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Thursday, 25 July 2013

1983 - US Promotional 12" [ADP 9187] - The Icicle Works - WHISPER TO A SCREAM (BIRDS FLY) - Arista ADP-9187

The Icicle Works
WHISPER TO A SCREAM (BIRDS FLY)
1983 - US Promotional 12" Single - Arista ADP-9187

Track Listing
A Whisper To A Scream (Birds Fly) (European Version) [5:20] (Ian McNabb)
Produced and Specially Remixed by Hugh Jones
B1 Whisper To A Scream (Birds Fly) (Extended Club Remix) [5:46] (Ian McNabb)
Remix by Steve Thompson
Remix Engineer - Jack Nuber
Assistant Engineer - Rick Kerr
B2 Whisper To A Scream (Birds Fly) (Single Version) [3:47] (Ian McNabb)
Produced by Hugh Jones

Credits
A: Produced and Specially Remixed by Hugh Jones
B1: Remix by Steve Thompson
Remix Engineer - Jack Nuber
Assistant Engineer - Rick Kerr
B2: Produced by Hugh Jones

Notes
Promo that comes in a white generic die-cut sleeve with a black info sticker on it.
From the debut album by Icicle Works

The Icicle Works are an English alternative rock band of the 1980s. Named after the 1960 short story “The Day the Icicle Works Closed” by science fiction author Frederik Pohl, The Icicle Works joined Liverpool’s early 1980s ‘neo-psychedelia’ wave, which also propelled Echo & the Bunnymen and The Teardrop Explodes to stardom.

“Birds Fly (Whisper to a Scream)” was a hit single in 1984 written by Ian McNabb, produced by Hugh Jones and performed by The Icicle Works (of whom McNabb was a member). The song was also released as “Whisper to a Scream (Birds Fly)”, and it became a hit under this reversed title as well.

The recording was initially released as a single in Britain in June 1983 as “Birds Fly (Whisper to a Scream)” on the Situation Two label. This initial release hit #2 on the UK independent charts, and scraped the lower reaches of the overall UK national charts at #89. After The Icicle Works’ next UK single “Love Is a Wonderful Colour” hit #15 on the UK charts in late 1983 and early 1984, Beggars Banquet Records re-released “Birds Fly (Whisper to a Scream)” in March 1984 with a new cover and B-side. This re-release climbed to #52 in the UK.

In the U.S., Arista Records refused to release the record unless some changes were made. First, the track was remixed slightly in order to remove a brief spoken-word intro that was heard over the opening bars of music. (The woman performing this intro was identified only as “Mariella” on the original Situation Two single sleeve.) Then the song title was reversed, becoming “Whisper to a Scream (Birds Fly)”. This change was made so that the record’s primary title would match the words sung repeatedly in the chorus, making it easier for radio listeners to track down the record in the stores.

Finally, Arista shortened the band’s name to “Icicle Works”, removing the initial “The”. With these changes made, in the summer of 1984 “Whisper to a Scream (Birds Fly)” by Icicle Works reached #37 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and #34 on Cashbox’s singles chart.

Just to make things a little more confusing, the Canadian version of the single (credited to The Icicle Works) used the original UK mix with the spoken word intro, but the revised US title “Whisper to a Scream (Birds Fly)”. This was the most successful commercial release of the single, reaching #19 on the Canadian charts in the summer of 1984.

US Charts
YearSingleChartPosition
1984Whisper To A Scream (Birds Fly)U.S. Billboard Hot 100#37
1984Whisper To A Scream (Birds Fly)U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks#18
1984Whisper To A Scream (Birds Fly)U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play#13

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