Can an entire album be a one hit wonder? This is a serious question. Sometimes a band records an entire album filled with fantastic songs many of which become hits and then their follow up release falls flat and is quickly forgotten and the band is never heard of again save for diehard fans and the members’ mothers. The band that best encapsulates this concept for me is The Pursuit of Happiness, a CanCon gem if there ever was one.
TPOH were by and large a niche college band in Ontario who started to garner attention with their indy hit, “I’m An Adult Now”. That twenty-something anthem would garner them a record deal resulting in the release of what is truly one of the greatest Canadian rock albums of all time, Love Junk.
Released in late 1988, Love Junk was all over Canadian radio throughout 1989, spawning multiple hits and becoming the de facto soundtrack for that summer. I’ll never forget that summer. I was seventeen, overwhelmed with the highs and lows of teenage life, working at Home Hardware, and racing off to The Pinery with my friends for long weekends. We listened to and sang along with Love Junk all the time. It was summer. Every time I listen to this album now it’s like entering a time machine that transports me back to those summer days of 1989. Except that now, thanks to my wife, I actually have a girl to make out with.
I love the entire album. Every song is a joy; simple but heartfelt pop rock. And while “I’m An Adult Now” is the song that made Love Junk possible and should forever be honoured for doing so, I’m kicking off the weekend with my personal favourite, “Beautiful White” by The Pursuit of Happiness.