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The Housemartins

One of Britain's more popular indie guitar pop groups of the late '80s, the Housemartins' post-Smiths guitar jangle and subtle updating of catchy, melodic British beat groups earned the Hull-based quartet a substantial critical and popular following within the U.K. Though the group never gained much more than a cult following in America, their balance of simple, memorable melodies and cutting sarcasm helped them rise into the British Top Ten, as well as earn consistently strong reviews. The Housemartins broke up in 1988, just before they fully broke into the mainstream. The group's lead songwriter, Paul Heaton, formed the Beautiful South the following year, and his new band capitalized on the success of the Housemartins to become one of the more popular U.K. groups of the early '90s.

Paul Heaton (vocals, guitar) formed the Housemartins with Ted Key (bass), Stan Cullimore (guitar), and Hugh Whitaker (drums) in 1984. From the outset, the group cultivated a distinctly English image, blending a cynical sense of humor with leftist political leanings and a low-key, commonplace appearance. In 1985, they signed with Go! Discs and by the end of the year, Key was replaced by Norman Cook. "Happy Hour," the Housemartins' third single, became the group's first hit in the summer of 1986, climbing all the way to number three. London O Hull 4, their debut album, followed shortly afterward and, like the single, it cracked the British Top Ten. At the end of the year, the a cappella "Caravan of Love" became a number one hit.

Due to their success in 1986, the Housemartins were award the BPI award for Best Newcomers. Before they recorded their second album, Hugh Whitaker left the band and was replaced by Dave Hemmingway. The People Who Grinned Themselves to Death followed later in 1987, spawning the hit singles "Five Get Over Excited" and "Me and the Farmer." Though the Housemartins were developing into one of the most popular bands within Britain, they broke up in the summer of 1988, claiming they only intended to stay together for three years. In reality, Heaton and Cook were suffering from creative tensions, as the singer wanted to move into sophisticated jazz-pop while the bassist was eager to explore dance music. This difference in taste became apparent in the groups they formed immediately after the disbandment of the Housemartins. Cook formed Beats International, who had a few hits in the early '90s before Cook became a full-time remixer and producer as Fatboy Slim. With drummer Hemmingway, Heaton formed the Beautiful South, which carried on the aesthetic of the Housemartins, but added more complex melodies and arrangements. Toward the end of 1988, a compilation of Housemartins' singles and rarities called Now That's What I Call Quite Good! was released. In 1993, original drummer Hugh Whitaker was imprisoned for wounding with intent and arson attacks on a business partner. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Nice stuff
I was wondering why this song popped up on this station, I mean I'm not really surprised, but it did come out of nowhere. Then I say the World's End...
mmaida
Who eats pears? I'd hate to wake up after 3 months and taste something like that...
chrislowe196 8
Fookin LOVE pears!
jjrice.2010
Love the housemartins . . . b u t i absolutely hate pears...who eats pears? I just wanna see who gets this
kirstin_lala l a l a
Love the housemartins . . . b u t i absolutely hate pears...who eats pears? I just wanna see who gets this
Loved the Housemartins . Every single song!
creativemind w o r k s
These guys are the greatest.
I love these guys. I have both records on vinyl. It will really pick up a party that is lagging.
epdowd
intelligent lyrics are hard to find these days
HM have great delivery
Couldn't agree with you more sirirish! The Housemartins have as much in common with The Beautiful South as they do with Fat Boy Slim! God I miss these guys!
the beautiful south is NOT the housemartins . . . . 2 members from the housemartins (p.d. heaton & david hemmingway) started the beautiful south. you can hear the differences between the 2 bands. bs is mellower than the housemartins . housemartins are a bit more raw, also. i prefer the housemartins to the beautiful south, but i do really like bs.
They did they are called the beautiful south.
a great band! too bad they didn't put out more material!

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