The Tragically Hip
is made up of lead vocalist and guitarist Gordon Downie, guitarist Paul Langlois, guitarist Rob Baker, bassist Gord Sinclair and drummer Johnny Fay. It was formed in the early eighties and its lineup at the time consisted of saxophonist Davis Manning with their name inspired by the movie Elephant parts. They then began performing in venues spread out across Ontario. They then caught the attention of MCA Records who signed the band and led to the release of their first self-titled EP. In 1989, they released the album Up to Here
of which four hit singles were released. All of these became massively popular in rock radio stations in Canada and in 1991 they released the album Road Apples
. This album spawned three hit singles that went on to rank first on the Canadian music charts and was followed by a tour to support the album.
After the release of their second album, The Tragically Hip
dominated the Canadian music scene, particularly that of modern rock. They then began experimenting with their music and released Fully Completely
in 1992. This album spawned three hit singles and was followed by the band headlining the Another Roadside Attraction tour. In 1994, they released the album Day for Night
which contained six popular singles. Following tradition, they then went on tour to promote the album and then came back in 1996 with the album Trouble at the Henhouse
. This album consisted of hit singles such as Butts Wigglin’
which was part of the hit movie Brain Candy’s soundtrack.
then went on a US tour and their performance at Detroit, Michigan’s Cobo Arena was turned into the live album, Live Between Us
. By this time, the band had experimented with their sound and developed a new direction, away from their original blues influenced sound. They also performed live on Saturday Night Live and headlined Edenfest in 1996, a famous three day long music concert that sold seventy thousand tickets. In Canada, its popularity was similar to that of Pearl Jam and U2. In 1998, the album Phantom Power
was released which went on to win two Juno Awards; as the Best Album Design and as the Best Rock Album. It was also certified three times platinum in Canada and in 1999, they performed live at the new Air Canada Centre, home to one of the greatest NHL teams, the Toronto Maple Leafs.
In 2000, Tragically Hip
released the album Music @ Work
which won the Juno Award as the Best Rock Album and ranked second on the Billboard charts. Two years later, they released the album In Violet Light
which was soon certified platinum in Canada. It also performed two of its songs for Queen Elizabeth II and in 2003, released the album Beautiful: A Tribute to Gordon Lightfoot
. In 2004, they released the album In Between Evolution
which ranked first on the Canadian Billboard charts.
The Tragically Hip
’s discography today is inhabited by twelve studio albums, forty six singles and two live albums. Nine of these albums have ranked first on the charts and they have also won many awards. This includes a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame, an induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the Royal Conservatory of Music Honorary Fellowship, the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award and fourteen spectacular awards. A band with so many awards and so many number one albums is a band whose live concert is not to be missed provided The Tragically Hip tickets
have already been booked.
The name Tragically Hip, quirky as it may sound, has taken its inspiration from a skit from the movie Elephant Parts. Tragically Hip is a true exemplification of a rock band which has its roots from Canada. Soon after its formation in 1983, the band took everyone by surprise and became the talk of the town after the first self-titled album; “The Tragically Hip” which comprised of smash hit singles like Small Town Bringdown, Last American Exit and Highway Girl. These hits also became popular on the radio play lists in no time. Some of the masterpieces of Tragically Hip include Ahead by a Century, New Orleans is Sinking, 50 Mission Cap, Nautical Disaster, Looking for a Place to happen, Little Bones, Blow at High Dough and Bobcaygeon.
Although the initial albums did wonders for the band nationally, but all was not hunky-dory as far as the international acclaim is concerned; one of the reasons being the failure of the international listeners to relate to their music. The band however reached the height of success when they said farewell to the gloomy side of their music and pushed the envelope to let novelty and experimentation in. Thus, 90s’s is considered to be the most successful era of Tragically Hip which earned them the popularity, success and appreciation they deserved.
Their album Day for Night marks their golden period as for the first time the critics were all praise for it as it showcased the band’s brilliant talent as musicians and took their popularity up a notch. Day for Night is considered to be Tragically Hip’s best album to date for it epitomized the Canadian geography, history, water and land. What struck the band’s fans and the critics the most was the theme of the album which was basically a pure representation of their home ground and that the band stayed true to itself. That was the era when Tragically Hip, U2 and Pearl Jam were considered parallel, which was an achievement in itself.
Tragically Hip has twelve studio albums, forty-six singles and two live albums to its credit and nine of their albums have hit the number one spot in Canada. Their achievements do not end here. They have been recipients of innumerable awards and honors; Canada’s Walk of Fame, Canadian Music Hall of Fame, Royal Conservatory of Music, Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards. Furthermore, they have also been honored with fourteen Juno Awards; Most Promising Group of the Year (1990), Canadian Entertainer(1991), North Star Rock Album of the year(1997)for the album Trouble at the Henhouse, Best Rock Album(1999) for Phantom Power, Best Single(2000) for the song Bobcaygeon, Best Rock Album(2001) for Music at Work, are just to name a few. In addition to that, on October 10, 2002, Tragically Hip was bestowed with a privilege to perform for the Queen Elizabeth II, as part of the command performance which is no laughing matter. Later in 2008, the band returned to Canada and gave a live inaugural performance at the K-Rock Centre, a prestigious arena for the sports and entertainment.
Tragically Hip not only promoted Canadian acts right from the beginning of their career but also came up with songs that were reflective of true, gory events. Their music could be referred to as soulful, deep and heart-piercing. Hence, New Orleans is Sinking, Nautical Disaster, Wheat Kings, Inevitability of Death and Three Pistols are the songs reminiscent of the events; Hurricane Katrina, D-Day (WWII), David Milgaard’s wrong conviction of murder, Terry Fox’s tragic death and Tom Thomson’s mysterious death respectively. Thus these songs made a huge impact on everyone and were played countless number of times on the radio stations. On the contrary, they did get banned for some time for they were evocative of the painful events, but there is no doubt that the efforts made by the band were widely appreciated.
Tragically Hip is currently working on their thirteenth studio album which is soon to be released this year. Their music still continues to dominate as it never disappeared from the radio play lists and still has not failed to put its fans in a trance. So brace yourselves for another knockout performance by Tragically Hip as the forthcoming concert is undeniably a highly anticipated one. Why hedge around to ensure your presence at an event as electrifying as this one when Tragically Hip tickets can serve the purpose!