PROFILE
Name:
Barenaked Ladies
Birth Date:
1990
Birth Place:
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
BIOGRAPHY
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One Week

Background:

Barenaked Ladies is a two time Grammy Award nominated Canadian musical group comprised of founding member and vocalist/guitarist Ed Robertson, bassist Jim Creeggan, percussionist/drummer Tyler Stewart and keyboardist Kevin Hearn. Co-founding member Steven Page left the group in 2009. Starting out as a duo by Robertson and Page in 1988, the group first gained attention in their home country of Canada with their release “The Yellow Tape” (1991), which was Canada's first independent tape to go platinum, and their Top 40 hit “Lovers in a Dangerous Time.” They enjoyed further success with their major label debut album “Gordon” (1992), which went diamond in Canada. However, they did not break into the American market until the release of the live album “Rock Spectacle” (1996, #86 US), which is noted for spawning the live version of “Brian Wilson” and the re-release of “The Old Apartment.” The band scored major commercial success in the U.S. with the 1998 album “Stunt,” which earned 4X platinum status. The lead single “One Week” sold over five million copies and brought the group their first Grammy nomination. The song peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the group's biggest hit to date. “Maroon” (2000), the follow up to “Stunt,” brought the group back to No. 1 in Canada. The group picked up their second Grammy nomination for the lead single “Pinch Me” (2000). Since then, Barenaked Ladies has released five more studio albums and one greatest hits album. Their new album, “All in Good Time,” will be released in March 2010.

Apart from the Grammy nominations, Barenaked Ladies has also collected six Juno Awards and two Billboard Music Awards. They won a World Music Award in 2000 for World's Best-Selling Canadian Group.


Scarborough, Ontario

Childhood and Family:

Barenaked Ladies was founded in 1988 in Scarborough, Ontario, by Steven Page and Ed Robertson. They went to the same school at Churchill Heights Public School and became friends after meeting at a Peter Gabriel concert. They were later reunited at Scarborough Schools Music Camp, where they both served as counselors. The two, however, did not begin performing together as a band until October 1, 1988, in a show originally arranged for Robertson's cover band. Robertson and his band were set to perform in a battle of the bands at Nathan Phillips Square for the Second Harvest food bank, but the band broke up and he invited Page to do the gig. Although lacking rehearsals, the two did well in the show. A gig as an opening act soon followed.

By 1990, Barenaked Ladies had added the brothers Jim Creeggan (bassist) and Andy Creeggan (percussionist) to the group. When Andy left for a student exchange trip to Ecuador six months later, he was replaced by drummer Tyler Stewart, whom they met at a festival in the summer of 1990. Andy rejoined the group in early 1991 and moved to keyboards. He permanently left the group in 1995. In 1997, the group invited Stewart's friend, keyboardist Kevin Hearn, to their tour. He has since become a permanent member of the group.

On February 24, 2009, Barenaked Ladies announced that Steven Page had left the group. Current members include Ed Robertson, Jim Creeggan, Tyler Stewart and Kevin Hearn.


Pinch Me

Career:

Originally performing as a duo of friends (Ed Robertson and Steven Page), Barenaked Ladies made their first public appearance in October 1989 at Toronto's Nathan Phillips Square, which led to an opening gig for the local band The Razorbacks at the Horseshoe Tavern. The two went on to play other shows and began writing songs. In 1989, they released an independent record called “Buck Naked,” which was recorded on a four-track recorder in bedrooms and basements. A fan of Corky and the Juice Pigs, Robertson and Page sent the tape to them and before long the two were invited to open for the musical comedy group during a Canadian tour.

After recruiting the brothers Andy and Jim Creeggan, Barenaked Ladies launched the second independent tape “Barenaked Lunch” in 1990. Also known as “The Pink Tape,” the record, however, was mastered incorrectly and the songs played too fast. Later that same year, the band earned some notice after they won a 1990 YTV Achievement Award. They enjoyed additional attention through a performance on the TV series “Speakers' Corner,” during which time they performed “Be My Yoko Ono.” The clip emerged as a favorite among audiences. During this period, Andy Creeggan was away on an student exchange trip to Ecuador and was replaced by Tyler Stewart. Upon his return in early 1991, he changed to keyboards but managed to play percussions on some songs. They then embarked on their first full tour of Canada.

