187. The Tragically Hip

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187. The Tragically Hip
Although they are virtually unknown outside their native Canada, it can be easily argued that the Tragically Hip were the definition of Canadian music.

This is not to disrespect Rush or other powerful acts from the Great White North, but there really was no other Canadian band that consistently belted out songs that could not have emerged from anywhere else. That in itself was the problem. As much as Canadians could identify with the music of the Hip, it literally did not always translate South of the border and thus the American market that they attempted to track always eluded them. They are in the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, but the acclaim in Cleveland will likely not come.


The Bullet Points:
Eligible Since:

Country of Origin:
Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Nominated In:

Why They Will Get In:
Actually they won’t. The only Hall they can get in is in Canada.

Why They Won’t Get In:
As successful as they were in Canada (where they were huge), they flopped in the U.S.

Essential Albums:
Up to Here (1989)
Road Apples (1991)
Fully Completely (1992)
Day For Night (1994)

Our Five Favorite Songs as Chosen by Each Member of the NIHOF Committee: 
Small Town Bringdown (From The Tragically Hip EP, 1987)
38 Years Old (From Up to Here, 1989)
Blow at High Dough (From Up to Here, 1989)
Locked in the Trunk of a Car (From Fully Completely, 1992)
Ahead by a Century (From Trouble at the Henhouse, 1996)

Should The Tragically Hip be in the Hall of Fame?

Definitely put them in! - 93.3%
Maybe, but others deserve it first. - 1.9%
Probably not, but it wouldn't be the end of the world. - 2.9%
No opinion. - 0%
No way! - 1.9%

Last modified on Monday, 04 February 2019 21:44
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0 #2 Darryl Tahirali 2017-09-13 23:00
. . . And The Tragically Hip has its Canadiana confirmed with a cameo on that quintessenti al Canadian sitcom Corner Gas and the Season Two episode "Rock On!," playing a (literal) garage band practicing in Brent's garage. That episode also features the (literally) legendary Canadian band Thunderface belting out its classic "Capital Cash."

Shout out to P Smith for the mention of Bruce Cockburn. "If I Had a Rocket Launcher" got some play in the States, at least where I was living at the time (San Francisco Bay Area), but that is just the tip of the iceberg from this passionate, committed singer-songw riter.
+3 #1 P Smith 2013-01-29 11:32
The Tragically Hip and many other bands were denied success in the US because of "Canadian content" (CanCon) law, requiring 33% of the music on radio to be "Canadian" by at least two of four criteria (performed or produced, lyrics or music written by a Canadian). Record companies in Canadian started developing talent, and MANY great bands got airplay and A&R money because of it. But US radio and media took the attitude that such bands would never have gotten on the radio on their own merits without the law.

Wrong. If you listen to the catalogue of the best Canadian bands in the first 25 years after CanCon, the music stands up to anything from the US or England: The Payola$, The Grapes Of Wrath, Big Sugar, The Northern Pikes, Bruce Cockburn, Doug & The Slugs, David Wilcox (Canadian bluesman, not the American folkie), among others. It's ironic that only the worst Canadian groups ever get a lot of attention in the US (e.g. Nickelback, Celine Dion, Bryan Adams, Loserboy).

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