The Pursuit of Happiness (band)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Pursuit of Happiness
OriginToronto, Ontario, Canada
Years active1985–present
Associated actsUniversal Honey Edit this at Wikidata
  • Moe Berg
  • Dave Gilby
  • Kris Abbott
  • Brad Barker
  • Renee Suchy
Past members
  • Tamara Amabile
  • Natasha Amabile
  • Johnny Sinclair
  • Leslie Stanwyck
  • Susan Murumets
  • Jennifer Foster
  • Rachel Oldfield

The Pursuit of Happiness (TPOH) is a Canadian power pop[1] group perhaps best known for their song "I'm an Adult Now".[2]


Led by Edmonton, Alberta, singer and songwriter Moe Berg,[3] The Pursuit of Happiness were launched in 1985 when he and drummer Dave Gilby moved to Toronto, Ontario.[4] 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.[5]

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).

Chrysalis Records[edit]

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.[2] 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.[4]

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.

Mercury Records[edit]

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[edit]

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.[6]

Current members[edit]

  • 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




Release date Title Chart positions
September 1986 "I'm An Adult Now"
(original recording)
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"
- 39 22 6
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" - - - -
January 1996 "Kalendar" - - - -
April 1996 "I Should Know" 35 - - -
September 1996 "She's The Devil" 56 - - - The Wonderful World of
The Pursuit of Happiness
January 1997 "Carmalina" 52 - - -
October 2005 "When Doves Cry" - - - - When We Ruled: The Best of
The Pursuit of Happiness

Featured on[edit]

  • Beavis and Butt-Head season 2, episode 7 "Customers Suck" - "Cigarette Dangles" (music video)


  1. ^ Billboard Artist Biography recopied from allmusic
  2. ^ a b Billboard The Pursuit of Happiness chart listing
  3. ^ Wild, David (23 February 1989). "TPOH Declares Its Independence". Rolling Stone.
  4. ^ a b Wigmore, Mark (6 November 2013). "Rear-view Mirror: Video made a radio star. The story of The Pursuit of Happiness". CBC Music.
  5. ^ Ladouceur, Liisa (29 October 2012). "Canadian Classics: "I'm an Adult Now" (1986)". Words & Music. SOCAN. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010 (pdf ed.). Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.

External links[edit]