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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 6 December 2000
It amazes me that in all of the End of the Century polls the music press and the like have conducted this album has never been mentioned.
It is full of catchy tunes, intelligent lyrics, humour, a splash of politics, but mainly it's the sheer excellence and beauty of these finely polished 3 minute masterpieces including the magnificent "Happy Hour", the poignant "Flag Day" and the original version of my own favourite "Think For A Minute".
Paul Heaton's mastery of the lyric shines through on this album and it's worth buying for the hilariously 80's photo of Norman "Fatboy Slim" Cook on the inlay card!
It's like a Northern drug this Housemartins lark! One listen and you're hooked!
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on 12 October 2003
The year is I986, we're talking miners, we're talking Thatcher, we're talking a shortarse northern guy preaching record industry nationalisation - behold, if you will,the world of the Housemartins. Their brand of jangle pop is still felt in indie circles (just listen to Lucksmiths or Moxy Fruvous) and with good reason. Happy Hour is a euphoric piece of pop fluff until the penny drops and we're let into the eccentric and frankly exhausting pysche of P.D Heaton, draped in delicous harmonies and Smiths-esque guitar. The lyrics lack the same creativity as later Beautiful South efforts (in fairness, they had less to work with, the album is a socialist propaganda showcase to make Rage Against The Machine blush) but Heaton's vocal is in its prime. As a result, the radically different gospel and a cappella segment isn't half as cringeworthy as it should have been, with a soaring 'Just Like A Shelter' a personal highlight. Initially fast-paced with a tongue-in-cheek soulful climbdown, London 0 Hull 4 is an essential album for anybody who suspected the 80s had some substance under the gloss.
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on 25 January 2003
Paul Heaton and Norman Cook have certainly followed very different paths since the glory days of this album and "The People Who.." For me neither of them have ever reproduced the energy and brilliance of these two seminal LP's. Even the Fat Boy with his super-popular sing-a-long-a dance music has never come close to emulating the raw exuberance of say "Get up off our knees" and has certainly never said anything as interesting. Paul Heaton's Beautiful South produced some nice ironic pop songs but surely he was at his best when belligerently battering the apathetic majority on songs like "Sheep: and "Sitting on a Fence" Never, in my opinion, has a band so overtly political, produced so many top tunes. Recently Paul has gone solo. I haven't heard any of his stuff yet but I hope he's gone back to his roots. Even better than that. Any chance of reforming just for a few gigs? London O Hull 4 is without doubt one of the albums of the eighties. Get it.
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VINE VOICEon 7 September 2013
Like most of the reviewers I bought this to replace a cassette tape! I'd forgotten how good it was.....Its perfect, thoughtful pop at its best....It was brought back to my attention by The Worlds End soundtrack.....The World's End.....which has many a great track on it.....
The mid 80's were a difficult time for many and records such as these helped get us through.....A good buy that reminds me of visiting Hull in the 80's and staying at the Newland Homes....So for me its definitely Hull 4 London 0......
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on 12 October 2014
Bought to replace a lent/not returned copy, which I admit I had not played for some time.

I immediately indulged in the free Autorip (CD not yet received) and was transported back to the Birmingham Odeon, circa 1984, when they supported Blancmange. It was the start of a beautiful relationship.

This album is up there with all time classic debuts. You may not agree with some of Paul Heaton's politics/views, but you can't deny the lyrics are well penned, the tunes are catchy and the harmonica interludes are divine.
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on 14 March 2013
This is just a wonderful reminder of that a few nice things also emerged in the mid eighties. Say along with The Smiths and FYC', this record is a solid, beautiful proof of that. We thank you lads for the good times.
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on 25 June 2014
I have been a long term admirer of this band since I was a youngster, Happy hour is my favourite track of all time but I hadn't bought this album until recently, there's never a dull moment in this album, the session tracks of their cappella take of he ain't heavy, he's my brother is sweet.
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on 3 September 2013
Heard Happy Hour Again somewhere, and it spurred me on to get the CD to replace my tape which I can no longer play in the car. Enjoying it as much as the first time around. One of the best Housemartins LPs in my opinion.
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on 7 March 2013
I recently picked up the cassette (!!) of this album at a jumble sale - which seems rather fitting, somehow - for a measly 50p. I hadn't heard it since the mid-1980s, when my then-girlfriend was utterly obsessed with it (The Smiths aside, she played little else). Though I was preferred The Jesus & Mary Chain, Sonic Youth, Big Flame, & their ilk back then, I was secretly rather fond of London 0 Hull 4 - it always seemed like a breath of fresh air in comparison to some of the noisy twaddle I was listening to back then.

Hearing it again, it sounds better than ever - I'd go as far as to say that there's not a bad song on it (even the instrumental interlude, "Reverend's Revenge", is blink-&-you'll-miss-it brief). It's a shame that The Housemartins (I refuse to call them the "Housies" - urrgh) are so steadfastly overlooked these days - though their influence is negligible, they were a very popular band in their (brief) time, & a one with an admirable message (or two) to impart as well. Sadly, it's difficult to imagine a band as intelligent & opinionated as The Housemartins scoring a #1 in the singles chart these days.

A fine LP - purchase with confidence, etc!
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on 15 May 2013
A quiet classic. Hadn't heard this for decades, and was lucky enough to purchase for just over a quid - delivered! Bargain. Any Beautiful South fans might like to hear the group's origins - go on, treat yourself. A quid'll cover it.
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