My Top 1000 Songs #187: Christine

So, we're talking about the 1988 House of Love song here, not the Siouxsie & The Banshees song (though that one's pretty great as well). This one was a bright spot in the period right after I graduated college and started law school, and was feeling a bit musically adrift without the college radio station (and my DJ friends) to keep me up to date on new music. I had a few resources (MTV's late-night 120 Minutes show was a pretty reliable way to hear alternative singles, though they didn't delve too deeply into truly independent music), but it was kinda haphazard.

I'm not sure where I came across this one--British band House of Love weren't exactly getting a ton of traction back in Chicago, but maybe this one got picked up by the one cool FM station?--but it won me over pretty much instantly. It's a nice midway point between the noisier shoegaze of acts like My Bloody Valentine and Ride, which would soon become favorites, and the more tuneful pre-Britpop psychedelia of the Stone Roses (who'd dominate my 1989 playlists). It mostly grabbed my attention as an update on the Jesus and Mary Chain, a catchy three-chord pop tune adorned by a wall of fizzy distortion and reverb and multi-tracked vocals. And while it sounded very of its moment, it still gets me excited when I break it out for a spin these days.

Live on TV in 1988: