ALL ART IS QUITE USELESS (according to Oscar Wilde)


Endless Art is a wonderful song by Irish indie outfit A House, released initially as the lead track on the Bingo EP (1990), and then as a single from their 1991 album I Am the Greatest. And it features Edwyn Collins at the producer’s desk.

It reached number 46 in the UK but should have done so much better – the trials and tribulations of being on a small indie label that couldn’t get distribution to match initial demand. The lyrics begin with the line ‘All art is quite useless according to Oscar Wilde’ and for their remainder are mostly a list of the names and birth and death dates of artists from various fields, with the chorus remark: “all dead but still alive, in endless time and endless art”. The lyrics are not really sung as such….not it’s not quite a spoken word track either. I think its genius.

For the first appearance of the song on the Bingo EP, the band received some criticism for the fact that the artists listed in the song are all male, so they recorded a second version where all the artists are female. and called it More Endless Art. Equally genius

mp3 : A House – Endless Art
mp3 : A House – More Endless Art

There was also a cracking video which for 1991 can be seen as quite ground-breaking.


One thought on “ALL ART IS QUITE USELESS (according to Oscar Wilde)

  1. Brilliant track that seemingly came out of nowhere – I first heard it on a Q (or Select?) cassette.
    There is a third version – updated in 2006 identifying those who had passed on since the original release.
    If they had the inclination, they could do an update every 10 years or so

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