The Barenaked Ladies
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The Barenaked Ladies ( BNL )

Barenaked Ladies Bio - BNL

 

Barenaked Ladies Bio

Trough some critics have derided them as a mere novelty act, Barenaked Ladies offer testimony that persistence and hard work can pay off in big ways. Thanks to relentless touring and impressive media savvy as well as undeniable pop smarts the Canadian band has seen its grassroots following grow into a solid fan base both in its native country and abroad. By sticking, for the most part, to a philosophy that espouses good times (as opposed to grand statement), the group has carved out a niche of its own, and its prospects for a long musical future look better than ever.
Initially a duo, Barenaked Ladies got its start in 1988, when childhood friends Steven Page (vocals/guitar) and Ed Robertson (guitar) discovered they enjoyed singing together at summer camp. The idea for the band name (which the two were forced to defend repeatedly in the group's early years) came to them during a giggling fit at a Bob Dylan concert. After several months spent performing as opening act for a traveling comedy troupe, the duo recruited high school classmates (and brothers) Jim Creeggan (bass) and Andrew Creeggan (keyboards), and the foursome recorded a demo tape, titled Barenaked Lunch. A performance at the annual Buskers Festival in Waterloo, Ontario, led to an encounter with like-minded drummer Tyler Stewart, and the group was complete.
Funding the project themselves, Barenaked Ladies recorded a self-titled, five-song cassette in 1991 that became the only independent release to ever reach platinum status in Canada. Widely known as The Yellow Tape, the cassette featured the signature hit, "Be My Yoko Ono," which garnered extensive play on Canadian alternative radio stations. (Incidentally, then high-schooler Sean Lennon reportedly gave a copy of the tape to his mother, who was much taken with the song.) Noting the group's success north of the border, as well as its growing popularity as a live act, Sire/Reprise signed the band to a contract in 1992, and that summer the group released its major-label debut.
Titled Gordon, the band's first album proved a smash in Canada, but failed to generate much excitement among American audiences. Foregoing the dourness and angst fashionable among its alternative peers, Barenaked Ladies served notice they were fun loving, spirited, and not above dipping into novelty. Sporting songs such as "If I Had a Million Dollars" (which featured the line, "If I had a million dollars, I'd buy you a Picasso or a Garfunkel"), and a remake of "Be My Yoko Ono," Gordon unfurled a brand a humor that many people brushed off as juvenile, and out of step with the times. Nonetheless, the album occupied the No. 1 spot on the Canadian pop charts for eight weeks, and it remained in the Canadian Top 10 for ten months. Total sales ultimately topped 800,000, earning the band Group of the Year honors at the prestigious Juno Awards (Canada's equivalent of the Grammys).

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