Our top 10 Hothouse Flowers songs list looks at the body of work of an Irish band revered for its rootsy-esque folk-rock sound. The band was founded in Dublin, Ireland in 1985 by guitarist Fiachna Ó Braonáin and vocalist Liam Ó Maonlaí. Prior to the formation of Hothouse Flowers, vocalist Liam Ó Maonlaí shared membership with My Bloody Valentine founders Kevin Shields and Colm Ó Cíosóig in The Complex, a short-lived Irish punk rock band.
At first, Fiachna and Liam teamed up as street entertainers going under the name The Benzini Brothers. Eventually, the duo added more members to its lineup changing its moniker to Hothouse Flowers. The band’s popularity drew the attention of Irish singer Bono, lead vocalist of U2. Bono helped Hothouse Flowers earn a one-off single release with U2’s label Mother Records, resulting in the hit “Love Don’t Work This Way.”
“Love Don’t Work This Way” achieved mild success in the mainstream rising to the seventh spot on the Irish Singles Chart. The success of Hothouse Flowers’ first single drew the attention of London Records who moved swiftly to sign the band. Over the years, Hothouse Flowers has released seven studio albums, four of which made it to the UK Albums Chart.
Hothouse Flowers’s Album Releases over the Years
In 1988, Hothouse Flowers issued their debut studio album People. People was produced by Alan Winstanley and Clive Langer, a duo known for its work with Morrissey, Bush, Dexys Midnight Runners, Madness, The Teardrop Explodes, A-ha, and Elvis Costello and the Attractions. People was a massive success in the mainstream rising to the second spot on the UK Albums Chart.
People also graced the Billboard 200 Chart peaking at number eighty-eight rising atop the Irish Albums Chart. The album was also a commercial success earning gold certification both in New Zealand and the UK. “Don’t Go,” “It’ll Be Easier in the Morning,” “I’m Sorry,” and the band’s first single “Love Don’t Work This Way” are the best Hothouse Flowers songs from the album People.
Hothouse Flowers returned in 1990 with their sophomore studio album Home. The Clive Langer-Alan Winstanley duo was once more tasked with the production of the album Home. Home went ahead to top the Irish and ARIA Albums Chart. Once again, the album graced the UK Albums Chart peaking at position five.
Home was also warmly welcomed in the US where it rose to position one hundred and twenty-two on the Billboard 200. The album was a commercial success, earning platinum certification in Australia and gold certification in the UK.” I Can See Clearly Now,” “Give It Up,” “Sweet Marie,” “Movies,” and “Christchurch Bell” are the most popular songs by Hothouse Flowers from the album Home.
Songs from the Rain, issued in 1993, marked the band’s third studio album. The album was produced by Stewart Levine, a record producer best known for his work with The Crusaders, B.B. King, Patti LaBelle, Joe Cocker, Brenda Russell, and Lionel Richie. Songs from the Rain was the band’s final album to rise atop the Irish Albums Chart. The album also marked the band’s final commercial success earning silver certification in the UK.
Songs from the Rain still managed to rise to the seventh spot on the UK Albums Chart. The album was Hothouse Flowers’ final release to grace the Billboard 200 rising to a peak position of number one hundred and fifty-six. Hothouse Flowers promoted the album by playing in the first Another Roadside Attraction festival sharing the stage with Midnight Oil, Daniel Lanois, and Crash Vegas. Songs from the Rain is home to some of the best Hothouse Flowers songs including “This Is It (Your Soul),” “An Emotional Time,” “One Tongue,” “Thing of Beauty,” and “Isn’t It Amazing.”
In 1998, Hothouse Flowers returned with their fourth studio album Born. Born marked the band’s final album to make it to the UK Albums Chart rising to a peak position of number ninety-seven. The album also climbed to the twenty-sixth spot on the Irish Albums Chart. “Find the Time,” “At Last,” “Forever More,” and “You Can Now Love Me” are some of the musical gems by Hothouse Flowers from the album.
