December 12, 2011

The House Of Love - Why major labels are a thing of the past.

The House Of Love were an Alternative band from the UK who garnered a goodly amount of popularity during their early incarnation as an Alternative/Indie band, but somehow managed to fall under the micro-managing gaze of a major label and subsequently disintegrated as the result.

Sadly, it's an all-too-common story. A band gets signed to a major label deal, thinking they would retain creative freedom they had before they were in the big leagues. The crushing reality sets in that they've been consumed by a corporate entity not terribly interested in preserving artistic integrity but rather grind out hits on a pre-conceived level and on a consistent basis.

And that's what more or less happened to The House Of Love. Initially they were on the Creation label, which was, in the 1980's one of the more highly regarded of the Independent labels operating in the UK and from where the band got their popularity and strong fan base. They then switched to Fontana which was part of the conglomerate now known as Universal Music Group and their fortunes took a nosedive.

Also complicating matters was a change in musical tastes in the early 1990's, and the popularity of bands like Stone Roses and Happy Mondays and the whole Madchester movement, coupled with Grunge from the US and a faltering morale on the parts of The House Of Love became quickly overlooked by the up-and-comers of the early 90's.

Tonight's track comes from 1992, a downward spiral for the band, but not for lack of trying. You Don't Understand was first issued as a single before it became the opening track on their album Babe Rainbow. But both the album and the single didn't go over particularly well with the audience. Ironically, You Don't Understand did better as a single in the U.S. than it did on home turf, topping at #8 on the "Modern Rock" charts, where it barely cracked the top-40 in the UK.

Maybe it's familiar?

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