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The Northern Pikes

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Biography

The Northern Pikes were founded in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in 1983 out of the relics of three Canadian prairie bands -- the Idols, Seventeen Envelope, and Doris Daye. The band released two self-financed independent albums, The Northern Pikes and Scene in North America, which attracted the attention of Virgin Records Canada, then in the process of expanding and looking for Canadian acts. Signed to a six-album international deal in 1985, their major-label debut was Big Blue Sky, which contained the singles and videos "Teenland" and "The Things I Do for Money." In that same year, the band opened on tours by Duran Duran, David Bowie and the Fixx, vaulting them into international stardom. The band's next album, Secrets of the Alibi, was ignored by critics and given less than complimentary reviews, but British pop star Robert Palmer saw potential in the band and had them as opening slot on his 1989 North American tour. In 1990, Snow in June became their third major release; this album was sort of a comeback, boasting three Top 40 hits in "She Ain't Pretty," "Girl with a Problem," and "Kiss Me You Fool." This album pulled out all the stops with mixes by Hugh Padgham and Bob Clearmountain and production by Rick Hutt, Fraser Hill and the Pikes themselves. The album also had an impressive roster special guest performers, including Garth Hudson (the Band) and John Sebastian (Lovin' Spoonful). Despite all of the attention the album received, Virgin America passed on its U.S. release, and the band ended up having it released by Scotti Brothers in 1991. The album would go on to sell double platinum, much to Virgin's loss. In 1992, the band released the album Neptune to very little fanfare, as their popularity began to dwindle. The album sank without a trace, but at the end of 1993 they released a live album called Gig, with songs taken from a set of the band's last shows together. In 1993, bandleader Jay Semko quit in frustration and the Northern Pikes were no more. ~ Keith Pettipas

Top Songs

Formed:

1984 in Saskatoon, Canada

Genre
Years Active:

'80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Contemporaries