THE BELOVED Happiness
1 Hello 4:19 (UK single, #19)
2 Your Love Takes Me Higher 3:39 (UK single #91, re-issue #39)
3 Time After Time 4:13 (UK single, #46)
4 Don’t You Worry 3:51
5 Scarlet Beautiful 4:40
6 The Sun Rising 5:04 (UK single, #26)
7 I Love You More 3:56
8 Wake Up Soon 5:02
9 Up, Up And Away 6:01
10 Found 4:24
The perfect album to ease us through from the ’80s to the ’90s, this was the new decade’s first great pop record. Once a guitar-toting indie combo, The Beloved mutated into a dance-friendly, poptastic act for the rave generation with 1988’s Loving Feeling (sadly not featured) and 1989’s The Sun Rising.
Factor in a flop first release of the orgasmic Your Love Takes Me Higher (with its ABC-worthy synth string stabs), and the album was already home to three singles by the time of its release. Happiness was welcomed warmly in all quarters and sold respectably, but neither Time After Time nor a reissued Your Love Takes Me Higher could follow Hello into the Top 20. Jon Marsh would swap musical partner Steve Waddington (namechecked in “Hello”) for real-life partner Helena Marsh by the time of their next studio set in 1993.
1989 had been a wonky time for the great mid-80s synthpop acts; Tears For Fears and Pet Shop Boys were making serious/real music, ABC had House-ified themselves almost out of recognition, while Thompson Twins had gone back to their club-oriented roots with Big Trash.
Into this gap (as it were) stepped Happiness, although it too had leanings towards the dancefloor. It also had absolutely stellar pop gems like Up, Up & Away, Wake Up Soon and the existing singles. Don’t You Worry was a little too twee for comfort, but closing track Found channelled early O.M.D. and New Order with surprisingly effective results.
[…] to the Nineties…and its first classic turned up just six weeks into the new year, sounding more ’80s than some of the albums […]