• Hawrelak Park (map)
  • Edmonton, Alberta
  • Canada
Pursuit of Happiness

Pursuit of Happiness

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" 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.

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

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