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Barenaked Ladies

By combining humor with an eclectic mix of folk and pop/rock, the Barenaked Ladies enjoyed considerable popularity in their native Canada before rising to international status with 1998's "One Week." Vocalists Ed Robertson and Steve Page launched the band in the late '80s as an acoustic act, traveling to different college campuses and playing warm-up gigs for comedy troupes. These early shows played an important role in the group's foundation, as Robertson and Page began injecting their performances with humorous exchanges to hold their audiences' attention between songs. The trick worked, and the band's mixture of comedy and musicianship was cemented.

Following the duo's tour of the college circuit, the Barenaked Ladies expanded into a tight musical group with the addition of bass man Jim Creeggan, his brother Andy on keyboards, and drummer Tyler Stewart. Several cassette tapes were released and helped increase the band's local popularity, but 1991's Yellow Tape was a different animal, selling so rapidly that it soon became the first independently released tape to reach platinum status in Canada. The hype was compounded by the fact that Toronto's mayor, June Rowlands, considered the band's name to be sexist and demeaning to women, and therefore forbade the Barenaked Ladies from playing a 1991 New Year's Eve concert near City Hall. The story found its way onto the front page of The Toronto Star, and sales for Yellow Tape promptly soared. Meanwhile, record labels had begun approaching the band with attractive offers, and BNL soon signed with Sire/Reprise and issued their full-length debut, Gordon, in 1992. Featuring "Be My Yoko Ono," "If I Had a $1,000,000," and "Brian Wilson," the album moved over one million units and initiated BNL's reign as Canadian pop kings.

At the height of grunge's popularity, producer Ben Mink came on board to helm 1994's Maybe You Should Drive, a mellow folk-pop album. Songs like "Alternative Girlfriend" and "Jane" became college radio favorites, but changes loomed on the horizon. Before the bandmates could collect themselves for a third album, Andy Creeggan left the lineup in order to finish college abroad, and Look People guitarist/keyboardist Kevin Hearn hopped on board for BNL's joint tour with Billy Bragg. Hearn joined the group as a permanent member in time for 1996's obscuro-pop album Born on a Pirate Ship, and the band charted new celebrity territory by appearing on an episode of Beverly Hills 90210 to perform their Top 40 hit "The Old Apartment." Success in the U.S. came fast, and BNL began selling out their summer shows. Selections from the tour were captured on the band's first live album, Rock Spectacle, an uninhibited effort (complete with improvised rapping and stage banter) that introduced a new audience to one of BNL's strongest assets -- their live shows. Rock Spectacle became BNL's first record to be certified gold in the U.S., and it paved the way for their biggest album to date.

Stunt, the group's fourth studio effort, was issued in July 1998 and transformed the Barenaked Ladies into stars in both the U.S. and U.K. Buoyed by the chart-topping single "One Week," the album debuted at number three on the Billboard charts and went on to sell over four million copies. BNL upgraded to stadium performances for their subsequent North American tour, leaving behind the theaters and clubs that housed their previous shows. In the meantime, Hearn took a half-year hiatus to recuperate from leukemia, having been diagnosed with the disease earlier that spring. Geggy Tah's Greg Kurstin and multi-instrumentalist Chris Brown filled in for Hearn on the Stunt tour. After a bone marrow transplant in October, Hearn was free of all cancerous cells, and BNL were reunited at their commercial peak. Maroon followed two years later and reached platinum status on the success of "Pinch Me"; it also netted the band two Juno Awards for Best Pop Album and Best Group, as well as a nomination for a Grammy. A greatest-hits collection, Disc One: All Their Greatest Hits (1991-2001), was issued in fall 2001 to celebrate the band's first decade.

