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The Tragically Hip Biography

Home > Music > T > Tragically Hip, The > Biography

Birth Place: Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Years Active: 1983–present
Genres: Rock, Hard Rock

The Tragically Hip is a Canadian rock band from Kingston, Ontario, consisting of Gordon Downie (lead vocals and guitar), Paul Langlois (guitar), Rob Baker (guitar), Gord Sinclair (bass) and Johnny Fay (drums). Formed in 1983, Langlois joined in 1986, while original saxophonist Davis Manning left that same year. They took their name from a skit in the Michael Nesmith movie “Elephant Parts.”

In the mid-1980s they performed in small music venues in Ontario before being discovered by MCA records. They were then signed to a long-term record deal with MCA, and in 1987 recorded the self-titled EP, “The Tragically Hip.”

They followed up in 1989 with the LP, “Up to Here.” The album produced four singles, “Blow at High Dough,” “New Orleans Is Sinking,” “Boots or Hearts” and “38 Years Old,” which became staples of modern rock radio play lists in Canada. “Road Apples” followed in 1991, producing three singles, “Little Bones,” “Twist My Arm” and “Three Pistols” and reaching #1 on the Canadian Albums chart.

The Tragically Hip released their next album, “Fully Completely” in 1992, which produced the singles “Locked in the Trunk of a Car,” “Courage” and “The Hundredth Meridian.” The LP, “Day for Night” was then released in 1994, producing six singles. “Trouble at the Henhouse” followed in 1996, producing five singles, including “Butts Wigglin”, which also appeared on the soundtrack to the Kids in the Hall movie “Brain Candy.” Their 1997 live album, “Live Between Us,” was recorded on the subsequent tour at Cobo Arena in Detroit, Michigan

In 1998, the band released their seventh full-length album, “Phantom Power,” which produced five singles. It won the 1999 Juno Award for Best Rock Album and Best Album Design. A single from the album, “Bobcaygeon,” won the Juno Award for Single of the Year in 2000. The album was certified 3x platinum in Canada.

2000 saw the release of their album, “Music @ Work.” It won the 2001 Juno Award for Best Rock Album. The album featured back-up vocals from Julie Doiron on a number of tracks, and reached #2 on the Canadian Albums chart. In 2002, “In Violet Light” was released, along with three singles from the album. It was later certified platinum in Canada.

Their album, “In Between Evolution,” was released in 2004 and reached the #1 on the Canadian Albums chart. The album was later certified platinum in Canada. In 2005, The Tragically Hip released a double album, double DVD box set, “Hipeponymous,” including all of their singles and music videos to date, a backstage documentary called “Macroscopic,” an animated band scored short film entitled “The Right Whale,” two brand new songs (“No Threat” and “The New Maybe"”), a full-length concert from November 2004 “That Night in Toronto,” and a 2-disc greatest hits collection “Yer Favourites.”

In 2006 another studio album, entitled “World Container,” was released, being notably produced by Bob Rock. It produced four singles, and reached #1 on the Canadian Rock Albums chart. In 2009, the band again worked with producer Bob Rock, and “We Are the Same” was released in North America that year. It produced three singles.

Their 12th studio album, “Now for Plan A,” recorded with Gavin Brown acting as producer, was released in 2012. It featured the single, “At Transformation.”