Hopeless romantics the House of Love (HOL) formed in London in 1986, quickly garnered praise from legendary Creation Records and released three singles and a self-titled debut album. The band named after Anais Nin's 1954 novel, A Spy in the House of Love, which depicted a tormented adulteress coming to grips with her tempestuous relations. HOL showcased a bittersweet Brit-pop sound reminiscent of post-Smiths, early Echo & the Bunnymen and Psychedelic Furs.
Fontana Records signed the band to rave reviews but poor sales and tension due to drugs between guitarists Guy Chadwick and Terry Bickers eventually tainted the band's progression. However, HOL's second self-titled record, (aka The Butterfly album) mystified listeners with its acoustic arsenal on "The Beatles and the Stones" proclaiming "it made it good to be alone." More upbeat and noisy guitars swirl on earlier singles "Shine On" and captivate with a clever cat-and-mouse tale of love on "I Don't Know Why I Love You." On March 2, 2009, HOL released Live at the BBC.