05 February 2010


So, it seems long about 2 years ago I did a little post on Ireland's Hothouse Flowers. In that particular post, I mention that I would be putting up some of the many b-sides and things from the era of their third album, Songs From The Rain, a bit later on. Well, I guess this is a bit later on.

As I mentioned in that post, I was a big big fan of HHF back in the late eighties / early nineties. I had the opportunity to see them in a small club when they where doing their first US tour (with Martin Stephenson opening!). An amazing live band they were.

Their first two albums still get quite a bit of play around my little shack in the middle of nowhere. But those aren't what I'm on about this time.

The third album was good. Very good by the standards of many other bands of the time. But, it just didn't click for me like the first two. A few of the tracks are still classics, like "Be Good" and "One Tongue", but I think the choice of lead single, "An Emotional Time", didn't do the album justice. Yeah, many people like the tune, but I didn't feel like it was one of their strongest.

The b-sides, however, where fantastic. Those of you who know a bit about the band already know there were a ton of b-sides from this period, and nearly all of them are as good as, or better than, much of what was on the album.

Here's the math: They released 4 different songs as singles. 2 different versions of each single, each with 3 unique b-sides. Of those 24 tracks, only 3 of them are live versions of previously released songs. That leaves 21 completely original tracks. OK, 2 of those are traditional songs, and 3 more are covers, but still. That's a heck of a lot of music right there.

Ah, but there's more. They also guested on albums by Michelle Shocked and The Dubliners around the same time, and helped write and record a charity tune with Midnight Oil, The Tragically Hip and others. And they had tracks on a few compilations as well.

So here's the deal with the tracks I'm putting up today. I figure most of those who are fans of the band, probably already have most, if not all, of the b-sides. So, I'll put up a few of my favorites for the uninitiated, and then add on a batch of the other things put out in the time period. Sound good?

(files expired)

Hothouse Flowers - "Let the Rhythm Take You Home" B-side of "An Emotional Time"
Hothouse Flowers - "Of The People" B-side of "Isn't It Amazing"
Hothouse Flowers - "Getting Too Much" Another "Isn't It Amazing" b-side.
Michelle Shocked with Hothouse Flowers - "Over the Waterfall" From Michelle's album Arkansas Traveler. (buy)
Hothouse Flowers - "The Bright Side of the Road" (Van Morrison cover) From a Morrison tribute album.
The Dubliners and Hothouse Flowers - "The Rose" A fantastic pairing, but I wish they would of chosen a different song. I didn't even like it when Bette Midler did it.
Tim Finn - "Many's the Time (In Dublin)" Technically not a Hothouse Flowers tune. It's Tim with Liam and Peter from HHF, and Andy White, Dave Spillane & Noel Eccles. From Tim's album Before and After. Andy, Liam and Tim would later release a couple of albums under the name ALT.

Get 'em while you can:

People, 1988 (buy)
Home, 1990 (buy)
Songs From the Rain, 1993 (buy)
Born, 1998 (buy)
Into Your Heart, 2004 (buy)

On a completely different note, and having nothing to do with music, here's a little video for you in honor of the Super Bowl this weekend. This was originally shown during a Super Bowl many years ago, and it's the only clip from this entire campaign to be shown on television. Several more videos staring Terry Tate, Office Linebacker were online-only.

Next week, I'll be back with a post on a band that I've never mentioned here before. I swear.


Anonymous said...

Good selection. They made some great songs, (and also some not so very good ones.) W.

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