1989 debut LP from Brit group The Beautiful South, released in the US in 1990. Almost a 180 from Heaton and Hemingway's gospel-esque days as The Housemartins, Welcome to... offers a nice foot in the door to the house of cynicism that the Beauties built. Beginning with the pop song satire "Song for Whoever" and on through to the amusing "I Love You (But You're Boring)", the album is naive and delicate (like the band's cover of Pebbles' Girlfriend), with hints toward a sinister underbelly (the anti-patriotism tones of Have You Ever Been Away). There's also some interesting meditation and philosophical waxing in "Love Is...".

The cover is flat green with two black and white photographs: one of a woman holding a large pistol to her mouth and another of a man lighting a cigarette. This apparently caused the album to be banned from Woolworths stores "to prevent the hoards of impressionable young fans from blowing their heads off in a gun-gobbling frenzy, or taking up smoking." (quote from the band's website, http://www.beautifulsouth.co.uk/)

I give this record a 3.5 out of 5. Not the best way to get into The Beautiful South due to its relative lo-fi qualities, but by no means a bad album.

track list:

  1. Song For Whoever
  2. Have You Ever Been Away?
  3. From Under The Covers
  4. I'll Sail This Ship Alone
  5. Girlfriend
  6. Straight In At 37
  7. You Keep It All In
  8. Woman In The Wall
  9. Oh Blackpool
  10. Love Is...
  11. I Love You (But You're Boring)
All songs written by Paul Heaton and David Rotheray except for Girlfriend, written by LA and Babyface.


top UK chart position: 2

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