Two years later, BNL released Everything to Everyone and effectively fulfilled their contract with Reprise Records. The album sold relatively poorly, and Reprise neglected to offer an extended deal, thus returning the band to independent status for the first time since 1992. BNL responded by creating their own label, Desperation Records, which they used to release their next four albums. A holiday record, Barenaked for the Holidays, arrived in 2004, while the companion albums Barenaked Ladies Are Me and Barenaked Ladies Are Men were issued in 2006 and 2007, respectively. A children's album entitled Snacktime! followed in 2008, but the tour that followed its release was marred by Steve Page's arrest for cocaine possession. The band canceled several shows in response, and while the charges were later reduced to misdemeanors, Page nevertheless announced his decision to leave the group in early 2009.

Thus reduced to a slimmed-down quartet, the band formed a new label, Raisin' Records, and returned in 2010 with All in Good Time, an album that featured lead vocals by Robertson, Hearn, and bassist Jim Creeggan. The greatest-hits compilation Hits from Yesterday & the Day Before was released in 2011, followed in 2012 by Stop Us If You've Heard This One Before!, which collected ten unissued tracks (demos, outtakes, live cuts, and studio B-sides) along with a pair of previously released rarities, all of which were recorded between 1992 and 2003. The following year, BNL returned with its second studio album since Page's departure, the polished and mature effort Grinning Streak.

In 2015, inspired by Robertson's love of pinball machines, the Barenaked Ladies delivered their twelfth full-length Silverball, which also found them reuniting with Grinning Streak producer Gavin Brown. Included on the album was the single "Say What You Want." The band promptly toured the U.S. as part of the Last Summer on Earth 2015 tour with Violent Femmes and Men at Work's Colin Hay. A live album recorded during the tour, BNL Rocks Red Rocks, followed in spring of 2016. BNL then launched a second Last Summer on Earth tour, this time with Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and Howard Jones. ~ Andrew Leahey
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Silverball

1. Get Back Up

2. Here Before

3. Matter Of Time

4. Duct Tape Heart

5. Say What You Want

6. Passcode

8. Narrow Streets

9. Toe To Toe

10. Piece Of Cake

11. Globetrot

12. Silverball

13. Tired Of Fighting With You

x

Track List: Get Back Up (Single)

1. Get Back Up

x

Track List: Say What You Want (Single)

1. Say What You Want

x

Track List: Duct Tape Heart

1. Duct Tape Heart

x

Track List: Grinning Streak

1. Limits

2. Boomerang

3. Off His Head

4. Gonna Walk

5. Odds Are

6. Keepin' It Real

7. Give It Back To You

8. Best Damn Friend

9. Did I Say That Out Loud?

10. Daydreamin'

11. Smile

12. Crawl

x

Track List: Grinning Streak (Deluxe Version)

1. Limits

2. Boomerang

3. Off His Head

4. Gonna Walk

5. Odds Are

6. Keepin' It Real

7. Give It Back To You

8. Best Damn Friend

9. Did I Say That Out Loud?

10. Daydreamin'

11. Smile

12. Crawl

13. Blacking Out

14. The Fog Of Writing

15. Who Knew?

16. Odds Are (Acoustic)

17. Smile (Acoustic)

18. Blame It On Me (Acoustic)

x

Track List: Boomerang (Single)

1. Boomerang

x

Track List: Boomerang (Mark Endert Remix)

1. Boomerang (Mark Endert Remix)

x

Track List: Stop Us If You've Heard This One Before!

1. I Don't Get It Anymore

2. Yes, Yes, Yes

3. Half A Heart

4. Old Apartment (Demo)

5. Shake Your Rump (Live At The Santa Maria Hilton 10/13/94)

6. Same Thing (Live Somewhere In Canada 1992)

7. One Week (Pull's Break Remix)

8. Teenage Wasteland (Live At Massey Hall 4/3/1993)

9. Long While (Demo)

10. Second Best (Demo)

11. I Can, I Will, I Do

12. Adrift (Outtake)

x

Track List: Hits From Yesterday & The Day Before

1. If I Had $1,000,000

2. The Old Apartment

3. Brian Wilson (Live)

4. One Week

5. It's All Been Done

6. Call And Answer

7. Pinch Me

8. Too Little Too Late

9. Falling For The First Time

10. Another Postcard

11. Testing 1, 2, 3

12. Easy

13. Big Bang Theory Theme

14. You Run Away

x

Track List: Every Subway Car (Duet With Erin McCarley)

x

Track List: All In Good Time

1. You Run Away

2. Summertime

3. Another Heartbreak

4. Four Seconds

5. On The Lookout

6. Ordinary

7. I Have Learned

8. Every Subway Car

9. Jerome

10. How Long

11. Golden Boy

12. I Saw It

13. The Love We're In

14. Watching The Northern Lights

x

Track List: Another Postcard (Chimps) (Single)