Hothouse Flowers’s 2003 fifth studio album The Vaults Vol 1 was quite a dismal release. The album marked the band’s first album not to have made it to the mainstream charts. “Used to Call It Love” and “Learning to Walk” are some of the few songs from the album that earned some popularity. The album was quickly followed up by the album with the 2004 release Into Your Heart which was a fair attempt to say the least.
Into Your Heart is the band’s only album issued through Rubyworks Records, a label (once) home to Hozier, Moving Hearts, Sinead O’Connor, and Mary Coughlan. The album went ahead to climb to the third spot on the Irish Albums Chart. “Feel Like Living,” “Sí Do Mhamó Í,” “End of the Road,” and “Your Love Goes On” are the best Hothouse Flowers songs from the album.
In 2016, Hothouse Flowers issued the album Let’s Do This Thing. Let’s Do This Thing was labelled uninspired by critics and some of the band’s fans. As a result, the album earned a poor reception and never made it to the charts. “Three Sisters” and “Let’s Do This Thing” are some of the notable songs by Hothouse Flowers from the album. Let’s Do This Thing marks the most recent album issued by Hothouse Flowers. Below are the top 10 Hothouse Flowers songs of all time.
#10 – Feel Like Living
At the tenth spot on our top 10 Hothouse Flowers songs list is the striking hit “Feel Like Living.” The song is featured on the band’s sixth studio album Into Your Heart. “Feel Like Living” finds the singer expressing words of love to a partner who just came into his life at the most opportune time.
The song went ahead to be featured on the soundtrack of a 2012 French film entitled Ma Première Fois (My First Time in English). Other artists whose songs were featured on the soundtrack of the French film include Sarah McLachlan, The Raconteurs, Bernard Fanning, and the Dave Matthews Band among others. Unfortunately, “Feel Like Living” never made it big in the mainstream charts.
#9 – You Can Love Me Now
Just before Hothouse Flowers’ fortunes in the mainstream dwindled, the band issued the album Born. The album Born is home to the ninth track on our top 10 Hothouse Flowers songs list “You Can Love Me Now.” “You Can Love Me Now” serves as the album’s opening track and emblem of Hothouse Flowers’ endured musicianship.
This masterpiece marked Hothouse Flowers’ final single to climb the UK Singles Chart. “You Can Love Me Now” made it to the sixty-fifth spot on the UK Singles Chart, spending just a week on the chart. The song also graced the Irish Singles Chart where it rose to position thirty-two.
#8 – An Emotional Time
Coming in at position eight on our top 10 Hothouse Flowers songs list is the tempestuous hit “An Emotional Time.” “An Emotional Time” is one of the most successful hits of the band’s third studio album Songs from the Rain. Vocalist Liam and the Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee David Stewart of Eurythmics penned the song.
Dave has also penned songs for other reputable artists including Mick Jagger, Tom Petty, Nina Hagen, and Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac. “An Emotional Time” was a mainstream success in the UK where it climbed to position thirty-eight. The song also rose to position five on the Irish Singles Chart. “An Emotional Time” is among the final singles to have made it to the ARIA Singles Chart peaking at number fifty-seven.
#7 – I’m Sorry
“I’m Sorry” is one of the best Hothouse Flowers songs featured on the band’s debut studio album People. The song was issued as the fourth single to the album People. “I’m Sorry” has its lyrics bring out Liam’s contradictory emotions as he expresses frisky expressions of romantic regret. The song features the backing vocals of the late English singer Claudia Fontaine.
At the peak of her music career, Claudia Fontaine performed with reputable artists including Howard Jones, Marilyn, Neneh Cherry, The Jam, and Elvis Costello. “I’m Sorry” graced the UK Singles Chart rising to the fifty-third spot. The song also made it to the Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart peaking at number twenty-three.
