The John Peel Session1988

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    The John Peel Session1988 Strange Fruit
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Review

Review Text This compilation throws together the total sum of the House of Love's first three sessions for John Peel's BBC program, all recorded while guitar wonder Terry Bickers was still in the group. The June 1988 session pulls out a crisp version of the their fourth single, "Destroy the Heart," with little difference from the studio version, aside from some variety with the guitar lines that add more than distract. "Nothing to Me," "Plastic," and "Blind" are pre-second album B-sides, all done rather straight and effectively. From the session that took place only two months after the first, a version of "The Hedonist" that would later be re-worked to sound more like the Rolling Stones leads the pack. "Love in a Car" retains all the inert shimmer of the version found on the band's first album, and more interesting choices again are favored over the well-known (excellent B-side "Safe," the previously unissued ballad "Don't Turn Blue"). The third and final session, from April 1989, is all acoustic. Favorites "Christine" and "The Beatles and the Stones" don't quite have the same luster as their album counterparts, but no immediacy is lost on "In a Room." And here lies the definitive version of another B-side favorite, "Loneliness Is a Gun," which is much more appealing in its more intimate and stark setting. So is it worthwhile? Yes. Longtime fans -- like the one who penned the liner notes -- will be more than happy to replace their threadbare cassette copies from the original airings. Despite the favoring of non-album material, newcomers will also find much to enjoy. Hopefully a second volume will surface someday; three sessions (nine songs total) after the departure of Bickers remain in the BBC archive, unreleased. ~ Andy Kellman

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Destroy the Heart - 3:46
  2. 2. Nothing to Me - 4:51
  3. 3. Plastic - 2:03
  4. 4. Blind - 3:40
  5. 5. Hedonist - 3:05
  6. 6. Don't Turn Blue - 3:16
  7. 7. Safe - 5:10
  8. 8. Love in a Car - 5:46
  9. 9. In a Room - 3:22
  10. 10. Beatles and the Stones - 3:22
  11. 11. Christine - 4:56
  12. 12. Loneliness Is a Gun - 2:29

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