Icehouse, which was adopted in 1981, comes from an old, cold flat Davies lived in and the strange building across the road populated by itinerant people.Davies and Icehouse extended the use of synthesizers particularly the Sequential Circuits Prophet-5 ("Love in Motion", 1981), Linn drum machine ("Hey Little Girl", 1982) and Fairlight CMI (Razorback
trailer, 1983) in Australian popular music. Their best known singles on the Australian charts were "Great Southern Land", "Hey Little Girl", "Crazy", "Electric Blue" and "My Obsession"; with Top Three albums being Icehouse
(1980, as Flowers), Primitive Man
(1982) and Man of Colours
(1987).Icehouse's iconic status was acknowledged when they were inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame on 16 August 2006. ARIA described Icehouse as "one of the most successful Australian bands of the eighties and nineties... With an uncompromising approach to music production they created songs that ranged from pure pop escapism to edgy, lavish synthesised pieces...
" Icehouse has produced eight Top Ten albums and twenty Top Forty singles in Australia, multiple top ten hits in Europe and North America and album sales of over 28 times Platinum in Australasia alone. As of 2006, Man of Colours
was still the highest selling album in Australia by an Australian band.1990-1992: Code Blue
Qunta left at about this time with Icehouse recording their next album, Code Blue
released in October, it was a more ambitious but flawed work. Singles released from the album were "Big Fun" which peaked at No. 47 on the ARIA singles charts in August, "Miss Divine" at No. 16 in October and "Anything is Possible" at No. 49 in January 1991. For Code Blue
recording, Icehouse were Davies, Lloyd, Morgan and Wheeler, for touring they added guitarist Paul Gildea and keyboardist Roger Mason (ex-Models). In 1992, EMI released a compilation, Masterfile
containing a new version of "Love in Motion" also released as a single featuring Davies in a duet with Christina Amphlett of Divinyls.
1993-1995: Full Circle, Big Wheel and BerlinFull Circle
, an entire album of remixes was recorded during 1993, it included the track "Shakin' the Cage" which was released on the Spin One
EP in early 1993 and was followed by the album Big Wheel
in November, which contained the singles "Satellite" in October and "Big Wheel" in March 1994, while the Full Circle
album itself was not released until December 1994; neither albums nor singles had any Top 40 chart success.By 1995, Davies was again involved with the Sydney Dance Company, this time with their production of Berlin
. The musical score was a collection of cover versions of songs by David Bowie, Brian Eno, Simple Minds, The Psychedelic Furs, Frank Sinatra, Lou Reed, Roxy Music, XTC, Talking Heads, The Velvet Underground, PiL, The Cure and Killing Joke, which saw Davies collaborating with pianist Max Lambert in the development of the music. Sessions were released as The Berlin Tapes
under the name Iva Davies and Icehouse in 1995 on DIVA (Iva Davies own label) / Massive Records for Australian release and Warner Records for international release in 2002. As well as recording the ballet score, Davies and Icehouse performed live at each performance, Berlin
ran for two seasons. During 1999 Davies, together with Richard Tognetti and Christopher Gordon, composed The Ghost of Time
as an expansion of "Great Southern Land" into a forty-minute performance for Sydney's part of the worldwide millennial celebrations. On New Year's Eve in 1999, Davies (vocals, guitar), Tognetti (violin), Guy Pratt (bass), Krawczyk (drums) ROM=Pari (Taiko - Japanese drums) and Sydney Symphony Orchestra performed The Ghost of Time
on the northern forecourt of Sydney Opera House alongside Sydney Harbour and was televised around the world on CNN and other news networks. Davies had released the solo album, The Ghost of Time
earlier in December 1999.
