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4.6 out of 5 stars37
4.6 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CDChange
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on 7 March 2007
The Housemartins are the most underrated band of their time. Eclipsed in many ways by subsequent successes (as The Beautiful South and Fatboy Slim), they have never gained the recognition they deserved. This is the ultimate album of their finest moments - from the anthemic "Happy Hour" to less well known songs such as "Step Outside". Many of the riffs and harmonies have been borrowed by modern day artists such as The Fratellis without so much as a nod.

In an era of comeback gigs, I can only dream.

I would opt for this collection ahead of inferior and less definitive follow-ups. Simply stunning.
0Comment15 of 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Ah, The Housemartins. Forerunner of the mighty Beautiful South, and soundtrack of my childhood growing up in the Humber region in the mid eighties. Their brand of jaunty tunes with interesting lyrics that made you think is one of the biggest influences on my musical taste.

With a brief recording life that encompassed only two albums, they made many many great tunes that still hold up well today. For those who don't already have the albums separately, this is an excellent way of getting most of their best work in one place. At 24 tracks in length, it finds space for quite a comprehensive run through the catalogue.

An excellent album, in terms of value for money, choice of material and the quality of the music.
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on 31 May 2002
I say introduction because if you've bought the albums proper i reluctantly advise that you keep your money. these are just the hits and the inclusion of Bow Down and Lean On Me (identical to those on the albums) will only leave you feeling more out of pocket. Nevertheless, I Smell Winter, Drop Down Dead together with Hopelessly Devoted To Them more than compensate for the lack of different material (some of the pre-Norman Cook rarities really should have made the cut).
For the true newbie what better insight into the band's tabloid-baiting politics than Flag Day?What sweeter introduction to Heaton gospel than I'll Be Your Shelter? You'll either press skip in disgust or love the man forever, may it be the latter
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on 15 October 2001
This 'album' is a classic. The great thing about the Housemartins is that they don't take themselves too seriously. They are a 'happy mans The Smiths'. The first few tracks are superb, especially 'I smell Winter', 'Bow Down' and 'Sheep' but the last set of tracks, their more slower work, becomes a little samey. It says something about the music industry when their only number 1, 'Caravan of Love', is one of the poorer tracks on the CD. Worth a look (especially if you're a fan of The Smiths)
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on 7 January 2001
Although I grew up with 70's and 80's music, somehow I missed the Housemartins. Hearing this album makes me wish I had paid more attention. What strikes me the most is that so many of these tracks are as relevant and sharply observed today as they were when they were recorded. Songs such as Build, You've Got A Friend and Flag Day speak volumes. They have a certain rawness, an edgy urgency, and I firmly believe that people need to hear these works of art and vicious social commentary.
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on 26 December 2014
Thought it is difficult not to smile at the self-deprecating allusion to the Now That's What I Call Music! compilation series contained in the title, this nearly 80 minute double LP isn't the best overview of this short-lived 1980s pop group, who blended sweet-voiced soulful melodies with stridently moralistic lyrical invective. That honour goes to The Best Of The Housemartins from 2004. Over 14 songs that rather plainly-titled offering carries the best that this plain-looking, but actually quite spiky, quartet had to offer, including their chart-topping acapella cover of Isley Jasper Isley's 'Caravan of Love', and the almost as successful 'Happy Hour'. At 24 songs - including B-sides, BBC Radio sessions and album cuts - this posthumous collection rather inflates the importance of the self-styled "fourth best band in Hull" who were, first and foremost, a singles band, and who only got round to making two studio albums (London 0 Hull 4 and The People Who Grinned Themselves To Death).
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on 1 December 2010
I already had this on record, it has most of their best songs on and it's a right good enjoyable compilation.
Takes me right back to the eighties, but it still sounds good now.
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on 28 May 2012
Just what I expected - brilliant! All my favourite Housemartin songs - great for taking a trip down memory lane with no disappointment!
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on 13 February 2015
Good range of songs. My husband is the Housemartins fan in our family really - I liked a few of their songs back in the day but wouldn't have considered buying their album for myself. I bought this CD for my husband for Christmas because of the amount of songs on it and was surprised to find I don't know as many as I thought I would (bear in mind, I was never the greatest of Housemartins fans). It doesn't get played that much by me but is a good buy for my husband.
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on 30 January 2011
What more can I say. I played the first CD so much it wore out so have bought a second copy. LOVE IT!
11 comment1 of 1 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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