1. Another Postcard

2. Next Time (Acoustic Version)

x

Track List: Every Subway Car

1. Every Subway Car (Feat. Erin McCarley)

2. Every Subway Car

x

Track List: You Run Away (Radio Single)

1. You Run Away

x

Track List: Snacktime!

1. 7 8 9

2. The Ninjas

3. Pollywog In A Bog

4. Raisins

5. Eraser

6. I Can Sing

7. Louis Loon

8. Food Party

9. Snacktime

10. Popcorn

11. Vegetable Town

12. Drawing

13. Humungous Tree

14. My Big Sister

15. Allergies

16. I Don't Like

17. What A Wild Tune

18. Bad Day

19. Things

20. Curious

21. A Word For That

22. Wishing

23. Crazy ABC's

24. Here Come The Geese

x

Track List: Barenaked Ladies Are Men

1. Serendipity

2. Something You'll Never Find

3. One And Only

4. Angry People

5. Down To Earth

6. Beautiful

7. Running Out Of Ink

8. Half A Heart

9. Maybe Not

10. I Can I Will I Do

11. Fun & Games

12. The New Sad

13. Quality

14. Another Spin

15. What A Letdown

16. Why Say Anything Nice?

x

Track List: Easy (DMD Maxi)

x

Track List: Play Everywhere For Everyone - Grand Forks, ND 3-26-04

x

Track List: Play Everywhere For Everyone - Colorado Springs, CO 3-22-04

x

Track List: Play Everywhere For Everyone - East Lansing, MI 2-12-04

1. Intro (Live East Lansing, MI 2.12.04)

2. Maybe Katie (Live East Lansing, MI 2.12.04)

3. Too Little Too Late (Live East Lansing, MI 2.12.04)

4. Get In Line (Live East Lansing, MI 2.12.04)

5. Adlib (Live East Lansing, MI 2.12.04)

6. It's All Been Done (Live East Lansing, MI 2.12.04)

7. Another Postcard (Live East Lansing, MI 2.12.04)

8. Celebrity (Live East Lansing, MI 2.12.04)

9. Straw Hat And Old Dirty Hank (Live East Lansing, MI 2.12.04)

10. Inline Bowline (Live East Lansing, MI 2.12.04)

11. For You (Live East Lansing, MI 2.12.04)

12. Hello City (Live East Lansing, MI 2.12.04)

13. Bass Solo (Live East Lansing, MI 2.12.04)

14. One Week (Live East Lansing, MI 2.12.04)

15. Testing 1, 2, 3 (Live East Lansing, MI 2.12.04)

16. I'll Be That Girl (Live East Lansing, MI 2.12.04)

17. Take It Outside (Live East Lansing, MI 2.12.04)

18. Shopping (Live East Lansing, MI 2.12.04)

19. Pinch Me (Live East Lansing, MI 2.12.04)

20. War On Drugs (Live East Lansing, MI 2.12.04)

21. Beat The Crew (Live East Lansing, MI 2.12.04)

22. Alternative Girlfriend (Live East Lansing, MI 2.12.04)

23. Old Apartment (Live East Lansing, MI 2.12.04)

24. Brian Wilson (Live East Lansing, MI 2.12.04)

25. Yes! Yes!! Yes!!! (Live East Lansing, MI 2.12.04)

26. If I Had $1,000,000 (Live East Lansing, MI 2.12.04)

27. Call And Answer (Live East Lansing, MI 2.12.04)

x

Track List: Au Naturale - Live - Seattle, WA 7-25-04

1. Brian Wilson (Live Seattle 7-25-04)

2. Some Fantastic (Live Seattle 7-25-04)

3. Adlib (Live Seattle 7-25-04)

4. Maybe Katie (Live Seattle 7-25-04)

5. Alternative Girlfriend (Live Seattle 7-25-04)

6. Upside Down (Live Seattle 7-25-04)

7. I'll Be That Girl (Live Seattle 7-25-04)

