Records that mean the most to me Pt 2.
The Pursuit of Happiness "Beautiful White" (Chrysalis Records Album Track 1989)
It's an odd one. I'd never heard anything by the band at all, ever. But, we were put on the same bill at a rock festival in Ghent, Belgium, early in 1989. We actually played about two bands after them, so I suppose that made us bigger than them at the time. The Stone Roses were headlining, they turned up about ten minutes before playing, surrounded by a huge crowd of hangers-on and were among the most distant musicians it ever been my displeasure to meet.
Anyway, back to TPOH. I'd got changed into my stage clothes somewhat too early and had a bunch of time to kill. The festival was organised so that there were two stages next to each other at one end of the hall. One band would play on one stage whilst the next band on would soundcheck behind a curtain on the other stage. Once the changeover was complete, the curtain would open on the other stage and the audience would shuffle 20 yards to the left or right. I wandered out into the main hall to see what was happening. Not a lot, is the short answer. I think RDF were playing, or if they weren't, it was someone scarily like them. It was awful. Then, to what seemed like complete indifference from the crowd, TPOH came on stage. I only knew it was them because I had a copy of the running order in my pocket.
What were they like? Well, a lead singer with big glasses and long hair, really dorky. A female guitarist with Stevie Nicks hair. A bass player who looked as though he'd just come from Bryan Adams' band. The omens were not good. And then, they started playing.
TPOH's sound is hardly revolutionary, it's a little bit Stones, some Faces, some big chords and some obvious melodies: I wasn't really hooked. But then, they played "Beautiful White" .It's a simple little song really: it sound a bit like "Start Me Up" but with a more yearning minor chord in the main riff..It surges and builds in a wonderfully organic way. The song is about being with a woman who doesn't really care about the clothes her lover gives her: she tosses them nonchalantly to the floor, leaving her naked: "Beautiful White". And that was it. I burst into tears, it was utterly perfect.
I finally got a copy of the album it comes from ("Love Junk") about two months later, and there wasn't a day that I didn't play it for at least five years. Even now, I play it at least once a week. It's perfect. And it makes me thank god that I'm alive. I actually realise that some of you reading this will never even hear it and probably won't even care..But you know what? I don't care. It's one of the most perfect songs ever, and I'll love it till the day I die. Game over.