The Tragically Hip

While hugely popular in their native Canada, the Tragically Hip found the global charts continually resistant to their blues-influenced pop fare. Formed in 1984 in Kingston, Ontario, the band comprised childhood friends Gordon Downie (vocals), Bobby Baker (guitar), Paul Langlois (guitar), Gord Sinclair (bass), and Johnny Fay (drums). The bandmembers took their name from a Michael Nesmith video entitled Elephant Parts, and focused on making a name for themselves on the local scene during the mid-'80s. While performing Toronto's Horseshoe Tavern, MCA Records president Bruce Dickinson was impressed by the Hip's infectious live presence and offered them a deal. A self-titled eponymous EP appeared in 1987, but it took the band two years to get critical attention. Their proper studio debut effort, 1989's Up to Here, boasted the swagger of "Blow at High Dough" and Downie's powerful songcraft was blossoming.

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