In 1991, Barenaked Ladies released “The Yellow Tape,” the first recording to feature all five members. Originally recorded as a demo for the group's performance at South by Southwest (SXSW), the tape performed well and gained platinum status in Canada, becoming the first independent tape to do so. Their popularity in Canada further increased when they did a rendition of Bruce Cockburn's “Lovers in a Dangerous Time” for the Cockburn successful tribute album “Kick at the Darkness” (1991). The song peaked at No. 16 on the Canadian charts in February 1992, becoming the first Top 40 hit for the group.

With the success of “The Yellow Tape,” coupled with the prize they got after winning “Discovery to Disc,” a contest hosted by a local radio station, Barenaked Ladies were able to hire a producer and record an album in a studio. The result, “Gordon,” was released on July 28, 1992, under Reprise Records. The album sold about 80,000 pieces within a day of its release and stayed at No. 1 on the Canadian charts for eight straight weeks. The album eventually achieved diamond status in Canada by selling over one million copies. The first single “Enid,” written by Page and Robertson, peaked at No. 2 on the Canadian Singles chart and was nominated for a Juno for Single of the Year in 1993. The next single, “What a Good Boy,” charted No. 34 in Canada, while “If I Had $1000000” rose to No. 13 in Canada and has since become one of the band's best known songs. The Top 77 single “Be My Yoko Ono” and the Page written “Brian Wilson” (#18 Canada), were also included in the album. “Gordon” found little success in America but was certified gold by RIAA six years later in August 1998. Barenaked Ladies was named Group of the Year at the 1992 Juno Awards.

The sophomore effort “Maybe You Should Drive” was released on August 16, 1994. It debuted at No. 3 on the Top Canadian Albums chart and went double platinum. The album also peaked at No. 175 on the US Billboard 200, marking their first album to chart in the U.S., but fared better in the U.K., where it charted at No. 57. It produced the hit singles “Jane” (1994) and “Alternative Girlfriend,” which rose to No. 3 and No. 22 on the Canadian Singles chart, respectively. In support of the album, Barenaked Ladies planned a tour in the U.S., but the tour proved to be unsuccessful and lost money. Despite the failure, they made an appearance on “Late Night with Conan O'Brien” (1993). Unhappy with the direction of the band, Andy Creeggan quit the group in 1995. At the same time, the band had internal problems that caused tension between members. The condition became worse with Paige's depression and his addiction to alcohol as well as Andy's departure. Trying to correct the setback, the band signed with Terry McBride and Nettwerk.

The remaining four members released a new album on March 19, 1996, called “Born on a Pirate Ship.” The album was a success in Canada and eventually achieved gold certification in the U.S. thanks to popular tracks such as “Show Box,” “The Old Apartment,” “When I Fall” and “Break Your Heart.” “Show Box” (1995) made the Top 10 on the Canadian Singles Chart and was used on the soundtrack of the television series “Friends,” while “The Old Apartment” (1997) rose to No. 14 in Canada and became the band's first American hit (#88 on the Billboard Hot 100).

Later that same year, on November 19, 1996, Barenaked Ladies launched the album “Rock Spectacle,” which also marked their first live release. Recorded at concerts at Chicago's Riviera Theatre and Montreal's The Olympia during the band's tour to support “Born on a Pirate Ship,” the album became the first commercial breakthrough for the band in the U.S., where it charted at No. 86 on the Billboard 200 in 1997. The live version of “Brian Wilson” (1997) was a hit and rose to No. 68 on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 37 on the Adult Top 40 and No. 23 on the Billboard Modern Rock Track. The song “The Old Apartment” was re-released for the album and also became a significant hit for the group. The track “If I Had $1000000” went to No. 37 on the Adult Top 40 in 2000. “Rock Spectacle” marked the group's first release with their new keyboardist Kevin Hearn.

Barenaked Ladies gained even more success in America with the follow up album “Stunt,” which was released on July 7, 1998. The album debuted on the Billboard 200 at No. 3 and sold over four million units by the end of its chart run. It was certified platinum four times by RIAA, becoming the band's most successful album to date. The album also charted in the U.K. at No. 20 and in their native country of Canada at number 9. It was certified gold in the U.K. “Stunt” won a Juno for Best Pop Album and Barenaked Ladies was named Best Group at the same ceremony.

