Icehouse Biography

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CHRONOLOGY

1977
Late 1997, Iva Davies, ex-oboe and composition student at the New South Wales Conservatorium of Music joins with rock bass player, Keith Welsh, to form a band called Flowers.

1978
Early 1978, the band gains popularity on the Sydney pub and club circuit playing note-perfect versions of Marc Bolan, Lou Reed, T-Rex, David Bowie, Iggy Pop, The Kinks and Brian Eno songs. Record companies recognise the band's popularity and offer contracts even though the band has no original material.

1979
Iva Davies re-established an old friendship with Cameron Allan who is director of Sydney based independent label, Regular Records.

1980
Band signs with Regular Records in January. First single Can't Help Myself is released in May and goes Top 10 in Australia. First album by Flowers titled Icehouse is released in October. The album charted at Number 4 nationally and remained in the charts for a staggering 45 weeks! This album eventually achieve quadruple platinum status (in excess of 300,000 albums sold). Icehouse becomes the biggest selling Australian album in New Zealand, also achieving quadruple platinum status.

1981
The band signs a deal with Chrysalis Records. Iva Davies travels to America to remix the new album for world markets. The band changes its name to Icehouse. A short UK tour begins in London, then a North American national tour. During this time in Australia, Icehouse release the single Love in Motion which peaks at number 10 in the charts. After North America the band travel back to London where a unique touring deal is struck whereby Icehouse supports Simple Minds in the UK and Simple Minds support Icehouse in Australia at a later date.


1982
Iva Davies starts work on the Primitive Man album. Hey Little Girl goes Top 20 in the UK, both single and album go Top 5 in Germany with hits in Holland, Belgium, France and Switzerland. David Bowie invites Icehouse to appear with him in the UK and Holland. Both tours are very successful. Bowie and Peter Gabriel invite the band to appear on their US tours. Due to a previous commitment with their fellow Australian video director Russell Mulcahy to compose and record the soundtrack to Russell's firth feature film Razorback, the band are unable to accept either invitation. In August/September, Iva is back in Australia and does a crash course in the use of the Fairlight Computer. By December, he completes the soundtrack to the film and subsequently wins an APRA Award and is nominated for an AFI Award.

1984
Iva commences writing the new Icehouse album, Sidewalk. During recording, each vocal on the album is used first take to get a more live feel. Andy Hilton engineers the records and David Jerden mixes each song once only.

1985
Iva and Bob Kretschmer work on the ballet BOXES with the Sydney Dance Company. In addition to scoring the ballet they also co-write the script with Graeme Murphy. BOXES with the Sydney Dance Company. In addition to scoring the the ballet they also co-write the script with Graeme Murphy. BOXES opens at the Sydney Opera House in December. Iva performs in an acting/singing/dancing role to sold-out crows for three weeks straight.

1986
the new album Measure for Measure is released and reaches No. 8 on the album charts. Extensive touring around Australia and the US keeps the band occupied. The single No Promises is a success in America. The remainder of 1986 is spent in the studio working on tracks for the next album.

1987
The first single from the album Man of Colours is titled Crazy and reaches No. 4 on the national charts while the album enters in at No. 1. The album remains in the charts for 56 weeks. In the US Crazy comes in as the 3rd Most Added Track at radio. Icehouse tour the U as special guests to The Cars in September and October.

1988
Crazy peaks at Number 14 on the US Billboard chart. Icehouse tour New Zealand. The band perform Electric Blue in front of Prince Charles and Princess Diana at the Royal Bicentennial Concert, Sydney. This is recorded and satellited to the US and aired live on the American Music Awards.

Electric Blue debuts at No. 88 on the Billboard charts. Icehouse tour Australia. Man of Colours is voted Australian Album of the Year at the 1988 ARIA Awards. Icehouse commence US headline tour in April. Electric Blue peaks at No. 7 on Billboard whilst the album peaks at No. 48. Man of Colours reaches No. 1 in New Zealand, No. 38 in UK, Top 10 in Germany & Holland and stays at No. 1 in Australia for 11 weeks. The album sells in excess of 600,000 units going platinum an unbelievable 7 times. This set an Australia record for the Biggest Selling Australian Group Album of all time on the domestic market. It is still the largest selling album by an Australian band ever released in Australia.

Icehouse wins Rock Group of the Year at the 13th Annual Mo Awards. They commence second headline tour in the US and play their final show for 1988 to 25,000 at Brisbane's World Exp. The band take a well deserved break and Iva Davies starts writing for a new studio album to be released in 1989.

1989
Icehouse commence national Australian tour late in February. The single Touch The Fire is released on the 25th September. It stays in the Australian charts for 12 weeks reaching No. 13 nationally. A compilation titled Great Southern Land is released on the 23rd October and goes multi-platinum in Australia. Electric Blue wins the APRA Award for Most Performed Australian Work. During the year Code Blue was written and recording was commenced.

1990
Flowers AKA Icehouse tour at the beginning of the year and continue until April. Fourth single from Code Blue, Where the Rivers Meets the Sea, is released. It feature a retrospective of Flowers material as well as some cover versions which had been the band's forte in their early years. Davies signs with Australian independent The Massive Record Company. First release for the new label is Masterfile, an Icehouse retrospective which is released before Christmas and goes on to become multi-platinum in Australia.

1992
Love in Motion with Christina Amphlett (lead singer with The Divinyls), produced by studio guru Bil Laswell, is released. Major project titled Full Circle (still to be released in Australia) is commenced. Full Circle is a collection of remixes of old Icehouse material by Bill Laswell, 808 State and General Dynamics. In December Iva Davies begins work on a new project with will result in the album Big Wheel.

1993
Full Circle is released overseas. A four track sampler titled Spin One is released in Australia. The single Satellite is released on September 6th accompanied by a video featuring "erotic goddess" Christie McNicole and well known actor Marcus Graham in drag. Davies gives notice of his interest in recording cover versions of songs which have influenced him by releasing a live version of the Brian Eno/Robert Fripp song Blank Frank. Big Wheel, which includes a Macintosh computer interactive floppy disk, is released on 22nd October. Icehouse starts touring Big Wheel. Davies creates his own in-house production company DIVA Records.

1994
Big Wheel tour continues until May. The band comprised David Chapman (guitar), Paul Gildea (guitar), Paul Wheeler (drums), Steve Morgan (bass), Simon Lloyd (keyboards, sax). In July Davies starts work on BERLIN. Davies is approached by Graeme Murphy from The Sydney Dance Company to contribute to the ballet FORNICON.

1995
Release of The Berlin Tapes - a collection of cover versions of songs by David Bowie, Eno/Bowie, Simple Minds, The Psychedelic Furs, Frank Sinatra, Lou Reed, Roxy Music, XTC, Talking Heads, The Velvet Underground, PiL, The Cure and Killing Joke. The Sydney Dance Company work on creating a ballet which becomes BERLIN.

As well as recording the score to the ballet, Iva performed these songs live with Icehouse at each show. He was an intrinsic part of the ballet, in a role similar to the one in BOXES. Iva was extremely successful in creating a translation from the dancers to the audience. BERLIN was an instant success and ran for two seasons. Both BOXES and BERLIN were two of the most successful shows that The Sydney Dance Company have had to date.

1998
Iva Davies has spent time in Japan, Germany and the UK writing material for his forthcoming album.

1999
New Year's Eve Millennium performance "Great Southern Land" at Sydney Opera House.

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