Friday, October 19, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-54-40

Song:Baby Ran
Album:The Essentials

54-40 has been around since the 80s and have been successful in their native Canada. But they were unable to convert that into success in the US despite the efforts of two major record companies. This happens a lot to Canadian bands because Canadian Content regulations provide artificial success that doesn't always translate into success outside Canada. 54-40 is from the Vancouver suburb of Tsawwassen, BC. The band name is based on the slogan "Fifty-four Forty or Fight" coined by US President James Polk about US expansion into Canada. They were formed in 1981 by lead singer and guitarist Neil Osborne, bassist Brad Merritt and drummer Ian Franey. Their 1983 independently released EP Selection got the attention of Reprise Records. They added Phil Comparelli on guitar and Darryl Neudorf replaced Franey. Matt Johnson replaced Neudorf in 1986. Baby Ran is from their second album 54-40, called The Green Album because of the cover. It got them airplay in Canada on radio and Muchmusic. Attempts to break them in the US were unsuccessful. 54-40 left Reprise for Columbia in 1991 and they had three Platinum and one Gold album in Canada. But again they failed to break the US market. The other thing was fans of their 80s music thought the band sold out and the 90s music was too commercial. This happens all the time with bands struggling for wide acceptance and have to compromise to get it. This comp covers their 80s Reprise recordings. 54-40's biggest success was when I Go Blind was covered by Hootie & The Blowfish and was on the soundtrack for the hit sitcom Friends. They made enough money from that to build their own recording studio in Vancouver. In 2005, Phil Comparelli was replaced by Dave Genn of The Matthew Good Band. 54-40 has also recorded for Nettwerk and True North and their latest CD Lost In The City was released on their own label last year. They are currently on a Canadian tour. Here's the video for Baby Ran by 54-40.

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