Saturday, January 16, 2010

Rupert Holmes – Pursuit of Happiness


It's back. . .after a sabbatical of unprecedented length. It's the album of the week. I've written about Rupert Holmes before, his Widescreen album was the first of his that I ever bought. I had all of them on vinyl back in the 1970s and 80s but they got sold in either the great financial necessity purge or a later space saving purge. I've been in pursuit of them all ever since and today I finally got the last one, The Pursuit of Happiness.

It was released in 1978 and even then was somewhat at odds with the prevailing mood of pop. Rupert's songs are complex and witty but they are always catchy and just about every track on this album is super catchy. From the opening number, 'Less is more' you are invited into an intimate world of New York loft apartments and sophisticated people – today it might just sound a triffle dated to some (Ok, a lot dated in its feel and form) but I love it. I've always been a sucker for great pop songs and that's what this album and all of Rupert's albums are all about. Other standout tracks include, 'So Beautiful it Hurts', 'Speechless', 'Let's Get Crazy Tonight', 'Guitars' and 'The Long Way Home'.

If you only know Rupert Holmes from 'Escape (The Pina Colada Song) don't be put off. It's a song that has had a huge amount of airplay and perhaps has a tendency to grate for some in that the story wears thin after too many listenings. That's not a charge that you can level at the vast majority Rupert's output.

In recent years he's written a couple of very good books. I've read Swing, a good murder mystery and I have Where the Truth Lies to read. There's also a new book called The Musician's Daughter

7 comments:

Laura said...

Oh my gosh. I'm thrilled, truly. For some reason I was reminded this morning of a nostalgic song on that album "The Long Way Home", and was wondering if it was possible to get it in some form. I go looking and find this! Thank you!

Richard Havers said...

Laura, you're right, 'The Long Way Home' is such a nostalgic song. I bought this album in Houston, having not heard any of it but comfortable in the knowledge that for me RH could do no wrong. I then had to wait until I got home to the UK to hear it and I was not at all disappointed. I can still remember putting it on the turntable for the first time and being totally convinced by 'Less is More', the first track. It sounded so sophisticated and made me realise that despite having reached 27, an age which previously I believed would see me become sophisticated that I was not.

Laura said...

Is your "Album of the Week" the vinyl or CD version? I've been looking all week on Amazon for the re-release and I'm not seeing it.

BTW, I was amused at your blogroll having the Ben Lomond Free Press. I had to check it out, because I live in Ben Lomond, California.

Richard Havers said...

I cheated! Someone made me a CDR copy from the vinyl recording. If you email me at rhavers1 at me.com and send me your address in Ben Lomond I will make you a copy and mail it to you. The BLFP is a good read.

The Lakelander said...

The most disturbing thing about this album cover is that, when I was 19 (in 1979) I actually wore my hair like this and briefly had a beard that was the same as Rupert's.

Thankfully Dr Lakelander has never seen the photos....

Richard Havers said...

LL....but I think the world should...

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