#6- Thing of Beauty
Despite not making it big in Europe, “Thing of Beauty” went ahead to earn great reception in the US. This spirited song captures the band’s Celtic rock influences tinged with the soul of American rock and roll vibes. “Thing of Beauty” was collectively penned by the Hothouse Flowers bandmates and issued as the second single of the band’s third studio album Songs from the Rain.
The song finds the band inviting its listeners to the beauty of everything around—from the beauty of river water as it dances upon the stones to the beauty in the mystery of sound. “Thing of Beauty”’ made it to the fourteenth spot on the Billboard Alternative Airplay Chart. The song also graced the Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart peaking at number thirty-two. Unfortunately, the song never made it to the Irish and UK Singles Charts.
#5 – Sweet Marie
While the song barely achieved mainstream success, “Sweet Marie” rose to become one of Hothouse Flowers’ fan-favorite picks. The song is featured on the band’s sophomore studio album Home. “Sweet Marie” is a slow piano-driven ballad that showcases Liam’s vocal dexterity and excellence on the piano. The song is by far one of the most underrated songs by the band. “Sweet Marie” is among the concert favorites by Hothouse Flowers.
#4- Give It Up
“Give It Up” is one of the most sought-after songs by Hothouse Flowers from the band’s sophomore studio album Home. The song was issued as the first single to the album Home. “Give It Up” was a mainstream success rising to the third spot on the Irish Singles Chart. The song made it to position fifty-three on the ARIA Singles Chart. “Give It Up” also graced the UK Singles Chart peaking at position sixty-eight. The song is Hothouse Flowers’ most successful single on the Billboard Alternative Airplay Chart where it rose to the second spot.
#3 – It’ll Be Easier in the Morning
Coming in at the third spot on our top 10 Hothouse Flowers songs list is the wonderful hit “It’ll Be Easier in the Morning.” The song was issued as the last single of the band’s debut studio album People. Like most of the songs on this album, “It’ll Be Easier in the Morning” finds the band aligning its lyrics towards the themes of despair. The song is Hothouse Flowers’ statement of comfort that things will get better later in the morning.
“It’ll Be Easier in the Morning” is delivered in a country-Esque melody with vocalist Liam showcasing his inspirational vocal skills. The song made it to the sixth spot on the Irish Singles Chart. “It’ll Be Easier in the Morning” also climbed to the seventy-seventh spot on the UK Singles Chart.
#2- I Can See Clearly Now
Almost toppling the hit “Don’t Go” off the top spot on our list is the alluring hit “I Can See Clearly Now.” Initially, “I Can See Clearly Now” was issued in 1972 by the American singer-songwriter Johnny Nash. Hothouse Flowers would later cover this song in 1990 with their version becoming one of the most reputable renditions of the song. The band’s cover of the 1972 Johnny Nash hit was issued as the second single of the band’s sophomore studio album Home.
Other popular covers of the song were issued by Willie Nelson, Ray Charles, Lee Towers, and the band Buffalo Rose. Hothouse Flowers’ version was a mainstream success rising to the fifth spot on the Irish Singles Chart. The song also rose to position twenty-three on the UK Singles Chart. Unfortunately, Hothouse Flowers’ version never made it big in the US.
#1- Don’t Go
At the top spot on our top 10 Hothouse Flowers songs is the rhythmic hit “Don’t Go.” The song was issued as a single of Hothouse Flowers’ debut and most successful studio album People. “Don’t Go” is quite a catchy song thanks to its inviting melody line. Hothouse Flowers performed this hit at the 1988 Eurovision Song Contest, a move that helped poise the band for international success.
“Don’t Go” would later attract considerable airplay on rock radio stations. The song went ahead to peak at number two on the Irish Singles Chart. “Don’t Go” also made it to the UK Singles Chart rising to the eleventh spot. The song also made it to the Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart peaking at position sixteen. “Don’t Go” was covered by former Boyzone member Shane Lynch in 2005.
Top 10 Hothouse Flowers Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023
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