The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Baker's Dozen

Shining On: Guy Chadwick's Favourite Albums
Joe Clay , December 10th, 2012 09:23

The House Of Love man picks out the albums that mean the most

Add your comment »

Photograph courtesy of Mick Griffiths

There’s a general consensus at the moment that if The House of Love were to be emerging into the current musical climate they would be huge – stadium huge at the very least, bigger than Coldplay if luck was with them. Their brand of intelligent, crystalline guitar pop would be lapped up by the masses who have taken indie into the mainstream. Instead they were forever on the fringes; beloved by those with cardigans (and fringes). Even major label money couldn’t propel them towards the level of stardom that was once assumed to be their destiny.

And listening to the imminent reissue of their self-titled debut (remastered with a load of unreleased demos and alternate takes, plus some thrilling live tracks), originally released in 1988, it is startling how fresh and essential it still sounds. Old wounds between the band’s creative forces, Guy Chadwick and Terry Bickers, are long healed, and their on-going reunion seems to be more about unfinished business than unpaid mortgages – another album of new material is due next year.

Back then Chadwick, square of jaw and dark of eye, was, on outward appearances at least, the relative straight man to Bickers’s deranged, acid-frazzled guitar hero. But anybody who has read David Cavanagh’s excellent biography of Creation Records, My Magpie Eyes Are Hungry for the Prize will know that it was Chadwick who was the cast-iron loon. “Guy was more of a Keith Richards than Keith Richards himself,” recalled Alan McGee in The Times last year.

An infinitely more stable presence these days (he delays our call because he is collecting his daughter from school), Chadwick’s Baker's Dozen stays pretty faithful to the rock music canon, give or take the odd wildcard. “I’ve mostly gone for the albums from my childhood,” he explains. “They’re the ones that really mean something. I hadn’t listened to some of them for years, but they’re still important. My taste is much more eclectic than this list would suggest. I’m a big fan of ethnic music and I love Cuban music. I know Buena Vista Social Club is very obvious, but it’s a great intro point. I guess my real feeling about music is that just because it’s accessible doesn’t mean it’s not good.”

The House of Love (Deluxe Edition) is reissued by Cherry Red on December 10.

Click on Guy's picture below to begin scrolling through his choices.


If you love our features, news and reviews, please support what we do with a one-off or regular donation. Year-on-year, our corporate advertising is down by around 90% - a figure that threatens to sink The Quietus. Hit this link to find out more and keep on Black Sky Thinking.

Louie Cyther
Dec 10, 2012 4:04pm

Not a bad list, all the usual suspects, was getting vaguely interesting at #5 with Miles Davis......and then came #6.....what were you thinking Guy? Kaiser Chiefs? Really?? Best album of the last 10 yrs??? Those in-house Creation parties have obviously frazzled a brain cell or two.

Reply to this Admin

Dec 10, 2012 8:05pm

Didn't we all think they were going to be massive? I left the Sell out gig at the ritz mcr in 1989 (?) thinking one of the bands that i liked were about to (or had!) "make it"... And then that was it, hardly a mention ever again. Our fault: "my generation" stopped going to gigs, buying LPs (quaint!) and went raving!

Reply to this Admin

Dec 10, 2012 11:52pm

No, The House of Love blew it because, once ensconced on a major label, they lost the plot creatively, stopped writing classic songs, & drenched everything in ostentatious production to compensate.

Play the original Creation recording of 'Shine On" & it's subsequent major label counterpart back-to-back - the first still sounds lean & vital, while the other is stodgy & overblown. McGee repeatedly encouraged "his" acts to sign with majors &, in virtually every instance, it backfired spectacularly - even The Jesus & Mary Chain struggled after their (still) startling debut.

That said, The House of Love's Creation-era records all still sound terrific - I've never stopped playing them.

Reply to this Admin

Dec 11, 2012 11:30am

Boring list, boring man, boring band.

Reply to this Admin

Dec 11, 2012 11:38am


Reply to this Admin

Dec 11, 2012 7:20pm

Well, he was never going to cite The Bridge by Leer and Rental, was he? Or all of the Dome albums. Who knows or cares what Guy plays when he is relaxing. He wrote one of the most complete albums ever (butterfly), one of the most perfect pop songs ever (The Girl with the Loneliest Eyes), and that is more than enough to earn his place among the greats. Terry knows a thing or two about magic, as well.

Reply to this Admin

Dec 18, 2012 10:02pm

In reply to Rooksby:

I disagree...their Fontana output was far superior to Creation with the Babe Rainbow LP the pick of the bunch

Reply to this Admin

Jan 14, 2013 8:46pm

Obvious enough album choices but HOL were brilliant band at their best. The period up to I Don't Know Why I Love is incredible and I continue playing it to this day. Still listen to the brilliance of Nothing to Me, Flow, Destroy the Heart, Christine, Hope, Don't know why I love you. Would be good to hear another Guy solo album

Reply to this Admin

a structured settlement
Apr 17, 2013 5:42am

Even major label money couldn’t propel them towards the level of stardom that was once assumed to be their destiny. a structured settlement

Reply to this Admin

Feb 8, 2015 11:41am

I remember Guy Chadwick performing a song I think called Shining On by himself on an acoustic guitar at Glastonbury (I coud be mistaken) but it was so good I recorded it on my tape recorder and then learned the guitar chords - I still have that recording. I havent heard that song on any album since or before so it may have been just for Glastonbury

Reply to this Admin

Simon Kilbey
Jul 22, 2015 11:35am

House Of Love - know the world over as 'the poor man's Church'.
Except in the UK, where you loved them and wouldn't give The Church the time of day.
Even though House of Love were a Stars In Their Eyes rip off of The Church without any of the good songs.

Reply to this Admin

Oct 2, 2016 5:03am

In reply to Simon Kilbey:

Hmmm Someone sounds a bit bitter and twisted! Poor man's Church? The reason The Church were ignored in the UK might have something to do with the fact they were/are incredibly boring! Steve Kilbey's (sedated)vocal style might be bearable for a few songs, but certainly no more! The best of The Church comes nowhere near the best of HOL. If anything, The Church are a poor man's Chameleons!

Reply to this Admin