The Pursuit of Happiness (band)
The Pursuit of Happiness
|Origin||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Associated acts||Universal Honey|
Led by Edmonton, Alberta, singer and songwriter Moe Berg, The Pursuit of Happiness were launched in 1985 when he and drummer Dave Gilby moved to Toronto, Ontario. They soon met bassist Johnny Sinclair and formed the band, adding sisters Tamara and Natasha Amabile as backing vocalists. Their debut single, "I'm an Adult Now", quickly became a smash hit across Canada in 1986, sparked by a low-budget video which made it onto the Canadian music video channel MuchMusic.
The band signed with manager Jeff Rogers (Swell) in 1986. The band did not immediately sign to a record label, but instead released another independent single, "Killed by Love", in 1988. The Amabile sisters left the band that year, and were replaced by Kris Abbott (guitar and backing vocals) and Leslie Stanwyck (backing vocals).
In 1988, they signed to Chrysalis Records. Their debut album, Love Junk, was produced by Todd Rundgren and released that year. "I'm an Adult Now" was re-recorded and re-released as a single, making it to the charts a second time. In January 1989 the song peaked at No. 6 on Billboard's alternative songs chart. It was followed by "She's So Young", which became their biggest hit single in Canada and also received radio play in the UK and became a minor hit there, and "Hard To Laugh". The album sold over 100,000 copies in Canada and was certified platinum.
Stanwyck and Sinclair left, going on to form Universal Honey, after completing the band's follow-up with Rundgren, 1990's One Sided Story. That album, led by the hit singles "New Language" and "Two Girls in One", did not sell as well as Love Junk, but was still a significant hit for the band. Starting with the tour for the album, Brad Barker (bass) and Susan Murumets (backing vocals) joined the lineup. Rachel Oldfield replaced Murumets in 1992.
The band then went through difficulties with their record label and signed to Mercury Records for 1993's The Downward Road. Despite some success with the single "Cigarette Dangles" (the video appeared on Beavis and Butt-head), label troubles continued, and the band recorded their next two albums for the now-defunct Canadian label Iron Music. Oldfield left the band in 1995, and was replaced by Jennifer Foster, who in turn left the following year and was replaced by Renee Suchy.
Canadian Indies Hall of Fame and reunion shows
Although the group never officially disbanded, after 1996 they did not record as a unit until 2005, when they recorded two new tracks for a greatest hits compilation. The most recent lineup has played a few concerts over the last decade, including in a series of shows over the last week of 2005 which ended with a New Year's Eve concert in London, Ontario. In March 2006, they were inducted into the Canadian Indies Hall of Fame.
The band reunited for the Q107 Jingle Ball on 13 December 2014, at the Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto, and at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto on 27 October 2017 as part of the Horseshoe's 70th anniversary series of shows.
- Moe Berg – lead vocals, lead guitar, songwriting
- Kris Abbott – guitar, backing vocals
- Brad Barker – bass, occasional live backing vocals
- Dave Gilby – drums
- Renee Suchy – backing vocals, live percussion
- Love Junk (1988)
- One Sided Story (1990)
- The Downward Road (1993)
- Where's the Bone? (1995)
- The Wonderful World of the Pursuit of Happiness (1996)
- Sex and Food: The Best of TPOH (2000)
- When We Ruled: The Best of The Pursuit of Happiness (2005)
|Release date||Title||Chart positions|
|September 1986||"I'm An Adult Now"
|35||-||-||-||Non-LP singles |
both later re-recorded
for Love Junk
|February 1988||"Killed By Love"||-||-||-||-|
|January 1989||"She's So Young"||20||-||-||-||Love Junk|
|April 1989||"Beautiful White"||47||-||-||-|
|July 1989||"Hard To Laugh"||-||-||-||-|
|January 1990||"I'm An Adult Now"
|May 1990||"Two Girls in One"||30||-||-||-||One Sided Story|
|August 1990||"New Language"||42||-||-||-|
|February 1993||"Cigarette Dangles"||51||-||-||-||The Downward Road|
|May 1993||"Pressing Lips"||-||-||-||-|
|July 1995||"Young And in Love"||77||-||-||-||Where's the Bone|
|August 1995||"Gretzky Rocks"||-||-||-||-|
|April 1996||"I Should Know"||35||-||-||-|
|September 1996||"She's The Devil"||56||-||-||-||The Wonderful World of|
The Pursuit of Happiness
|October 2005||"When Doves Cry"||-||-||-||-||When We Ruled: The Best of|
The Pursuit of Happiness
- Beavis and Butt-Head season 2, episode 7 "Customers Suck" - "Cigarette Dangles" (music video)
- Billboard Artist Biography recopied from allmusic
- Billboard The Pursuit of Happiness chart listing
- Wild, David (23 February 1989). "TPOH Declares Its Independence". Rolling Stone.
- Wigmore, Mark (6 November 2013). "Rear-view Mirror: Video made a radio star. The story of The Pursuit of Happiness". CBC Music.
- Ladouceur, Liisa (29 October 2012). "Canadian Classics: "I'm an Adult Now" (1986)". Words & Music. SOCAN. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
- Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010 (pdf ed.). Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.