2001-2010: Bipolar Poems, remasters
Davies had been working in 2001, on a proposed Icehouse album to be titled Bi-Polar Poems
with tracks available since 2004 from the Official Iva Davies - Icehouse website including "Your God Not Mine". As of February 2009, the album was still unreleased. In 2002, The Whitlams covered "Don't Believe Anymore" from Sidewalk
for their album Torch The Moon
, which enjoyed moderate radio success. During 2002, Davies digitally remastered all of Flowers / Icehouse studio albums adding bonus tracks to each - they were released by Warner Music Australia. In 2003 Iva Davies contributed "Ghost of Time" and other music to the film score of the Russell Crowe epic Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
. In 2004, Heroes
, which was The Berlin Tapes
repackaged from the Australian and Japanese versions, was released. On 16 August 2006, Icehouse were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame alongside Midnight Oil, Divinyls and Rose Tattoo. Icehouse performed on 21 September 2007 with the line-up: Davies, Paul Gildea (guitars), Steve Morgan (bass), Peter Maslen (drums) and Glen Reither (keyboards, saxophone).Icehouse / Flowers featured on Triple M's 2007 Essential Countdown with 14 songs including: "Great Southern Land" at No. 13, "Don't Believe Any More" No. 78, "Street Cafe" No. 187, "Love in Motion" No. 327, "We Can Get Together" No. 428, and "Electric Blue" No. 454.From 15 June 2008, Davies was a judge on Seven Network TV series Battle of the Choirs
. Davies commented on the status of Icehouse:
"Last year and January this year we did a couple of private, corporate shows... but as far as live touring in front of the public, we haven't done that for a very long time... It's an extremely difficult thing to have to sing for two hours and in sheer practical terms I'd have to be a lot fitter than I am now... I wrote and recorded an album a while ago. That song ["Your God Not Mine"\] was written in 1998... The album [Bi-Polar Poems\] is in various states of unfinished, but I keep getting projects which interrupt me working on it..."—Iva Davies, 26 June 2008
The grand final show of Battle of the Choirs
, broadcast on 3 August 2008, had Icehouse provide a rare live performance of "Great Southern Land". For the performance, Icehouse were Iva Davies (vocals, guitar), Paul Wheeler (drums, perscussion), Paul Gildea (guitar), David Chapman (guitar), Steve Bull (bass guitar); they were supported by the three grand finalist choirs.On 14 March 2009 Icehouse reformed for Sound Relief benefit concert at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Sound Relief is a benefit concert for victims of the Victorian Bushfire Crisis and the Queensland Floods. Appearing with Icehouse at the Sydney concert were, Coldplay, Eskimo Joe, Hoodoo Gurus, Jet, Josh Pyke, Little Birdy, The Presets, Wolfmother, You Am I and additional artists.4 June 2009: Icehouse performed at the Sacred Heart Mission's "Heart of St Kilda Concert" The concert featured some of Australia's finest performers - Kate Ceberano, Joe Camilleri, Dave Hughes, Icehouse, Mark Seymour, Mick Molloy, Tex Perkins, Tim Rogers, Corinne Grant, Ash Grunwald, Greg Fleet, Blue King Brown, Dan Sultan, Scott Wilson, Brian Nankervis, Julia Zemiro, Tom Gleeson, Scared Weird Little Guys, Sean Choolburra and Celia Pacquola. On stage with Iva were Paul Gildea (guitar), Paul Wheeler (drums), Steve Morgan (bass), Glen Reither (sax/keys).
2011-present: Icehouse 30th anniversary, White Heat: 30 Hits and DubHouse Live
On 6 April 2011, Icehouse and Universal Music Australia publicly announced a new partnership for sales and distribution of the band's material. Accompanying this were details of the planned issue of a 30th anniversary edition of the band's debut album Icehouse
. This release marks the first time any of the band's catalogue has been available for commercial download. The album was released on 20 May 2011 digitally and as a multi-disc set.On 7 July 2011, the band issued a press release about the forthcoming release of a new greatest hits compilation, titled White Heat: 30 Hits
. The album was released on 26 August 2011.Icehouse have started to play live gigs around Australia. One of the most recent was at the 3 December Homebake 2011 concert, performing under the moniker of "Icehouse Plays Flowers", where they played songs from their first two albums (both released singles and unreleased songs) — "Icehouse", "We Can Get Together", "Skin", "Boulevard", "Great Southern Land" and "Sister." Keith Welsh joined them on stage, playing bass-guitar. Black-and-white original PR photos from the early 1980s were flashed as a backdrop behind the band as they played.On 12 July 2012, the entire Icehouse studio catalogue was reissued. Primitive Man
and Man of Colours
also received a bonus DVD to celebrate their 30th and 25th anniversaries respectively. The band will be promoting the two anniversary albums with the "Primitive Colours" tour.On 4th and 7th December, Icehouse performed two shows at the Esplanade Hotel in Melbourne and the Oxford Art Factory in Sydney, respectively, under the moniker of "DubHouse performing reggae-styled versions of classic Icehouse songs and old reggae favourites". These concerts spawned the release of a live album released in January 2014.