8. For You (Live Seattle 7-25-04)

9. One Week (Live Seattle 7-25-04)

10. Pinch Me (Live Seattle 7-25-04)

11. Old Apartment (Live Seattle 7-25-04)

12. Blame It On Me (Live Seattle 7-25-04)

13. Bull In A China Shop (Live Seattle 7-25-04)

14. Falling For The First Time (Live Seattle 7-25-04)

15. It's All Been Done (Live Seattle 7-25-04)

16. Shopping (Live Seattle 7-25-04)

17. Call And Answer (Live Seattle 7-25-04)

18. If I Had $1,000,000 (Live Seattle 7-25-04)

x

Track List: Au Naturale - Live - Holmdel, NJ 7-14-04

1. Brian Wilson (Live Holmdel 7-14-04)

2. Some Fantastic (Live Holmdel 7-14-04)

3. Adlib (Live Holmdel 7-14-04)

4. Maybe Katie (Live Holmdel 7-14-04)

5. Straw Hat And Old Dirty Hank (Live Holmdel 7-14-04)

6. Unfinished (Live Holmdel 7-14-04)

7. Be My Yoko Ono (Live Holmdel 7-14-04)

8. For You (Live Holmdel 7-14-04)

9. One Week (Live Holmdel 7-14-04)

10. Pinch Me (Live Holmdel 7-14-04)

11. Old Apartment (Live Holmdel 7-14-04)

12. Aluminum (Live Holmdel 7-14-04)

13. Break Your Heart (Live Holmdel 7-14-04)

14. What A Let Down (Live Holmdel 7-14-04)

15. It's All Been Done (Live Holmdel 7-14-04)

16. Shopping (Live Holmdel 7-14-04)

17. Call And Answer (Live Holmdel 7-14-04)

18. If I Had $1,000,000 (Live Holmdel 7-14-04)

x

Track List: Au Naturale - Live - Detroit, MI 8-13-04

1. Brian Wilson (Live Detroit 8-13-04)

2. Some Fantastic (Live Detroit 8-13-04)

3. Adlib (Live Detroit 8-13-04)

4. Maybe Katie (Live Detroit 8-13-04)

5. Get In Line (Live Detroit 8-13-04)

6. Adlib 2 (Live Detroit 8-13-04)

8. For You (Live Detroit 8-13-04)

9. Lilac Girl (Live Detroit 8-13-04)

10. One Week (Live Detroit 8-13-04)

11. Pinch Me (Live Detroit 8-13-04)

12. Old Apartment (Live Detroit 8-13-04)

13. Another Postcard (Live Detroit 8-13-04)

14. War On Drugs (Live Detroit 8-13-04)

15. Too Little Too Late (Live Detroit 8-13-04)

16. It's All Been Done (Live Detroit 8-13-04)

17. Shopping (Live Detroit 8-13-04)

18. Jane (Live Detroit 8-13-04)

19. If I Had $1,000,000 (Live Detroit 8-13-04)

x

Track List: Barenaked Ladies Are Me

1. Adrift

2. Bank Job

3. Sound Of Your Voice

4. Easy

5. Home

6. Bull In A China Shop

7. Everything Had Changed

8. Peterborough And The Kawarthas

9. Maybe You're Right

10. Take It Back

11. Vanishing

12. Rule The World With Love

13. Wind It Up

x

Track List: Everything To Everyone

1. Celebrity

2. Maybe Katie

3. Another Postcard

4. Next Time

5. For You

6. Shopping

8. Upside Down

9. War On Drugs

10. Aluminum

11. Unfinished

12. Second Best

13. Take It Outside

14. Have You Seen My Love?

x

Track List: For You

1. For You

x

Track List: Everything Acoustic EP

1. Maybe Katie (Acoustic Version)

2. Another Postcard (Acoustic Version)

3. Next Time (Acoustic Version)

4. Second Best (Acoustic Version)

5. Testing 1, 2, 3 (Acoustic Version)

6. Aluminum (Acoustic Version)

x

Track List: Celebrity

1. Celebrity

x

Track List: Another Postcard (Chimps)

