The Housemartins – London 0 Hull 4

ARTIST: The Housemartins 220px-London0hull4_album_cover
TITLE: London 0 Hull 4
YEAR RELEASED: 1986
CHART ACTION: #124 US, #3 UK
SINGLES: Flag Day, Sheep (#56 UK), Happy Hour (#3 UK), Think for a Minute (#18 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: If you listened to college radio in 1986, probably some more off this album you’d recognize
LINEUP: Norman Cook, Hugh Whitaker, PD Heaton, Stan Cullimore
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The band featuring the future Fatboy Slim and the founder of the Beautiful South makes a tuneful, harmony filled indie rock album about Christianity and Marxism. Yeah, really.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: At this time, PD Heaton was a Christian, and a Marxist. A lot of songs in this record, while not overtly quoting either, weave those themes through the lyrics. The funny this about it – it works!

The music is tight and guitar based with no room for long solos for the most part, except for a couple of piano-based vocal workouts for Heaton. They harmonize well and the melodies are quite the earworm, even on the non-singles. Cullimore and Heaton (the main songwriters) knew their way around a hook.

It’s a fine album, short songs that get to the point and get you moving and thinking – even at the same time. That’s dangerous.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: The title is in the style of a football score reported in the UK. Clever.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes with some great B-sides. What’s missing is their great acapella version of “Caravan of Love”. It’s not streaming. Grrr…

GRADE: A-: For me, this is nostalgia for my days on college radio. It definitely holds up to today.

 

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