1988's self titled The House Of Love LP was an absolutely essential piece of my Oklahoma high school life. Perfectly dreary British alternative pop music, but they were somehow darker than bands like THE OCEAN BLUE and you couldn't dance to them like you could STONE ROSES but they were nowhere near as cool as MORRISSEY, which made them way cooler. That album's opening track "Christine" is still a desert island song for me, the perfect realization of a wall of guitars and vocals possess a stoic confidence. This collection from 1990 ties up some loose ends left by the band's first few releases - some tracks from scrapped sessions, some early demos, but mostly it's some amazing Britpop before the term could deem a band virtually unlistenable. It blew my mind (still does) that bands like this could be Top 10 fodder over there while we were being flogged by Vanilla Ice and Garth Brooks....but such was humanity back then. "Ray," "Scratched Inside" and the "Love" series are the standouts here, but it's "Shine On (the second mix)" that makes the whole download mandatory. Granted, pieces of this tape are too mellow for my taste, but I contend that if all pop music were this brilliant then my record collection might be quite a bit different than it is today.