1. Another Postcard

x

Track List: Next Time

1. Next Time (Acoustic Version)

x

Track List: Falling For The First Time

1. Falling For The First Time

x

Track List: Too Little Too Late

1. Too Little Too Late

x

Track List: Disc One: All Their Greatest Hits 1991-2001

1. The Old Apartment

2. Falling For The First Time

3. Brian Wilson (Live)

4. One Week

5. Be My Yoko Ono

6. Alternative Girlfriend

7. It's Only Me (The Wizard Of Magicland)

8. If I Had $1,000,000

9. Call And Answer

10. Get In Line ("King Of The Hill" Soundtrack)

11. It's All Been Done

12. Jane

13. Lovers In A Dangerous Time

14. Pinch Me (Radio Version)

15. Shoebox (Radio Remix)

16. What A Good Boy (Live)

17. Too Little Too Late

18. Enid

19. Thanks That Was Fun

x

Track List: Maroon

1. Too Little Too Late

2. Never Do Anything

3. Pinch Me

4. Go Home

5. Falling For The First Time

6. Conventioneers

7. Sell Sell Sell

8. The Humor Of The Situation

9. Baby Seat

10. Off The Hook

11. Helicopters

12. Tonight Is The Night I Fell Asleep At The Wheel / Hidden Sun

x

Track List: Stunt

1. One Week

2. It's All Been Done

3. Light Up My Room

4. I'll Be That Girl

5. Leave

6. Alcohol

7. Call And Answer

8. In The Car

9. Never Is Enough

10. Who Needs Sleep?

11. Told You So

12. Some Fantastic

13. When You Dream

x

Track List: The Old Apartment [Radio Remix] / Lovers In A Dangerous Time [Non Album Version] [Digital 45]

1. The Old Apartment [Radio Remix]

2. Lovers in a Dangerous Time

x

Track List: Rock Spectacle (Live)

1. Brian Wilson (Live)

2. Straw Hat And Old Dirty Hank (Live)

3. Break Your Heart (Live)

4. Jane (Live)

5. When I Fall (Live)

6. Hello City (Live)

7. What A Good Boy (Live)

8. The Old Apartment (Live)

9. Life, In A Nutshell (Live)

10. These Apples (Live)

11. If I Had $1,000,000 (Live)

x

Track List: Born On A Pirate Ship

1. Stomach vs. Heart

2. Straw Hat and Old Dirty Hank

3. I Know

4. This Is Where It Ends

5. When I Fall

6. I Live With It Every Day

7. The Old Apartment

8. Call Me Calmly

9. Break Your Heart

10. Spider In My Room

11. Same Thing

12. Just A Toy

13. In The Drink

14. Shoe Box

x

Track List: Shoe Box EP

1. Shoe Box

2. Trust Me

3. If I Had A $1,000,000

4. Shoe Box

x

Track List: Maybe You Should Drive

1. Jane

2. Intermittently

3. These Apples

4. You Will Be Waiting

5. A

6. Everything Old Is New Again

7. Alternative Girlfriend

8. Am I The Only One?

9. Little Tiny Song

10. Life, In A Nutshell

11. The Wrong Man Was Convicted

12. Great Provider

x

Track List: Gordon

1. Hello City

2. Enid

3. Grade 9

4. Brian Wilson

5. Be My Yoko Ono

6. Wrap Your Arms Around Me

7. What A Good Boy

8. The King Of Bedside Manor

9. Box Set