I wasn’t really paying too much attention to music in 1988…’s a long and rather dull story that I won’t bore you with. It is related to the backstory of yesterday’s music, which again I didn’t bother going into.

I certainly didn’t listen to John Peel‘s end of year Festive 50 rundown, but looking at it now, I did in fact have a fair few number of the songs as voted in by the readers, thanks in part to the ex-frontman of The Smiths having four entries, but there was also space for the likes of Billy Bragg, New Order, James, The Fall, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and the one emerging band that I did latch onto, Pixies. I would also, later in life, pick up on many other groups that featured in the 88 rundown, not least The Wedding Present.

The thing is, if you had given me an alphabetical rundown of all the songs in the list and asked me to pick out the #1 from that year, I’d have needed maybe 20 or 30 goes to get it.

mp3: The House Of Love – Destroy The Heart

It was an era when being on Creation Records was almost like a badge of honour in the indie-pop world. All the singers and bands got loads of column inches in the UK music papers while never getting a sniff of commercial success, which made them perfect for name-dropping and for casting your votes in the Peel rundown while retaining some street credibility.

I couldn’t tell you exactly when I would first have heard Destroy The Heart, but it would certainly be quite a few years after it reached the heights of #76 in the UK singles chart in August 1988.  I can’t recall it being included on any Jacques the Kipper compilation tapes from which much of my 87-90 gaps were filled in.  It would likely have been heard as background music in a pub, but even then, I wouldn’t have been paying too much attention.

What I do know is that more than a quarter of a century later, I did hear it played at one of the Little League nights in Glasgow, and loving how it sounded. I will have come away from there with a determination to ‘source’ a digital copy for the hard drive.  But that was always, hopefully, always going to be just a temporary measure, and  sure enough I would in due course find a second-hand copy of the single, in 12″ form, before too long.

As you’ll have picked up from listening to the mp3, it isn’t quite a pristine copy, but given I paid a small amount for it, in the era before vinyl became fashionable again, I’m happy enough.

Here’s your b-sides:-

mp3: The House Of Love – Blind
mp3: The House of Love – Mr Jo

The former makes me think of Factory-era James, and so I won’t hear a bad word said about it. The latter, and I apologise to those of you who are diehard fans, is a bit too indie by numbers to really have much lasting appeal.




Back in 1986, the demo tape from The House Of Love led to the band getting a deal with Creation Records. The first single was Shine On, a cracking bit of indie-pop, almost goth-like, which really should have taken the charts by storm when it was released in May 87.

mp3 : The House of Love – Shine on (Creation Records)

Three years later, and despite a lack of commercial success, the band were considered worthy of a punt from Fontana Records based on the really well-received debut LP and so a lucrative deal was inked.  However, the devil was in the detail of the contract and the band and label were soon at loggerheads on what sort of sounds should be getting recorded and released. The tensions weren’t helped by the fact that the first two singles for the new label stalled at #41 and then by founder member and lead guitarist Terry Bickers deciding he’d had enough.

The solution? Take the re-recorded version of the debut single and try again. This time it got to #20, by far the best performing 45 in the band’s initial six-year career.

mp3 : The House Of Love – Shine On (Fontana Records)

A tad more polished and therefore more acceptable to those who determined what could and should get onto the playtime lists of daytime Radio 1 and the various commercial stations. And while the original is rightly acknowledged as the ‘better’ version, only the very worst music snob would say they were appalled by the remix and begrudge the band the long overdue chart success.

The remix was released across a multitude of formats (a very common thing for bands on Fontana as those of you following the James singles series will be aware), but I’ve only got one of the 12″ singles in the collection and here’s the b-sides from that:-

mp3 : The House Of Love – Allergy
mp3 : The House Of Love – Scratched Inside