Burning The Ground: DjPaulT's 80's and 90's Remixes

80's and 90's 12 Inch Mixes

The Icicle Works – Whisper To A Scream (Birds Fly) (US 12″ Promo)

Posted by DjPaulT on October 8th, 2012


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.

Whisper To A Scream (Birds Fly) (European Version) 5:21
Remix – Hugh Jones

Whisper To A Scream (Birds Fly) (Extended Club Remix) 5:27
Engineer [Assistant] – Rick Kerr
Engineer [Remix] – Jack Nuber
Remix – Steve Thompson

Whisper To A Scream (Birds Fly) (Single Version) 3:47

Vinyl: Near Mint
Sleeve: Near Mint


Year Single Chart Position
1984 Whisper To A Scream (Birds Fly) U.S. Billboard Hot 100 #37
1984 Whisper To A Scream (Birds Fly) U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks #18
1984 Whisper To A Scream (Birds Fly) U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play #13


Label: Arista – ADP-9187
Format: Vinyl, 12″, Single, Promo, 33 RPM
Country: US
Released: 1983
Genre: Electronic
Style: Alternative Rock, New Wave
Credits: Producer – Hugh Jones
Written-By – McNabb*

From the debut album by Icicle Works

Find The 12″ On DISCOGS

Turntable: Pro-Ject Debut III
Cartridge: Ortofon Super
Stylus: Ortofon OM Stylus 30
Bellari VP130 Tube Phono Preamp
Soundcard: ESI Juli@
VPI HW 16.5 Record Cleaning Machine
Brother MFC-6490CW Professional Series Scanner

Adobe Audition 3.0 (Recording)
Adobe Photoshop CS5
Playlist Creator

All vinyl rips are recorded @ 32bit/float
Downsampled to 24bit/96kHz and16bit /44kHz using iZotope RX Advanced 2
FLAC (Level Eight)
MP3 (320kbps)
Artwork scanned at 600dpi

PW: burningtheground

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12 Responses to “The Icicle Works – Whisper To A Scream (Birds Fly) (US 12″ Promo)”

  1. giorgio-greece Says:

    hello dj!!!!

    good to see u posting again!!!!

    thanx for this post,first time i hear of this group!!

    thank u again that you’re more opening my music ears!!!

    love u paul!!!!

    p.s very nice photo with Olivia!!!!!


    DjPaulT Reply:



  2. kookoo Says:

    A very nice surprise! I haven’t heard this in years. Thanks for all the great tracks.


    DjPaulT Reply:

    You’re wlcome KooKoo. I really enjoyed ripping this one 🙂


  3. ric Says:

    I have this promo 12″ myself, but finding an mp3, not to mention a lossless rip of that rare Steve Thompson Mix is harder than flying like a bird!!!
    But no more, thanks to Paul!
    This is another of my beloved singles from 1984, going to prove once again what a strong music year that was! As with General Public’s Tenderness, the UK REALLY got it wrong. I do adore Love Is A Wonderful Colour, but how can Birds Fly not be a big hit, or at least match its predecessor’s success?
    Simply brilliant this New Wave track! Thanks for your BTG-rip!


    DjPaulT Reply:

    You’re so very welcome Ric. This is one of my favorite new Wave tracks.


  4. omar Says:

    Thanks for getting into the new wave groove again Paul.


  5. 1980-F Says:

    This is one of my favourite New Wave tracks, too. Unfortunately the band never was so strong again as on their debut.
    Thank you very much for this rare 12″.


  6. Phil Says:

    Great track – thanks!!


    DjPaulT Reply:

    You’re welcome Phil 🙂


  7. alec james Says:

    ohhhh excelente amigo…..nadie brinda tanta calidad de musica y tan fiel al original como tu…!!!


  8. Grant Says:

    Sooo great to see this here – love this song! Thanks DJPaulT!


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