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on 7 April 2007
Back in the day, I loved everything about The Housemartins. Their music was obviously great but it was that and their stubborness against 'being' cool that made them so cool. I remember them being very spotty and then singing gospel acapellas on the "Good Afternoon" show on ITV and still coming across as so much more clued up than most of the other bands around this time. Their Little BBC documentary 'London 0 Hull 4" which was shown as part of "Rock around the clock" day in 1986 was taped and re-watched many times and it effortlessly captures a bleak North of Thatcher's England in a time when kids still played football in the street and kaghouls were the height of fashion. The Housemartins preached Marx and pushed socialism as easily as they enthused about Jesus, a brave move in pop music we all thought, but "Caravan of Love" was a Christmas number one so what did we know? There's plenty of gospel accapellas on this new CD which still sound fab, particularly "Heaven Help Us All" and "So Glad".

Much like their 80s contemporaries like The Smiths, The Cure, The Bunnymen and New Order, The Housemartins have been re-packaged re-packaged !! enough, but this is a highly welcome addition. Some tracks don't sound too different to the ones we've known and grown to love, but as with most BBC sessions there is a freshness and a rawness that makes these songs sound fresh again and there are enough rarities to keep the die-hards pleased too. The overplayed "Happy Hour" sounds different enough hear to listen with new ears, "Drop Down Dead" and "We're not Deep" are similar highlights and there is a good collection of live tracks at the end which reminded me of some of the great times I saw them play in Liverpool in '86.

The Beautiful South (whom I admired greatly) did to some degree take away the DIY ethic of The Housemartins' story, particularly towards their pipe and slippers final albums and have become to many, a typical Radio 2 band, but for every "A Little Time" or "Rose of my Cologne" there was an "Old Red Eyes" or a "Pretenders to the throne" , and Paul Heaton remains a vastly under-rated song-writer and all round good bloke, and this little collection of 'Martins classsics is a great way of reminding us where it all began and a shameless excuse to "bom bom" along to "Caravan of Love" all over again.
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on 30 May 2009
I will never tire of listening to the boys and this offering is one of those.
Not a single track wasted.The whole album leaves me wishing they had never grown up and all stayed together knocking out more quality stuff like this.
Wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to anyone who wants to relive their spotty youth again!!!
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on 7 December 2009
Great collection, bringing back the memories of those years when the Housemartins were there. How we miss the real good music!
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on 11 January 2013
This is a great album if you are from an era when the Housemartins were top of the charts. BBC thanks for recording it and give us "old farts" as my son calls me the opportunity to move back in time and listen to some class
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on 29 March 2016
In the eighties as a teenager you were actually quite spoilt for choice with punk post punk reggae two tone all laying claim to your wages on a Friday the house martins were the band that kicked against the trends seemingly showing no regard or need for synths or guitar solos no rebel yells just a sound based on a mutual love of gospel Motown and soul injected with a liberal dose of northern humour but also a political message about what affected us all at that time with the wealth of reissues and reformed bands trying to show us how relevant they were the housemartins two albums and importantly this fantastic collection of BBC sessions and live tracks reminds us that the eighties really was a decade to be proud off you can keep your golds and club Tropicana this is happy hour enjoy
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on 8 January 2013
Great album by this great band. You get a feel for some of the less well known tunes in their collection. As well as the classics. Four star performance as always from the lyrical genious paul heaton.
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on 10 September 2012
A superb cd. A great collection of songs recorded at the bbc, its all the songs you know but with that little bit extra
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on 22 January 2016
I bought this album as it contains some tracks I hadn't got on other albums. I like live recordings and this is good.
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on 23 June 2014
the purchase was fine, quality was good et sending fastly to France
all was ok ,
délai et qualité OK
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on 1 February 2016
Bought as a present and partner was over the moon with the gift.
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