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The House Of Love – 30th Anniversary Deluxe Hardback Edition

“They were magnificent. I thought, ‘This band is going to dominate the world’”.
John Peel.

I first became aware of The House of Love when their video for ‘Christine’ aired on the ‘no frills’ alternative music show, SNUB TV. It was, perhaps, the ultimate shoegazer statement. Eyes fixed downward, Guy Chadwick and Co let their music do the talking and boy what a song ‘Christine was’. To this day I can still conjure that image of three cross-legged musicians, three silhouetted fringes basically, barely looking up from their guitars. It was exciting and fresh.

This deluxe box set celebrates the HOL self-titled debut album on the occasion of its 30th Anniversary. It is a five disc affair compiling Peel sessions, early mixes and demos. Essentially this is The House Of Love, Creation Anthology. They would move to the appalling Fontana label soon afterwards and continue to put out worthy material. Indeed the meat and bones of the ‘Butterfly’ album are largely present here, albeit in rough guises. However the Creation era was probably the heyday for The House Of Love. Terry Bickers, the legendary guitarist was still part of the band then and shoegaze was starting to becoming a ‘thing’. The House Of Love were briefly at the forefront of the UK alternative scene and many of us felt the same as Peelie.

Sixties music was a clear influence. Whilst certain ‘gazer acts were trying to emulate Phil Spector by fabricating a modern day wall of sound, The House of Love never buried their tunes in effects. The debut album still sounds polished to these ears. There were many variations on themes. ‘Christine’ could be a distant relative to Roxy Music’s ‘Over You’ and many songs here (eg ‘Salome’, ‘Road’ and ‘Hope’) were essentially sixties pop augmented by pedal FX. The Velvet Underground probably more than anyone inspired The House Of Love’ adoration of garage psychedelia. An early incarnation of the band featured Andrea Heukamp in the Nico role and those tracks make for plenty of ‘what if?’ discussions. The album also contains The House Of Love’s most triumphant statement, ‘Love In A Car’.



For the first time, the album is re-mastered from the original quarter-inch tapes. Discs 2 and 3 combine all their non-album tracks with numerous demos and early mixes, many of which were never released, Disc 4 soaks up the various BBC radio sessions for John Peel while Disc 5 combines mostly unissued live tracks from various shows.

This 5-CD package (also available as a limited double vinyl) is housed in a stylish hardback book set with fresh sleeve-notes from NME journalist Neil Taylor (with interview quotes from Guy Chadwick and Chris Groothuizen) and rare images from the band’s photographer Suzie Gibbons. It is every bit as comprehensive as you would expect it to be. Moreover it captures the band both at their inception and their searing best.

Released September 28th on Cherry Red Records

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