The House Of Love – The House Of Love (Cherry Red Records)

House Of Love’s debut album neatly captured the transitioning of sounds and styles occurring in British indie-rock in 1988. On one side of the musical equation, it was heavily indebted to the sound of floppy-haired bands like The Smiths, The Cocteau Twins, The Jesus and Mary Chain and Echo and The Bunnymen, but it also had moments and ideas which pointed forward towards the twin futures of shoegaze and Britpop lurking just around the corner. Lead singer Guy Chadwick and guitarist Terry Bickers gave the band a creative engine in league with Ian McCulloch and Will Sergeant of Echo and The Bunnymen or Steve Kilbey and Marty Wilson Piper of The Church, but a weak rhythm section of Chris Groothuizen (bass) and Pete Evans (drums) held them back from bigger and better things. So, even when vocals and guitar are doing all the right things, the sluggish (and muddily recorded) bass and drums keep everything frustratingly earthbound. No wonder those guys were left off the front cover!

Cherry Red’s new three-disc reissue adds an astounding 40 additional tracks to the original ten-track album. However, the multiple demo, live, and alternate versions may be a case of overkill, raising some serious questions about whether or not the album was good enough to warrant such a grand reissue. However, like The Smiths, House Of Love’s best songs were non-album singles, so you’ll want to sift through all the bonus tracks to hear top-shelf material like “Shine On,” “Destroy The Heart,” and “Real Animal.” It’s here where they truly shine.


CD 1: Original Album

1. “Christine”
2. “Hope”
3. “Road”
4. “Sulphur”
5. “Man To Child”
6. “Salome”
7. “Love In A Car”
6. “Happy”
9. “Fisherman’s Tale”
10. “Touch Me”
11. “Shine On” (Demo – Bonus 7”)
12. “Christine” (Demo – Bonus 7”)

CD 2: Singles, B-Sides, Rarities

1. “Shine On”
2. “Love”
3. “Flow”
4. “Real Animal”
5. “Plastic”
6. “Nothing To Me”
7. “The Hill”
8. “Loneliness Is A Gun”
9. “The Hedonist”
10. “Welt”
11. “Destroy The Heart”
12. “Blind”
13. “Mr. Jo”
14. “Destroy the Heart” (Demo)
15. “Shine On” (Fuck Version)
16. “I Don’t Know Why I Love You But I Do” (Demo)
17. “Love In A Car” (Live – Previously Unreleased)
18. “Destroy The Heart” (Live – Previously Unreleased)
19. “I Wanna Be Your Dog” (Live – Previously Unreleased)

CD 3: Previously Unreleased Demos

1. “Shine On” (Guy Chadwick Solo Demo)
2. “Touch Me” (Demo 1)
3. “Real Animal” (Demo)
4. “Happy” (Demo 1)
5. “Hold On Me” (16 Track Demo)
6. “Christine” (16 Track Demo)
7. “Modern World” (Demo)
8. “Salome”
9. “Man To Child”
10. “Hope”
11. “Love In A Car”
12. “Touch Me”
13. “Road”
14. “Fisherman’s Tale”
15. “Happy” (Demo 2)
16. “Sulphur”
17. “Real Animal” (16 Track Demo)
18. “Little Girl (alias Mr Jo):
19. “Shine On” (Band Demo)