Icehouse (album)

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1980 Australian release (Regular Records)
Studio album by Flowers
Released 10 October 1980 (1980-10-10) (Aus)
June, 1981 (International)
Recorded January 1980, Studio 301 & Paradise Studios, Sydney
Genre New wave
Length 41:50
Label Regular Records
Warner Music
Producer Cameron Allan, Iva Davies
Flowers chronology
Primitive Man
(1982)Primitive Man1982
Singles from Icehouse
  1. "Can't Help Myself"
    Released: 13 May 1980
  2. "We Can Get Together"
    Released: 6 October 1980
  3. "Walls"
    Released: 1 January 1981
  4. "Icehouse"
    Released: June, 1981 (US/UK release only)
1981 UK/US release (Chrysalis Records)
1981 UK/US release (Chrysalis Records)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic (1980) 3.5/5 stars[1]
AllMusic (1981) 4/5 stars[2]

Icehouse was the debut album released by Australian rock/synthpop band Flowers, later known as Icehouse, on the independent label Regular Records in October 1980.[3] The title and the artist are sometimes incorrectly swapped, because the band changed their name from Flowers into Icehouse after this album was released. Containing the Top 20 Australian hits "Can't Help Myself", "We Can Get Together" and "Walls"; the album made heavy use of synthesisers, which would continue to be used throughout the band's career.[4][5] Founder Iva Davies wrote all the tracks including four co-written with keyboardist Michael Hoste, however Hoste was replaced during recording sessions by Anthony Smith.[3][6] In October 2010, Icehouse (1980) by Flowers was listed in the book, 100 Best Australian Albums.[7]

Flowers (1980)[edit]

Flowers were formed in Sydney in 1977 by Iva Davies (vocals, guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, oboe), a classically trained musician, and their main creative force; with bass player Keith Welsh.[3] Davies was working as a part-time cleaner at a squash court managed by Welsh's mother, they lived nearby and were both interested in forming a band.[8] Additional musicians used by Flowers in 1978 were Anthony Smith, who was some times called Adam Hall, on keyboards and Don Brown on drums.[6] The band built up a strong following as a live act around the pub circuit, providing distinctive cover versions of songs by Roxy Music, David Bowie, Lou Reed, T-Rex, Ultravox and Brian Eno.[3]

The lead track "Icehouse" had been written by Davies[9] when he lived at 18 Tryon Road, Lindfield in an old, cold flat of a two-storey mansion – across the street was a dishevelled house which had its lights on all night peopled by short-term residents.[4][8] Davies only learned it was a half-way house for psychiatric and drug rehab patients after he wrote the song.[8]

Icehouse (1981)[edit]

Following their signing with Chrysalis Records in early 1981 for the European, Japanese, UK and US releases Flowers had to change their name due to legal restrictions preventing confusion with a Scottish group The Flowers.[3][10] Therefore when the album was released on the international markets, in June 1981 by Chrysalis, it was released under the band's new name, Icehouse. For this edition of the album, all of the vocals were re-recorded and all of the music was completely remixed.

Russell Mulcahy, an expatriate Australian living in London, directed the music video for "Icehouse",[11] which was released as a single in Europe and North America.[3] The Top 10 single "Love in Motion" c/w "Goodnight Mr. Matthews" was recorded by Davies in London after the band had changed their name from Flowers to Icehouse.

Re-release (2002)[edit]

In October 2002, Warner Music released remastered and expanded copies of all Icehouse's albums[12] The 2002 re-release includes a number of tracks that were not on the original Icehouse album, including the 1981 single "Love in Motion" and its B-side "Goodnight Mr Matthews". Most of the vocals were re-recorded.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Iva Davies, except where noted.[13]

1980 Australian release[edit]

  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" (Iva Davies, Michael Hoste) – 2:41
  8. "Sons" – 4:32
  9. "Boulevarde" (Iva Davies, Michael Hoste) – 3:14
  10. "Nothing to Do" (Iva Davies, Michael Hoste) – 3:22
  11. "Not My Kind" – 3:35

This release was re-issued on CD (CD 38441) in 1987 with the following bonus tracks:

  1. "Send Somebody" (B-side to "Can't Help Myself") (Iva Davies, Michael Hoste) – 3:42
  2. "All the Way" (B-side to "Walls") – 3:50
  3. "Paradise Lost" (Instrumental) (B-side to "We Can Get Together") – 5:53

The 2002 remastered CD (0927489812) also contained the additional bonus tracks:

  1. #"Love in Motion" (Original Single Mix) – 3:41
  2. "Goodnight Mr. Matthews" (B-side to "Love in Motion") – 4:21
  3. "Can't Help Myself" (Original 10" Mix) – 3:41

Tracks 15 and 16 were recorded by Iva Davies in 1981 and credited to Icehouse.

