For fans of this Scottish new wave band, this song would probably better be termed underappreciated than forgotten, but for the rest of us who either missed or only now look back fondly on early-'80s new wave, "I Could Be Happy" qualifies as a criminally neglected dance-guitar-pop single. I'm completely astounded, as a matter of fact, that the only U.S. chart action for this tune was a slightly sub-Top 40 performance in 1982 as a fringe Club Play single. However, not atypically for a number of British acts, this band's reception was altogether different in its native country, as this track became a Top 10 U.K. hit in 1981.
The reason why this particular British import failed to make an impact in America even as fellow Scot Sheena Easton ruled the charts remains a mystery to me. Lead singer Claire Grogan's simultaneously girlish and sultry voice is tremendously pop-ready without sugar-coating or dulling the band's unique, equal opportunity blend of pop, rock and dance music elements. Early alternative rock of the post-punk persuasion may have had better moments than this one, but few of them sound this relevant or genuinely pleasant still today.
Album Cover Image Courtesy of Epic/Legacy