It is the 30th anniversary of The Beloved’s ‘Happiness’ album and New State Music are reissuing the record with an exciting batch of unreleased and rare tracks to accompany it that are real gems, compared to the usual duff offcuts released after having spent many years deliberately hidden away at the bottom of a broom cupboard in some recording studio that is shortly going to be turned into a block of ‘luxury’ flats.
The Beloved co-founder and vocalist Jon Marsh has always seemed to have his finger on the pulse of cutting edge underground dance music. Admittedly: The Beloved’s first album ‘Where It Is’ released in 1987 consisted of the conventional guitar, bass and drum line-up, with Marsh on vocals and keyboards, but the 12” extended remix of ‘Forever Dancing’ taken from their debut album, sounds like something that could have been played between Shannon and New Order 12” remixes by Arthur Baker at some hip NYC club like The Fun House – in other words a dance floor slaying slab of vinyl. Last year New State Music reissued The Beloved’s previously hard to find ‘Where It Is’ album.
For ‘Happiness’ The Beloved line up had changed further to just Jon Marsh and guitarist Steve Waddington, whose visits to Danny Rampling’s Shoom club that started in the basement of a fitness centre in Southwark during the late 1980’s steered where The Beloved were going to go next with their sound. In addition to Shoom, Marsh and Waddington soaked up the sounds of Chicago House and Balearic Beats heard in underground club nights like the Boy’s Own warehouse parties.
The Sun Rising’ was THE tune to soundtrack the arrival of daylight after dancing all night on whatever available substance whilst listening to a gigantic sound system in a cow shed off the M25 in 1989. ‘Hello’ is a logical progression in style from ‘Forever Dancing’ which was followed by the electro-heavy dance floor anthem ’Your Love Takes Me Higher’ and the slower and beautiful ‘Time After Time.’
‘Happiness’ was produced by Martyn Philips who later worked with Erasure. The Beloved could be seen on the covers of music and fashion magazines like The Face in 1990, whilst their videos were nominated for awards and ‘Happiness’ went Gold in the UK.
The remix album of ‘Happiness’ tracks ’Blissed Out’ sold equally well too. ‘Happiness’ sounds timeless today. A collection of songs that celebrate positivity and we all could do with some of that right now.
The CD booklet includes new sleeve notes written by the band themselves. Happiness is reissued on 31 July 2020, via New State Entertainment.