On 10 October 1980, a young Australian band called Flowers released their debut album.
Led by the singing, songwriting and multi-instrumental talents of Iva Davies, the band had been constantly touring Australia over the prior 3 years building a substantial live following which helped drive their debut single, Can’t Help Myself, to masses of airplay and sales.
To celebrate this 40 year milestone, ICEHOUSE performed the songs from the album, and some very special cover versions which marked the band’s beginnings, earlier this year at a 40th anniversary event at St Kilda Festival in Melbourne (which was also celebrating its 40 years). That sold out, dual anniversary performance is set to be released on Friday 30 October documenting the timeless thrill the music continues to bring, with ICEHOUSE Plays Flowers, now available for pre-sale at https://icehouse.lnk.to/ipl along with some special merchandise packs at bandtshirts.com.au/shop/icehouse.
The debut album was titled Icehouse after one of the songs Davies had crafted about an old, eerie house near to where he lived at the time and the album’s artwork, which was very unusual for the time, was created by Flowers’ drummer, John Lloyd.
Within days of its release, the record label and the band knew they had a smash hit album on their hands with it quickly going Gold continuing on to multi-platinum sales.
30 years later, on release of an Anniversary Edition of the album, Beat Magazine said “The album is replete with killer material” (December 2010), a tribute to Iva Davies’ songs having stood the test of time.
The Icehouse album spawned 4 x Top 30 singles in Australia and both the album and singles quickly found major chart and sales success here and in New Zealand.
Flowers was used to relentless touring which continued in the months following the release, to larger and larger and wilder and wilder audience reception with Icehouse remaining among the highest selling debut albums by an Australian band.
The success caught the attention of many international record companies and the band signed to Chrysalis Records in early 1981. But there was a problem – there was another band called Flowers which controlled the name in some territories. So after much soul searching, Flowers became ICEHOUSE and the album was released into the international market.
The change of name didn’t affect the love and impact of the songs on the album which has continued to impress fellow artists at the time and find new fans over the years.
Iva Davies shared his thoughts on the new ICEHOUSE plays Flowers album:
“All of us, the band and the incredibly dedicated crew who have been working with us these last ten years, put an intense amount of work into preparing for this one very special show.
“I committed to using my Gibson Black Beauty Les Paul guitar (which is the guitar I used originally in 1980) and we went to work rehearsing the songs (some of which I’d barely played in 40 years).
“I knew it would be a tough set to keep up with. But what I wasn’t prepared for was the explosion of energy that possessed the band that night. These were, after all, songs played by a band that had its roots in the hard and fast punk movement of the late 70’s. (and we were only in our early 20’s at the time so we had plenty of energy!).
“Listening back to the evening, and the succession of break neck high-energy songs, I’m amazed at what happened that night on St. Kilda beach.
“I will always value the opportunity of revisiting that special time, and those early songs.”
40 years later Flowers’ debut album remains one of the most impressive debuts in Australian music history.
ICEHOUSE plays Flowers live album will be released digitally and on CD via Universal Music Australia on Friday 30 October and on double-vinyl in November.
ICEHOUSE plays Flowers track listing:
Not My Kind
The Jean Genie
Get It On
Can’t Help Myself
We Can Get Together
Great Southern Land