The Beloved ‎– Happiness

Album Producer

Happiness is a 1990 album from the British pop band The Beloved that Martyn Phillips produced. Happiness reached #14 on the U.K. Albums Chart on its release, in March 1990, and subsequently reached #154 on the U.S. Billboard 200 Pop Albums Chart.


"A fairly regular gig for me in the latter half of the 1980s was as a synthesiser programmer. for Paul Staveley O'Duffy. I operated the Fairlight CMI and performed synth duties on a series of hits for the likes of Swing Out Sister,  such as “Breakout” and “Surrender “, Was Not Was, “Walk The Dinosaur” “Spy in the House of Love”, Errol Brown, Barry Manilow, even getting to work with the energetic and inspiring John Barry on the soundtrack for the James Bond Film “The Living Daylights”.

Paul was in the driving seat for a couple of singles for East West band The Beloved; the second “Your Love Takes Me Higher” did well in the clubs. Jon Marsh and Steve Waddington were looking to blend a more contemporary sound into their tracks; we three shared an excitement for the developing genres of Chicago House and Deep House, as well as the opening up to more world music, so having heard my work with Akasa, the band asked me to produce the rest of an album, which became “Happiness”.

We ensconced ourselves at Sam Therapy Studios in Kensal Road, West London, for a couple of months to track. Jon would turn up on Monday morning after a hard weekend’s clubbing, with the greeting “I feel s**t!”. It did not take long for the enthusiasm to pick up, as we infused elements of the dance culture into their more structured pop songs of the album. “The Sun Rising” is worthy of note: based around a pad progression (voiced on the Roland Juno-60 and Roland D-50) and a vocal hook that got us all in trouble later, there was a flow and cohesion to the whole process. We mixed the track on the DDA board manually, then spent a few hours working on another album track, using the monitor section on the desk, before returning to the mix sometime in the early hours of the following day. Without automation, the mix became a performance, with all three of us handling rides cuts and EQ changes on the fly! The sun had literally risen and was high in the morning sky when we were finally happy with the result – the resultant tune became an anthem that would be played at the end of the summer raves. We also had great success with the singles from the album: “Hello” and Time after Time”,  which were mixed on the SSL E-Series in my favourite room at Sarm Studio 3 in Basing Street, Notting Hill, West London.

Various alternative and club mixes for various tracks aggregated into the remix album “Blissed Out”; with much less time to complete, these tracks have an immediacy and freshness to them. Jon went on to record two more albums with his wife Henny, as the other member of the band, scoring a big hit with "Sweet Harmony"."

The Beloved

Having slimmed down from a four piece to a duo comprising Jon Marsh and Steve Waddington in 1987, following the departure of original members Tim Havard and Guy Gausden, Marsh and Waddington soon fell under the influence of the burgeoning Acid House scene emerging in London at the time, from clubs such as Shoom. The duo changed their style from the New Order-influenced synthpop, and took in influences from acid house, pop and techno (the record also features Chicago house diva Kym Mazelle on female vocals).

The change in style proved to be their commercial breakthrough, as the album yielded three Top 40 UK singles – "The Sun Rising" at #26, "Hello" at #19, and "Your Love Takes Me Higher" at #39. A fourth single, "Time After Time", was one of the group's most popular songs in many European countries, including Italy, where the long playing work became known soon after the release of the final single, which also caused the previous singles to be reissued. The success of the album was so big as to push the band to release a whole remix album, called Blissed Out, in 1991, including almost all of the original album's songs, in one or more remixed versions, and a number of additional tracks, mostly instrumental.

Reviews

The record is pure bliss, full of upbeat, uptempo, major-key confections like “Hello,” “Your Love Takes Me Higher,” and my favorite cut, “Scarlet Beautiful.” Sure, the lyrics don’t make a lot of sense, but they don’t have to when the song is so catchy. 

A Review

AN Author
The record is pure bliss, full of upbeat, uptempo, major-key confections like “Hello,” “Your Love Takes Me Higher,” and my favorite cut, “Scarlet Beautiful.” Sure, the lyrics don’t make a lot of sense, but they don’t have to when the song is so catchy. 

A Review

AN Author

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"Happiness is a 1990 album from the British pop band The Beloved that Martyn Phillips produced."