Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Housemartins Get Yet Another Compilation

I was about to go on a rant about how bands with only two proper studio albums don't deserve a best-of album... let alone four of them since 1988... but that's exactly the score as of this week with the release of 'Happy Hour: The Collection' by the Housemartins.

I should say right up front that the band's full-length debut, 'London 0 Hull 4,' is one of my all-time favorites, and I would recommend it before any of the available compilations. What I would really like to see, however, is a single disc twofer that comprises both studio albums. That's 28 songs (if you include the extra ones that appeared on the original CDs but not the vinyl), eight more than you get on 'Happy Hour: The Collection.' C'mon, minus B-sides and live cuts we could have the band's entire catalog on one CD instead of a label picking the "best" for us. I can't rant, however, since this collection is selling for three pounds in the UK. That's about $4.92, folks. It's difficult not to give the OK to those that want to give the band a try.

That doesn't mean I'm entirely happy about the songs selected. An example of what irks me is the omission of "Sheep." It was the first single released from 'London 0 Hull 4' back in March of '86. The song peaked at No. 56 in the UK. How can the band's first significant single not be included on a compilation? Anyway, it's a crackin' piece of jangle pop. Enjoy it ripped from my 25-year-old vinyl. Preorder 'Happy Hour: The Collection' here.

The Housemartins - Sheep (mp3)

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