27 Feb 02 ·Genza: Very nice song. Slowdive (see Slowdive, 'Albatross') took a lot of inspiration from early Floyd - and you can hear it in this track. The high pitched guitar in the background especially rocks my world.
Considering how much I like this track, I'm surpised I didn't recommend it earlier. To me this is the standout from the band's seminal 1991 album 'Loveless'. To MBV fans, this track might seem an obvious one to recommend, but I think it sums up their appeal very well, with its beautiful ambient noises and simple but catchy melody. MBV's trademark use of weird echoey effects on the vocals and guitars is in full effect, and it's quite beautiful.
28 Feb 02 ·Genza: Agreed. My Bloody Valentine are a funny band. A lot of their (undoubtedly too short) back catalogue is either over-rated, unlistenable or over-rated. And this is from a confirmed 'fan'. Still, most of the bands I adore wouldn't have turned on the digital delay pedals without Kevin Shields, so I have something to be eternally grateful for. And Blown a Wish remains my closest call with pop perfection. Slightly warped and ill-at-ease, it is an almost unspeakably beautiful track. It still makes me ache in the pit of my stomach when I hear it. 10 Oct 04 ·sinister: the sonic approximation of a kiss. i don't know. that's what this song gives me. the thrill of a first kiss. every time i hear it.
Although far less well known than the 12" version and the 1987 'substance' rerecording, I'm utterly in love with this 7" version. I think perhaps the band hate it, since it doesn't seem ever to have appeared on CD, and was not even on the recent 'Retro' box set. At a little over 5 minutes long, it just seems much more focused and affecting to me than the overlong 12" version and the scrappy 1987 version.
It opens with that hypnotic beat/synth sound that has become famous since the song was used in various film soundtracks (most famously, Trainspotting, and most recently, 24 hour party people. Both used the later, rubbish version though). On this version, there's a twangy guitar sound added over the top of the introduction. The other main difference from other versions is vastly improved vocals (particularly over the 1987 version), and that wonderful early New Order guitar sound, as witnessed on other classic tracks like 'Ceremony' and 'Procession'. Like a handful of other tracks I've recommended, it's hard for me to be completely objective about this one, because I've adored it since my mid-teens. But having just bought an extra copy of the single, I'm happy to report that it sounds as brilliant as ever.
This recording showcases a raw and under-appreciated New Order/Joy Division sound that mixes early synth sounds and beats with punky guitars in a really beautiful and affecting way. I still enjoy their later stuff, but it's tracks like this that really attract me to the band.
05 Mar 03 ·n-jeff: I've not heard the 7 since I was at college in 82, but there is also a version about 15-20 minutes long on one of the first "Touch" cassettes, where they have cut it with an interview. The whole thing seems to have been a lengthy Jam, edited differently for different releases. So the 7 would give you the most focused version. Compare the 7 and 12 edits of the KLF's "3am Eternal" for the enhancing effect of a great edit. 07 Mar 03 ·Genza: I totally agree with everything delicado says. Early New Order rocks. Everything after and including Blue Monday is more poppy - and I can live with that. But most of their albums are very patchy - with half the tracks good and the other half almost unlistenable. But Temptation is an utter, utter classic. And I just love Dreams Never End, Cries and Whispers and In a Lonely Place. Well, any early New Order - it all that has tinny dance-music quality but still holds that desolate Joy Division sound.
21 May 03 ·delicado: I had completely forgotten about this. Nice one indeed! O'Leary, eh... 22 May 03 ·Genza: It's easy to forget about it - but you should listen to how great it still sounds. I was amazed. It's slips down so sweet - like a smooth, velveteen bunny honey. And David O'Leary is a confirmed Kitchens fans apparently. Not sure if he likes Kachloul or Aplay though...
My favourite House Of Love song, it's a mid-paced typically guitar-drenched track with an insistent percussive backing and that low ostinato guitar riff with the little flourish in it. It has lots of minor chords which give it a rather gloomy feel (like many of my favourite songs). Actually their later song "Feel", which was one of the '90s best, could be "Shake And Crawl" slowed almost to a literal crawl ...
from The House Of Love (2), available on CD (Fontana)
22 May 03 ·Genza: I liked the House of Love - and 'Christine' is a genre-defining classic. But like many of the other sub-Valentines clones (Chapterhouse, Boo Radleys, etc.), I thought some of their tunes suffered from being slow and uneventful. Like you, I love minor chords - but I think other bands did that multi-layered guitar sound better. But hey, it's just my opinion and all that. 10 Dec 03 ·lobo: The House of Love were brilliant and way ahead of their time, not to mention sadly overlooked in the pages of pop music history. They were hardly "Sub-Valentine Clones" - the band's sound dates back to their origins in 1986. The members of My Bloody Valentine were struggling to define their sound at that point (they were still working through their goth phase!). Guy Chadwick was a masterful songwriter and Terry Bickers was the preeminent guitarist of his time. Nobody knew their way around a stack of effects pedals better than him. Best songs: Safe, Christine, Destroy the Heart, Loneliness Is A Gun... This band's music is nothing short of superb.