The Tragically Hip


Well-Known Member
Some would say while England had the Smiths, America had R.E.M.

Intelligent, at times poetic lyrics. Culturally important to their respective nations. Started off with a comparable sound.

Then you have the Canadian answer to these two bands -- the Tragically Hip.

The Hip have been massive in Canada (primarily through the 90s) yet hardly noted outside of the country's borders.

Have you heard of them? What do you make of them?

They have sold over six million records in Canada. They have two diamond certified records (800,000 shipments). They had six consecutive #1 studio albums between 1991 and 2000. They have two #1 singles and have hit the top 10 11 times.

Here's a little biographical excerpt:

Gordon Downie (lead vocals) Paul Langlois (rhythm guitar, backing vocals) Bobby Baker (lead guitar) Gord Sinclair (bass, backing vocals) Johnny Fay (drums)

Originally from the penetentiary town of Kingston, Ontario, The Tragically Hip started playing together with the current, unchanged line-up, in 1983. They chose their name from a skit in the cult classic 'Elephant Parts' movie by ex-Monkee Michael Nesmith. They toured the rigorous southern Ontario club scene before coming to the attention of MCA Records' then president Bruce Dickinson who was sufficiently impressed with their performance at the legendary Horseshoe Tavern to sign them to a long-term record deal. Their 1987 eponymous debut EP went completely unnoticed despite the airplay of their first single 'Smalltown Bringdown', but their 1989 follow-up 'Up To Here' featured their first breakthrough with two hit singles "Blow At High Dough" and "New Orleans Is Sinking" firmly establishing The Tragically Hips presence on the Canadian music scene. 1991's 'Road Apples' made The Hip a household name with its Don Smith produced slick and jangly catchiness. Three hit singles put the band on the map and they were able to tour Australia where they released a special single for that market with "Twist My Arm". 1992 saw a quick follow up with the solid 'Fully Completely' and the radio/video staples "Locked In The Trunk Of A Car"at which time they launched the first of their annual 'Another Roadside Attraction' touring sideshows. The festival attracts thousands per city appearance and features the added bonus of dozens of additional acts both from Canada and abroad. Two more singles kept their live momentum rolling with "Courage" and "At The 100th Meridian" at which time they slowed down to record the next album - 'Day For Night'. Despite all their success, the American market was an elusive dream. The band did sign a US deal through Atlantic to see their album released south of the border, but supporting tours were merely hit and run affairs with the label unwilling to invest in a definitive marketing plan to get the Hip known to the American public...

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