Now That’s What I Call Quite Good The Housemartins

Sometimes I enjoy taking a trip down the proverbial “rabbit hole”. I was aware of Fatboy Slim’s body of work but hadn’t delved deeper into the stuff that Norman Cook had made. I was watching a show called “Top Cover Songs Of All Time”, or something to that effect, and it would play snippets of the original song and then play a little bit of the cover track. Most of the stuff was performances from Top Of The Pops or similar music performance shows; long before MTV made short-form videos so popular.

One of the songs highlighted was “Caravan Of Love” by The Housemartins (originally: The Isley Brothers). Not a bad tune if you were just listening to it. It’s a cappella and the band looked like they were some freshman that met in college and had remained friends throughout their schooling. Taking a closer look, you can see Norman Cook dancing and singing like he was a background member of a boy-band. Arms waving, smile wide as anything.

From the little clip that I heard, I wanted to find out a little more about The Housemartins. They hadn’t put together many albums and the song that I was looking for was only available on Now That’s What I Call Quite Good. I usually like to get the albums that the songs were on originally to see what music surrounded the hits, so to speak.

Now That’s What I Call Quite Good is, in fact, quite good. It has some album cuts and b-sides, instrumentals and covers. Some of the covers include the aforementioned “Caravan Of Love” along with The Hollies’ “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” and James Taylor’s “You’ve Got A Friend”. On the first listen, I kept thinking about their influences and who they sounded like. If someone asked me what they sounded like, I think the most succinct way I could describe them would be: “A cross between a happy sounding Morrissey, the musical stylings of Barenaked Ladies, and influenced by many of the independent bands that came before them.”

1.I Smell WinterThe Housemartins3:24
2.Bow DownThe Housemartins3:02
3.Think For A Minute!The Housemartins3:29
4.There Is Always Something There To Remind MeThe Housemartins3:31
5.The Mighty ShipThe Housemartins1:51
6.SheepThe Housemartins2:16
7.I'll Be Your ShelterThe Housemartins4:47
8.Five Get Over ExcitedThe Housemartins2:42
9.Everyday's The SameThe Housemartins2:56
10.BuildThe Housemartins4:48
11.Step OutsideThe Housemartins4:14
12.Flag DayThe Housemartins3:33
13.Happy HourThe Housemartins2:22
14.You've Got A FriendThe Housemartins3:31
15.He Ain't Heavy, He's My BrotherThe Housemartins2:48
16.FreedomThe Housemartins3:27
17.The People Who Grinned Themselves To DeathThe Housemartins3:30
18.Caravan Of LoveThe Housemartins3:40
19.Light Is Always GreenThe Housemartins3:58
20.We're Not DeepThe Housemartins2:15
21.Me And The FarmerThe Housemartins2:54
22.Lean On MeThe Housemartins4:28
23.Drop Down DeadThe Housemartins3:01
24.Hopelessly Devoted To ThemThe Housemartins2:12