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4.4 out of 5 stars23
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 17 June 2004
This underrated and undervalued group always seemed to release albums at just the wrong time. 'Babe Rainbow' came out when American grunge was 'in' and the following year's 'Audience With The Mind' was 12 months too soon for Britpop. And this (ironically, much delayed) album came out just when the UK was going Madchester crazy.
Stangely enough, the opening track,'Hannah', bears some resemblance to 'I Wanna Be Adored', the first song on the Stone Roses' eponymous debut. As it slides away elegantly, it gives way to the shimmering 'Shine On' (the band's only Top 20 hit). The rest of Side 1 (I'm talking in vinyl terms here) is equally impressive, apart from the lumpen 'The Hedonist'.
'I Don't Know Why I Love You' is a rollicking rock song, kicked into life by a guitar riff similar to The Only Ones' 'Another Girl, Another Planet.'
Side 2 opens with the brusque, tumbling 'Never', derided at the time as a poor follow-up to 'I Don't Know Why....', but now sounding fine to these ears. 'Someone's Got To Love You' is a sad, silky love song, but the highlight for me is the next track, 'In A Room.' There's a real sense of drama and momentum in this song,and the lyrics are more straightforward, less opaque, than on other tracks - "When I'm drunk in a room, that's when I think of you."
In retrospect, Guy Chadwick and Co were just born 10 years too early. You can hear echoes of their work in bands of today like Coldplay and Snow Patrol. The same keening, shimmering guitars, the same sense of drama and dynamics. Yeah, they coulda been superstars, but for an accident of birth.
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on 19 January 2003
Like the other reviewer i played this to death back in 1990.And 91 ,92 ,93... It is one of my favourite albums of all time.Guy Chadwick`s lyric`s and Terry Bicker`s guitar work on absolute gems like Someone`s Got To Love You , Hedonist ,32nd Floor ,Blind and Beatles And The Stones are first class.I love every single track.1990 was all Stone Roses and the Madchester scene but this to me was an era defining album.
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on 15 November 2007
One of the first albums I fell in love with and still am as well as all other house of love releases! - I am still upset that this band did not get the accolades that less deserving bands seemed to get like candy. I urge everyone to listen to a House of Love album or even just a track!
The problem was their music just did not fit into a niche which the music press loves to do and then "baggy" hit and the stone roses/happy mondays took the presses attention away. superb guitar and great songwriting still shine through though now!
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on 11 January 2012
Superb album from a superb band.

Shame they split up because they were superb.

Seen them in concert lots of times and those times were one of the best of my life.

Talented, talented band...
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on 26 January 2006
HOL where one of those bands who whilst getting rave reviews and music press attention always seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. That said, do check this album out, you wont be dissapointed,shimmering guitars and choruses to take your head off (check out "i dont know why i love you") ...If you like this then i also reccommend "babe rainbow",another HOL album which was out at the wrong time !! Also the early creation tracks especially,"christine" and "destroy the heart" . You can keep your coldplays,killers and the rest,these guys were miles ahead,they just didnt get the right breaks
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on 8 March 2008
So glad this has been re-issued - wore out my old tape version years ago!

This was Chadwick, Bickers & co at their finest - a brilliant album that certainly stands the test of time.
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VINE VOICEon 31 August 2007
Camberwell wouldn't have been the obvious place for one of the finest and most nascent bands to emerge in Britain in the late 1980,s but that's exactly where House Of Love hailed from. Originally a quintet with three guitarists ,one of them the precociously talented Terry Bickers , the band were led by the distinctly un pop star visage Of Guy Chadwick .Despite the less than promising omens as far as marketability is concerned their debut album released on Creation ( then a hub-bub of inventiveness) in 1988 , is one of the finest guitar albums of that decade and still sounds fresh , vivacious and relevant today.
The album ,like many a great album from that era has long been out of print , but is now available again in a gatefold cardboard sleeve with extensive liner notes . Rejoice. The thing about this album is it was released at a time when guitar bands were taking it to extraordinary new extremes so it's hazy chords refracted through a gauze of psychedelic influences sounded somewhat conventional, even though in actual fact they weren't , but Chadwick was a great song writer and its his almost effortless mastery of that particular speciality that makes this debut album so outstanding.
The album has outstanding imperative tracks like the swaggering "Salome" alongside shimmering taut ballads like "Love In A Car" or "Man To Child" . "Happy" cleverly strides between the two with coalescent reverb drenched bursts set against delicate fronds of sound. "Fisherman's Tale" revolves around chunkier reticulated chords while "Road" clenches the spangled layers of guitar around a muscular chorus with tense percussion. "Hope" tangles gossamer chords over a gorgeous melody and Chadwick's sometimes inspired , sometimes trite lyrics. "Sulphur" is melodramatic but compelling but the song everyone raved about , quite rightly was the magnificent "Christine" which stills sounds audacious and exciting even today . The instant those surround sound guitars hum like the wings of some extra terrestrial butterfly the song holds your attention , a wave of sound that is both ravishing and coruscating . Only the final track "Touch Me" is anything less than spectacular .
The album was feted by critics and people like me eager for new sounds and new band lapped it up .A bidding war for their services saw them sign to Fontana where they released a second eponymous album that while still a very fine album doesn't have the creativity or excitement of their debut. This is a truly great album and hammers home the point , if indeed it needed hammering, that the guitar bands of today are ,with the very odd exception , a derisory bunch with nothing new to offer and without the nous to even adequately rehash what has gone before. A long over due re-issue any one who hasn't already should enter the House Of Love .
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on 20 April 2004
The House of Love are an amazing band who created some of the most beautiful guitar music I've ever heard. This is the first album I ever bought by them and it remains a favourite.
The Best Of has the most comprehensive selection of their top tracks but for me "In A Room" is one of the catchiest, most creative and atmospheric songs I've ever heard.
Get this if you want to know what made The House of Love so unique, otherwise get the Best Of for all their best tunes...or go ahead and get both! If you like any of their songs you won't regret it!
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on 23 May 2009
I saw the House of Love support Felt in Kingston Upon Thames polytechnic in 1987 or 88 just before they got massive. Great music. The giant in the room was terry bickers on guitar - what a talent we have lost. They should have been bigger than U2 oneday with songs and coolness that was just right. But unlike U2 they just couldnt cope with the corporate disease of managers, accountants, record companies.

I would really say if you want music to take you away from your daily grind (and not just entertain you) then listen to the house of love. Listen to that young boy called terry bickers and wonder what is he doing now?
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on 29 November 2000
Bought this as vinyl in 1990 and played it to death!! Heard a track on TV at the weekend and had to see if it had been released as a CD....amazing Album......after 10 years the lyrics and the music are still as good, still as sharp .Think Inspiral Carpets and then think twice as good - without the hype.
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