Love is
So lost in confusion
Degrees of illusion
Look out to the skies

that linger forever
In use of together
We'll reach for the signs

This house is a wonder
This house is you and me
This house is a mystery
We'll never know

Keep changing directions
And the stars run to sections
So what do we see

See old days
Cross over to new days
Predictions of new ways
The stars chart for all

This house is a wonder
This house is you and me
This house is a mystery
We'll never know

New moons
The positions and movements
Of your love life and future
Just find where you are

Look now
Your planets are changing
Your time rearranging
Your destiny calls

This house is a wonder
This house is you and me
This house is a mystery
We'll never know

This house is a wonder
This house is you and me
This house is a mystery
We'll never know

We'll never know

I feel I should start with a brief history lesson, based upon my understanding anyway. "Twelfth House" was originally a song Tony wrote, which was recorded by an act called Delegation and released in January 1981. Seven months later Steve Kent released his version of the song. The NM version we are reviewing here was released as the B- side to the Beatles cover of "All You Need is Love" in February 1982.

I think it could be described almost as a 'love song', but coming from the outsider's view again; perhaps some similarities there to "She's a Magazine"?

This is undoubtedly a nicely crafted pop tune, very well produced by Tony and clearly the best of the three different versions. However, it's the last NM track I ever heard (about seven years back), and this may be a reason it never became one of my favourites. Perhaps there's a 'time and place' factor, but it never grabbed me as much as it might. Whilst I recognise many of the familiar NM elements, I can't say I'm enamoured too much overall. But judge that in the context that I'm comparing against the 'classic' NM I adore so much.

As an aside, the opening is pretty similar to Naked Eyes' "Voices in My Head".


(Richard M)

If I recall correctly, I think I bought this in Beaver Radio in Liverpool.

Which was just a few shops away from NEMS, which is where Brian Epstein used to have his office I think. I didn't plan to buy it on the day, but obviously serendipity took over. I spotted it on a hand-written list of single releases, and I just had to buy it.

I think this track came top of the "favourite NM track poll" we ran. With a massive 3 votes. I'll come clean and say I was one of the three which thrust this hitherto little known B side into relative limelight. But why? It's not the best produced track by a long way, it's not their lushest instrumentation, nor Tony's greatest vocal performance. I can understand aficionados wondering what the fuss is about vs the greats on the first two albums.

I can't definitively answer why I like this track so much. But I'll do my best.

One of the many reasons why I liked NM so much was the great, non-album, B sides they used to surprise us with. Who can forget the likes of 'From the Village' and 'Guitars' and the vignettes like 'Chik Musik' / 'Magazine Musik' and the 'Kingdoms' instrumental. Having already purchased 'Warp' by this time, I thought those days were gone, hence my eyes sparkled when I spotted this non-album 'B' side.

Dare I hope it's a good 'un? The signs were not good. 'Culture', though interesting, was more 'Warp' than 'Anywhere'. The boys were now challenging us with a very different sound. The days of whimsical infection were a distant echo, trampled below unforgiving electronic pounding and atonal melodics (with some notable exceptions).

And, of course, 'Twelfth House' was rubbing shoulders with one of the boys' low points in the shape of their cover of 'All You Need is Love'. What were they thinking?

So, it's in this context I heard 'Twelfth House'. And, from the very first audition, I was totally blown away. It was as if the clock had been rolled back a couple of years. Melody. Infection. Lush synth pads. The quirky electronics we know and love. It's a song. A beautiful song, presented in the way only New Musik can produce 'em. My carefully crafted B-side cassette had a new sibling. A shining one at that.

As I hinted, I bought this a few months after Warp. Hence it's probably the last NM vinyl I bought. For me, it was a fitting end to their brief but shining career.

"The light that shines half as long shines twice as bright".

For me, New Musik shone so very brightly, and somehow 'Twelfth House' sums them up in every respect. It's an epitaph. A celebration. A summation.

To me, it sounds and feels like a closing chapter. And talk about "going out on a high".

I suppose the only slight disappointment is that it actually isn't the final track in our 52 week journey through NM's output. But life's never perfect is it? Though hitting 52 weeks exactly, and reviewing 'Churches' on 7/7/07, wasn't bad going. :-)

(Graham G)