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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Sal's Birdland - So Very Happy (1994)

Another CD I ran across the other day in a dusty box was the first album by Sal's Birdland.  They should be familiar to Isle followers as I did a post on them years ago, but under their newer moniker of Artificial Joy Club.  As I mentioned in that post, the group was formed by the pop duo formerly known as One To One (later One 2 One), Louise Reny and Leslie Howe.  After having several Canadian pop hits as One To One starting in 1985, from the synth-pop of "There Was A Time" and "Angel In My Pocket" (which even appeared at the tail end of the Billboard Hot 100) to the straight up pop of "Hold Me Now" to the folkier pop of  "Memory Lane", they eventually called it quits in 1992 after releasing three albums.  (Howe also produced Alanis Morissette's pre-Jagged Little Pill Canadian pop albums, with Reny assisting, near the end of their time as One 2 One.)  The duo took a couple of years off to regroup, and after enlisting Mike Goyette, Andrew Lamarche, and Tim Dupont, they took the name Sal's Birdland and recorded their first album, which was released on Howe's Ghetto Records label and was produced by Howe.  Their sound became rougher edged, much more rock pop.  The album was impressive enough that the group was picked up for Sire Records' Discovery sublabel in the US, and producer Michael James was enlisted to slick up their sound for the American market.  In 1995, Nude Photos Inside was released.  It consisted mostly of So Very Happy tracks, with "My Heaven", "That's The Way" and "Something Devine" replaced with "Love Is Groovy", "I'm Not Like Madonna", "Crumble" and "Wanna Be A Star".  "Love Is Groovy" was the only single and it failed to make any impact.  This did not discourage the group, however, and in 1997 they returned as Artificial Joy Club on a bigger label, Interscope, and with greater, though still not stellar, success, adding electronic elements to their rock to emulate popular groups of the time, most specifically Garbage (as did several other postees like Transister and Sister Soleil).  When AJC didn't pan out as expected, the group disbanded.  Though keeping a low profile since, Howe occasionally produces and Reny performed with cover band Bubbles Cash and the Rhythm Method.  Should we expect a new incarnation soon?
Download So Very Happy
1 Should Have Been A Man
2 My Heaven
3 That's The Way
4 So Fucking Happy
5 California Au Revoir
6 Wonderful World
7 Beating Up Myself
8 Punching Bag
9 Take A Look (At My Life)
10 Someone Devine


  1. awesome stuff. thank you so much!

  2. Link dead, could you please re-upload this? Thanks.

  3. Thank you!!! Could never find this when it was released. I guess living in BC doesn't always have advantages.

  4. The original lineup with sal's Birdland did not enlist Andrew lamarche as drummer for So Very Happy sessions. That was instead done by a drummer named Butch whom was being produced by Frank Levin at Distortion studios in his own band Persona, Louise did a track called "Take A Step" with that band and it was released on their album "Solidad"

  5. Could you please re-upload just the file for "my heaven"? I'd really appreciate it.