The lead single “One Week” (1998), which was written by Robertson, rose to No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and remains the group's biggest hit. It also went to No. 1 on the Modern Rock Tracks, the Top 40 Mainstream and the Top 40 Adult Recurrents and made the Top 10 on the Billboard Adult Top 40 (#2) and the Billboard Top 40 Tracks (#3) and charted in Canada (#6) and the UK (#5). “One Week” earned the group a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group in 1999. The song also won Billboard Music Awards for Best Clip (Alternative/Modern Rock) and Maximum Vision Award, a 1999 Juno for Best Single and an MTV Video Music nomination for Best Art Direction. The second single, “It's All Been Done,” (1998) topped the Billboard Top 40 Mainstream chart and rose to No. 44 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also peaked at No. 9 on the U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks and No. 18 on the U.S. Billboard Adult Top 40. The song charted at No. 1 in Canada and No. 28 in the U.K. The song was performed on the popular NBC late night shows “Saturday Night Live,” “Late Night with Conan O'Brien” and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” The third single, “Call and Answer,” (1999) rose to No. 17 on the Adult Top 40 and No. 40 on the Top 40 Tracks, but failed to enter the Billboard Hot 100. It was a Top 10 hit single in Canada and only peaked at No. 52 in the U.K.

Barenaked Ladies toured extensively to support “Stunt.” However, their keyboardist Kevin Hearn had to miss the tour for several months for health reasons when he was diagnosed with leukemia shortly after the release of the album. He had to undergo a bone marrow transplant and the band hired friends Chris Brown and Greg Kurstin to fill in the empty post until Hearn recovered.

On September 12, 2000, Barenaked Ladies released the fifth studio album “Maroon.” The album rose to No. 1 in Canada, their first to do so since 1992's “Gordon,” and sold one million copies in the U.S. (#5 on the Billboard 200). The lead single “Pinch Me” peaked at No. 15 on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 2 on the Adult Top 40, No. 11 on the Top 40 Tracks, No. 15 on the Top 40 Mainstream and No. 30 on the Modern Rock Tracks. It also charted at No. 4 in Canada and No. 28 in the U.K. “Punch” was nominated for a 2001 Grammy in the category of Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and two Junos for Best Single and Best Songwriter. The group earned additional nominations at the 2001 Juno Awards for Best Pop Album and Best Album and ended up winning the first category. “Maroon” also produced the popular singles “Falling for the First Time” (#11 US Adult Top 40) and “Too Little Too Late” (#86 US Hot 100 and #13 US Adult Top 40). It was also in 2000 that Barenaked Ladies was named the World's Best-Selling Canadian Group at the World Music Awards.

After the album “Disc One: All Their Greatest Hits” (2001), Barenaked Ladies took some time off and did not return to their studio until April 2003 to work on their new album. “Everything to Everyone” was released on October 21, 2003, for producer Ron Aniello. The album rose to No. 6 in Canada and No. 10 in the U.S. It produced the singles “Another Postcard” (#82 US Hot 100), “Testing 1, 2, 3” (#19 US Adult Top 40), “For You,” “Celebrity” (#81 UK) and “Maybe Katie.” The holiday themed album, “Barenaked for the Holidays,” followed on October 5, 2004, and rose to No. 64 in the U.S.

Two years later, on September 12, 2006, Barenaked Ladies launched “Barenaked Ladies Are Me,” the band's seventh studio album of original material, under Desperation Records. The album peaked at No. 7 in Canada and No. 17 in the U.S. and consisted of the singles “Easy,” “Wind It Up” and “Sound of Your Voice.” The next album, “Barenaked Ladies Are Men,” was released on February 6, 2007. It charted in Canada at No. 39 and in the U.S. at No. 102. The band then released “Snacktime” on May 6, 2008. The album peaked at No. 10 on Canadian charts and No. 61 on the Billboard 200.

Barenaked Ladies' new studio album, “All in Good Time,” is set to be released in Canada on March 23, 2010, and the U.S. on March 30, 2010. It is the first album recorded after the departure of founding member Steven Page in February 2009.


Awards:

  • Juno: Best Pop Album, “Maroon,” 2001

  • Juno: Best Group, 2001

  • World Music: World's Best-Selling Canadian Group, 2000

  • Juno: Best Single, “One Week,” 1999

  • Juno: Best Pop Album, “Stunt,” 1999

  • Juno: Best Group, 1999

  • Billboard Music: Best Clip (Alternative/Modern Rock), “One Week,” 1998

  • Billboard Music: Maximum Vision Award, 1998

  • Juno: Group of the Year, 1992

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