The Happy One is a quasi-unused instrumental demo from the Technique sessions. Parts of the track were used between clips on the band’s 1989 Substance video compilation on VHS and laserdisc, and parts were also released (as Intermede Musical N°1 through N°6) on a 1991 Factory Records CD promo called Palatine Lane (FAC 303), which was offered to subscribers of the French music magazine Les Inrockuptibles.
Without over-analysing a demo recording, I can sense that given more time in the oven The Happy One was headed in the same direction as Best & Marsh; a melodic and light sounding instrumental which would have made a good B-side. With those bright chimes it’s certainly happy! I quite like the ‘off’ keyboard chords, and Hooky’s bass offers pleasant ramblings. Indeed Peter also played the track live & solo for Tony Wilson’s Other Side of Midnight TV show, and it’s interesting to clock the additional layers of instrumentation in the backing track for his performance, but IMHO the version actually sounds worse off for it, and I suspect the demo was headed for relegation soon afterwards. That parts of it were resurrected for Substance and Palatine Lane is a curious footnote, for which I suspect we have Gretton to thank.
Whether we ever get the complete recording as a deluxe edition bonus remains to be seen, but let’s hope. It’s no worse than MTO…
In the absence of an official Spotify link,
click the icon above to listen to my humble reconstruction of this track. Or here for a gratuitous remix thereof.