Depending on who you ask A Spy In The House Of Love, the 1990 release from The House Of Love, is either a compilation of b-sides and rarities – this is what Wikipedia says – or the band’s unofficial third studio album – we’ll call this the Discogs reviews position. Guy Chadwick goes with the former, however, stating:
Although a compilation this is a pretty good album, including some Abbey Road rejects, such as Marble and Baby Teen, plus Safe, which we recorded earlier in 1988 with Daniel Miller. This was due to be the next Creation single, but shelved when we signed to Fontana.
The cover features my English Bull Terrier Sly (RIP) who positively enjoyed posing for the camera.Guy Chadwick
The House Of Love’s Fontana years will be the subject of a new 8-CD box set, out at the end of July, entitled Burn Down The World comprising the three official studio albums of the era – 1989’s The House Of Love (aka Fontana), 1991’s Babe Rainbow, and 1992’s Audience With The Mind. And to put to rest the “comp/not a comp” argument, the three discs of rarities and b-sides in the box are called A Spy In The House Of Love (Parts 1 to 3), which seems pretty definitive. The last two discs are live sets from the UK and New York. I don’t know if there’s a band out there that has sold fewer records and gotten more reissues and box sets than the House Of Love.
But even if the original Spy was just meant as a stopgap release, it still yielded a few singles; “Marble” was the second of the them, and came with this stylish black-and-white video clip. Interestingly, it also appeared on the first Free At Last HMV/CFNY compilation CD in 1991 – interesting only because the 1992 edition – Free At Last 2 – was one of my very first CDs and greatly informed my musical tastes for… well, forever. Grok the track list. If I’d had the first one, I probably would have been a HOL fan years before I actually did. But anyways.
And for good measure, here’s the band in October 1990 performing the song live on The Word: