A Little Man and a House and the Whole World Window

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A Little Man and a House and the Whole World Window
ALittleManandaHouseandtheWholeWorldWindowCardiacs.jpg
Studio album by Cardiacs
Released 1988
Recorded 1985–1987
Genre Art rock, post-punk
Length 44:41
Label Alphabet Business Concern / Torso
Producer Tim Smith
Cardiacs chronology
Rude Bootleg
(1986)
A Little Man and a House and the Whole World Window
(1988)
Cardiacs Live
(1988)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars link
NME unfavourable link

A Little Man and a House and the Whole World Window is the fourth studio album by the English rock band Cardiacs, released in 1988.[1] Arguably the band's best known album, it contains their only hit single, "Is This the Life?". It was recorded at The Workhouse studios in London and produced by Cardiacs leader Tim Smith.

The single from the album, "Is This the Life?", saw brief chart success due to exposure on mainstream radio, and garnered the attention of a wider audience when it entered the Independent Top 10 in the UK.[2]

Critical reception[edit]

In New Musical Express, reviewer Jack O'Neill savaged the album for what he perceived to be its retrospective musical approach and (in his opinion) unwelcome leanings towards progressive rock. "Just when you thought Marillion had taken us to the very limit along comes this schizo-progressive anachronism wherein the Cardiacs have telescoped the entire dreggs of the early seventies into one album so geriatric, by comparison that the next Blue Öyster Cult will sound as fresh as Viva Hate. It is the Floyd, it is Genesis, it is King Crimson, does it matter? A Little Man… is the very worst bits of Tommy stretched out to an eternity; it's Emerson, Lake & Palmer; it's Brain Salad Burglary as the NME of its day might have said. By way of variation 'In a City Lining' knocks off one of those Neil Young/Mission cryogenic guitar solos and to bewilder us completely there is a nutty body-stomp midway through "Is This the Life" which resides about as comfortable as Ian Paisley in the Vatican. Cardiacs are the sound of both feet in the grave."[3]

Releases, availability and reissues[edit]

A Little Man and a House and the Whole World Window was originally released on vinyl LP and cassette by the band's record label Alphabet Business Concern. It was subsequently released on CD by the Dutch record label Torso Records with five bonus tracks added – the three tracks from the previous "There's Too Many Irons in the Fire" single ("There's Too Many Irons in the Fire", "All Spectacular" and "Loosefish Scapegrace") plus the B-side tracks from the "Is This the Life?" 12" single ("Goosegash" and "I'm Eating in Bed"). Alphabet released a number of CDs which were actually the Dutch Torso Records version (TORSO CD060), with an Alphabet album number sticker over the Torso release (although the CD has the Torso number printed on it.)

The album was reissued on CD in 1995 (along with the rest of the band's back catalogue) by Alphabet Business Concern. The track listing on this release followed the original vinyl and cassette track listing and removed all of the bonus tracks, with the exception of "I'm Eating in Bed" which was reinstated as the album's third track in accordance with the wishes of the band.

After a long period of unavailability, the album was re-pressed in August 2007 and is available on the band's official website.

Track listing[edit]

All songs are written by Tim Smith except where indicated otherwise.

1988 Alphabet Business Concern LP[edit]

Side One

  1. "A Little Man and a House" – 5:04
  2. "In a City Lining" – 5:51
  3. "Is This the Life?" – 5:36
  4. "Interlude" – 0:47
  5. "Dive" – 4:09

Side Two

  1. "Icing on the World" – 4:02
  2. "The Breakfast Line" – 4:54
  3. "Victory" – 3:07
  4. "R.E.S." – 5:15
  5. "The Whole World Window" (Tim Smith, William D. Drake) – 5:56

1988 Torso CD[edit]

  1. "A Little Man and a House" – 5:04
  2. "In a City Lining" – 5:51
  3. "Is This the Life?" – 5:36
  4. "Interlude" – 0:47
  5. "Dive" – 4:09
  6. "The Icing on the World" – 4:02
  7. "The Breakfast Line" – 4:54
  8. "Victory Egg" – 3:07
  9. "R.E.S." – 5:15
  10. "The Whole World Window" (Tim Smith, William D. Drake) – 5:56
  11. "Goosegash" – 1:55
  12. "Loosefish Scapegrace" – 7:46
  13. "I'm Eating in Bed" (Tim Smith, William D. Drake) – 5:06
  14. "There's Too Many Irons in the Fire" – 3:16
  15. "All Spectacular" – 2:35

1995 Alphabet Business Concern reissue[edit]

  1. "A Little Man and a House" – 5:04
  2. "In a City Lining" – 5:51
  3. "I'm Eating in Bed" (Tim Smith, William D. Drake) – 5:06
  4. "Is This the Life?" – 5:36
  5. "Interlude" – 0:47
  6. "Dive" – 4:09
  7. "Icing on the World" – 4:02
  8. "The Breakfast Line" – 4:54
  9. "Victory Egg" – 3:07
  10. "R.E.S." – 5:15
  11. "The Whole World Window" (Tim Smith, William D. Drake) – 5:56

Personnel[edit]

  • Tim Smith – Vocals, Guitar, Flute and Recorder
  • Jim Smith – Bass Guitar and Vocals
  • Sarah Smith – Saxophones, Clarinets, Recorders and Vocals
  • William D. Drake – Keyboards and Vocals
  • Tim Quy – Marimba, Percussion and Synthesiser
  • Dominic Luckman – Drums

Additional personnel[edit]

  • Ashley Slater – Tenor Trombone and Bass Trombone
  • Phil Cesar – Trumpet, Flugelhorn and Soprano Trumpet
  • Elaine Herman – Violin
  • The Consultant, Miss Swift and Mark Walmesley – Vocals

References[edit]

  1. ^ Buckley, Peter (1999). The Rough Guide to Rock (3rd Edition). Rough Guides. Rough Guides Ltd. ISBN 978-1-85828-457-6. 
  2. ^ "Why A Heart Attack Must Not Arrest The Cardiacs" – article by Graham Bendel in The Quietus, 4 May 2010
  3. ^ Review of A Little Man and a House and the Whole World Window by Jack O'Neill in New Musical Express, 1988 (copy of text hosted on Cardiacs homepage)

External links[edit]