1981 UK / US release[edit]

In June 1981, the album was released in a different form internationally, under the band name "Icehouse". This new release featured different cover art, and several tracks were remixed and/or featured re-recorded vocals. The album was also resequenced, and one track from the original album ("Nothing to Do") was omitted entirely.

  1. "Icehouse" – 4:13
  2. "Can't Help Myself" – 3:52
  3. "Sister" (Iva Davies, Michael Hoste) – 3:28
  4. "Walls" – 4:02
  5. "Sons" – 4:35
  6. "We Can Get Together" – 3:41
  7. "Boulevarde" (Iva Davies, Michael Hoste) – 3:17
  8. "Fatman" – 3:52
  9. "Skin" (Iva Davies, Michael Hoste) – 2:47
  10. "Not My Kind" – 3:36

2011 30th Anniversary Edition[edit]

Released in May 2011, this two-disc release includes the 2002 remastered version on the first disc, with the second disc containing live versions of the following songs:

  1. "Boulevarde" – 3:20
  2. "Funtime" – 2:27
  3. "Man Who Dies Every Day" – 3:54
  4. "Fatman" – 3:52
  5. "Sorry" – 3:08
  6. "Cold Turkey" – 4:13
  7. "We Can Get Together" – 3:53
  8. "Nothing to Do" – 3:24
  9. "Icehouse" – 4:50
  10. "Send Somebody" – 3:33
  11. "Sons" – 4:52
  12. "Skin" – 2:53
  13. "Walls" – 4:49
  14. "All the Way" – 4:05
  15. "Goodnight Mr. Matthews" – 3:43
  16. "Love in Motion" – 4:02
  17. "Not My Kind" – 3:43
  18. "Sister" – 3:30
  19. "Can't Help Myself" – 6:57


Chart positions[edit]

Year Chart Peak
1980 Australian Chart 4
1981 Billboard Top Pop Albums 82

The album charted at number 4 in Australia and remained in the charts for a 45 weeks. It eventually achieved quadruple platinum status (in excess of 300,000 albums sold). In New Zealand, the album also achieved quadruple platinum status.[15]


Icehouse members
Additional musicians
Production team
  • Producer: Cameron Allan, Iva Davies
  • Engineer: John Bee, David Cafe, Gerry Nixon
  • Studios: Studio 301 except "Can't Help Myself" and "Send Somebody", recorded at Paradise Studios.
  • Mastering: David Hemming, Rick O'Neil
  • Digital remastering (2002): Iva Davies, Scott Ryan, Tim Ryan
  • Cover art: John Lloyd
  • Inside art: Geoff Gifford
  • Photography: Grant Matthews


  1. ^ Icehouse at AllMusic
  2. ^ Icehouse at AllMusic
  3. ^ a b c d e f McFarlane, Ian (1999). Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86448-768-2. Archived from the original (doc) on 2003-05-17. Retrieved 2008-06-11. 
  4. ^ a b Grech, Jason (2004-07-23). "An interview with Iva Davies". Countdown Memories. Archived from the original on November 8, 2007. Retrieved 2008-06-16. 
  5. ^ "Artist: Icehouse". Warner Music Australia. Archived from the original on 2008-06-11. Retrieved 2008-06-16. 
  6. ^ a b Holmgren, Magnus. "The Flowers / Icehouse". Australian Rock Database. (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 29 September 2013. Retrieved 21 March 2014. 
  7. ^ O'Donnell, John; Creswell, Toby; Mathieson, Craig (October 2010). 100 Best Australian Albums. Prahran, Vic: Hardie Grant Books. ISBN 978-1-74066-955-9. 
  8. ^ a b c Kruger, Debbie (2005-11-02). "City Songlines". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2008-06-21. 
  9. ^ ""Icehouse" search result". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 2008-06-24. [dead link]
  10. ^ Kristion Lines and Cheryl Krueger (ed.). "The Icehouse story – bits and pieces". Spellbound: a fanzine for Icehouse. Retrieved 2008-06-11. 
  11. ^ Alex S. Garcia, ed. (2008). "Icehouse artist videography". Retrieved 2008-06-19. 
  12. ^ "Flowers – Icehouse". Warner Music Australasia. Retrieved 2008-06-25. 
  13. ^ "APRA search engine". APRA. Archived from the original on January 24, 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-24.  Note: requires user to input song title e.g. ICEHOUSE
  14. ^ "Billboard Music Charts – Search Results – Icehouse". Billboard. Retrieved 2008-06-20. 
  15. ^ "Biography at official Iva Davies and Icehouse website". Archived from the original on 2007-11-30. Retrieved 2008-04-26.