3636. “Don’t Go” by The Hothouse Flowers

Official video:

I love being reminded of a song I really liked but forgot about. While researching a bit about The Hothouse Flowers to write about “I’m Sorry,” I rediscovered “Don’t Go,” which is a superior song in nearly every way.

Now that I’ve had a few days to mull it over, in the late 80’s, these guys were being touted as the next U2. There were several Irish bands that were given this label (Clannad and the Cranberries spring to mind). They don’t sound like U2, so I assume this was just lazy marketing.

I don’t write especially well when trying to describe music, so I feel for the A&R dude from a record company (pre-internet) who has to try to come up with a way of describing a new band that will inspire record store owners and radio station programmers to give the song a spin (thus exposing it to some people). I feel like this plan backfires if somebody drops the needle on the record and it sounds nothing like what the PR guy claims it sounds like.

“Don’t Go” sounds a little more like English Settlement era XTC than like U2, but even that is a stretch. I would probably have used “folk rock sensations from Ireland” or some such had I been in charge of marketing, but I’m not sure how that would have gone over in 1987. Which is why its good I’m not in PR.

Edit: Check out our friend Rockdog’s take on this song at his Eighties Rare Videos blog!


3636. “Don’t Go” by The Hothouse Flowers — 3 Comments

  1. Nice song, and up at ERV as well. I also liked the song a lot, but don’t remember hearing much else by the group. They remind me of The Waterboys, although “Whole of the Moon” is a better song, in my opinion. It turns out that the 80’s were tough times for folk rock bands.

  2. The Waterboys first album was transcendent. I wasn’t as taken by their later songs (though I did like the Fisherman’s Blues track). Didn’t the Waterboys evolve into World Party? I suppose I should Google that.

    • Great question, and answered on my blog. 🙂 Mike Scott basically was the Waterboys; he downsized the group into more of a folk act after the 1985 This Is the Sea LP. World Party were also essentially a one man group led by Karl Wallinger, who formed World Party in 1986 after being downsized out of the Waterboys. “Ship of Fools” is up on my blog, by the by.

      I’m a big fan of “Way Down Now” and “Put the Message in the Box” but they’re both off 1990’s Goodbye Jumbo and therefore ineligible for my blog 🙁

      Cool trivia fact: Karl Wallinger played most of the instruments on his debut album, but listed a bunch of pseudonyms in the credits … just because. (A few are listed at ERV).

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