Digging in a box of Charity Shop records:
Here we go again! – Another trip to my local ‘British Heart Foundation’ charity shop resulted in a couple of additions to my archive. I know the Altered Images sound of quirky jangly pop, they had a commercial and watered down ‘Postcard Records’ brashness about them when they decided that they wanted to be pop stars.
There is nothing wrong with that of course, but for me, back in the early eighties, all I wanted was to be into bands that were so obscure they were probably unknowns outside of their own street. So buying radio-friendly records by Altered Images was never gonna happen when I could be throwing my money at records by Hurrah!, The Go Betweens and Felt.
But fast forward almost forty years and I’m now willing to spend money on charming little pop groups like Altered Images. I’m no longer trying to out-do the college outsiders or friends down the pub into thinking I’m super cool cos I have the latest record by The Church or Barracudas.
I know a little about the House Of Love, they played a few gigs with my mates’ garage band The Mourning After, or at least they played the same venue in Sheffield. This would have been 1988 – 1989 era. A long time ago.
But I wasn’t that interested in their dark and broody noise back then and I had never thought about the House Of Love until earlier this week when I saw their first album for £10 in the charity shop. So I left it on the shelf, came home and plundered YouTube for their videos. Were they worthy of my attention?
I now think that their third single “Christine” is possibly the coolest Velvet’s / Mary Chain avalanche of noisy shoegaze reverb I’ve heard for many a year. When I realised that the number was on their album it was a no-brainer to race to the shop and buy it immediately.
It’s an original pressing on the Creation label. Not much of a package, black label and without an inner sleeve. Very minimilistic, very underground and it’s that kind of obscurity I admire and dig the most in a group. Just their unsmiling big faces on the front and back of the cover is enough to keep the trendies away from your record.
Coming home today:
- Altered Images – ‘Pinky Blue’ (Epic EPC 85665) 1982
- House Of Love – ‘house Of Love’ (Creation CRE LP34) 1988