Phil and Mel In The Afternoon

Phil and Mel In The Afternoon

Phil and Mel In The Afternoon

(L-R) Tyler Stewart, Steven Page, Jim Creeggan, Kevin Hearn and Ed Robertson of Barenaked Ladies perform on stage during the 2018 JUNO Awards at Rogers Arena on March 25, 2018 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Andrew Chin/Getty Images)

It was 1992 and I was getting started as a d.j. on my college radio station. A record rep had sent us a debut album by a band called Barenaked Ladies. Good attention grabber, especially for a 19-year-old. But they were fully-clothed men. They were funny. And they were really good.

The album was called Gordon. My friends and I listened to it over and over again. When we heard Barenaked Ladies were coming to Pittsburgh, we were quick to get our tickets. They played a club in the Strip District, which seemed fitting for a band called Barenaked Ladies, although it wasn’t actually a strip club. I’ve seen them many times since then and, to this day, whenever I hear one of their songs on the radio, I’m instantly transported back to the ’90s.

The Canadian band was launched in 1988 by the duo of Ed Robertson and Steven Page, who had gone to school together in the Toronto suburb of Scarborough, Ontario. Eventually, keyboardist Andy Creeggan, bassist Jim Creeggan, and drummer Tyler Stewart filled out the original Barenaked Ladies lineup. Andy left the group in 1996 and was replaced by Kevin Hearn. Steven Page departed in 2009. They continue to record and perform as a quartet.

Fun Fact — Barenaked Ladies wrote and performed the theme song for the hit TV series, The Big Bang Theory, which originally aired from 2007 to 2019 and continues to run in syndication. A full-length version of the song, also known as “The History of Everything,” was released as a single in 2007.

  • Be My Yoko Ono (1992)

    The first single from Gordon, “Be My Yoko Ono” is an early example of Barenaked Ladies’ trademark humor. It’s sung from the perspective of a guy who would be willing to give up everything to be with the person he loves. He comparess their relationship to the one between Yoko Ono and John Lennon. The video contains a lot of footage of Yoko Ono and John Lennon. And in an interview on Canadian television, Yoko said that she liked the song. “Be My Yoko Ono” was included in a second season episode of The Big Bang Theory.

  • Shoe Box (1996)

    A late addition, “Shoe Box” just made it as the final track on Barenaked Ladies’ 1996 album Born on a Pirate Ship. The song was also featured on the first soundtrack of the iconic ’90s sitcom, Friends. In fact, two of the show’s stars, Matt LeBlanc and Lisa Kudrow, were originally set to star in the video, but each pulled out at the last minute and had to be replaced with lesser-known actors.

  • One Week (1998)

    After years of success in their native Canada, Barenaked Ladies finally topped the U.S. charts with this catchy, uptempo song. Released as the first single from their 1998 album, Stunt, “One Week” remains the band’s biggest hit. The freestyle rap portions of the song are peppered with pop culture references and include one of my all-time favorite lyrics: “Hot like wasabi when I bust rhymes.” Apple used “One Week” to¬†introduce the Mac OS X Server at MacWorld 1999, and Mitsubishi put the song in an early-2000s Lancer commercial.

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