Friday, August 12, 2011
AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Chalk Circle
Album:20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best Of Chalk Circle
Not to be confused with the early 80s punk band from Washington, DC also called Chalk Circle, this Chalk Circle had some success in their native Canada in the late 80s. April Fool was their biggest hit in 1987. But their music was never released outside Canada. This is more common than you might think because Canadian radio stations are regulated to play 30% Canadian content. Sometimes music is played that they normally wouldn't play. When you listen to Chalk Circle, you might think they're British. The influence is obvious. But they are actually from Newcastle, ON which is east of Toronto. Lead singer and guitarist Chris Tait and bassist Brad Hopkins had a band called The Casualties in 1982. After 1984 personnel changes, they were called The Reactors and then New Edition. Obviously they couldn't use that name so they got Chalk Circle from the Bertolt Brecht play The Caucasian Chalk Circle. The other band members were Ted Winklarz on keyboards and Derrick Murphy on drums. They started playing in Toronto, recorded a demo and won the 1985 CASBY for Most Promising Non Recorded Group. The CASBYs were awards presented by local alternative music radio station CFNY. They signed with Duke Street Records in 1986. This was a small label and they only released Canadian music in Canada. Bands had to sign their own deals elsewhere. Duke Street closed in 1994. April Fool was from Chalk Circle's 1986 EP The Great Lake produced by former Blue Peter leader Chris Wardman. The song reached #21 on the Canadian Singles chart. Chalk Circle recorded two more albums and were reasonably successful in Canada. But it wasn't enough and Chris Tait left and they split up in 1990. You can get all their hits on this Universal Canada comp. Tait formed the short lived group Big Faith and currently writes jingles. Though Chalk Circle was only known in Canada, I think 80s Brit-pop fans might enjoy their music. Here's the video for April Fool by Chalk Circle.