54-40

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For the line of latitude, see Parallel 54°40′ north.
54•40
Fifty-Four Forty.jpg
Dave Genn, Neil Osborne & Brad Merritt at the Vancouver ShoreFest in 2009
Background information
Origin Tsawwassen, British Columbia, Canada
Genres Rock, alternative rock
Years active 1981 (1981)–present
Labels Reprise, True North
Website 5440.com
Members Neil Osborne
Matt Johnson
Brad Merritt
Dave Genn
Past members Phil Comparelli
Darryl Neudorf
Ian Franey

54•40 is a Canadian alternative rock group from Tsawwassen, British Columbia.

The band takes their name from the slogan "Fifty-Four Forty or Fight!", coined to express the unsuccessful expansionist agenda of James K. Polk's presidency, intent upon controlling a contested U.S.-Canada border area in the Oregon boundary dispute.

History[edit]

The group formed in 1981 as a trio consisting of Brad Merritt (bass), Ian Franey (drums), and Neil Osborne (vocals/guitar). They made their recording debut that same year, with four tracks on the independent compilation LP Things Are Still Coming Ashore, which also featured music by Vancouver bands Animal Slaves and Junco Run. The following year, the band issued the EP Selection.

In 1983, Phil Comparelli was added on guitar, trumpet and vocals and Franey was replaced by Darryl Neudorf. Neudorf subsequently was replaced by drummer Matt Johnson in 1986.

The band's self-titled second album, released in 1986, began to attract attention from radio and record buyers across Canada, with the single "Baby Ran" gaining significant college radio airplay. Musician Dave Osborne (keyboards, harmonica), toured and recorded with the band from 1987 to 1993. The band's third album, Show Me, became their commercial breakthrough in Canada, with the hits "One Day in Your Life" and "One Gun".

Although the band were popular on college radio in the United States, they never had a commercial breakthrough — 1992's Dear Dear was their first album not to have a U.S. release. It was, however, their best-selling album in Canada up to that time, leading to a new U.S. contract for the follow-up, Smilin' Buddha Cabaret, which had a significant hit in "Ocean Pearl".

The band's song "I Go Blind" was covered in the mid-1990s by American band Hootie & the Blowfish, and was featured on the first soundtrack to the TV series Friends. The song also appears on two compilations released by the band: 2000's Scattered, Smothered and Covered and 2003's The Best of Hootie & the Blowfish (1993 Thru 2003). Royalties from the Hootie and the Blowfish cover enabled the band to build their own recording studio in Vancouver.

The band announced in March 2005 that long-time member Comparelli had officially passed on guitar duties to Dave Genn, formerly of Matthew Good Band.

In 2010, to celebrate the band's 30 years together and almost 25 years since their first commercial album "The Green Album", the band went on a promotional concert tour with a two set act. The first set was "The Green Album" from start to finish. The second set was one song from every album since, with the exception of Dear Dear where they played two songs. 54-40 also performed a new song from their upcoming record, "Lost In The City" which was released on June 14, 2011. The Green tour was during the first few months of 2010.[1]

On April 6, 2011, 54-40 played a free concert in celebration of Vancouver, British Columbia's 125th Birthday celebration. More recently the band played a Canada Day concert in Leduc, Alberta on the 1st of July, 2013.

They also played at Shorefest, at English Bay in Vancouver, British Columbia for the Honda Celebration of Lights on Saturday, July 26, 2014.[2]

Discography[edit]

EPs[edit]

Year Title Chart positions
CAN
1982 Selection

Albums[edit]

Year Title Chart positions Certifications
CAN
[3]
CAN
[4]
1984 Set the Fire
1986 54-40 91
1987 Show Me 66
1989 Fight for Love 36
1992 Dear Dear 22 Platinum
1994 Smilin' Buddha Cabaret 47 Platinum
1996 Trusted by Millions 28 Platinum
1998 Since When 19 Gold
2000 Casual Viewin' 24
2003 Goodbye Flatland
2005 Yes to Everything
2008 Northern Soul
2011 Lost in the City

Singles[edit]

Year Title Peak Chart Position Album
CAN
[5]
CAN
Alt.

[6]
CAN Content (Cancon)
[7]
1984 "Set the Fire" Set the Fire
"What To Do Now"
"Broken Pieces"
1986 "Baby Ran" 54-40
"I Go Blind"
1987 "One Day in Your Life" 90 Show Me
"One Gun"
"Walk In Line"
1989 "Fight for Love" Fight for Love
"Miss You"
"Baby, Have Some Faith" 1
1992 "Nice to Luv You" 30 4 Dear Dear
"She La" 38
"Music Man" 40 5
1993 "You Don't Get Away (That Easy)" 52 7
1994 "Blame Your Parents" 45 Smilin' Buddha Cabaret
"Radio Luv Song"
"Assoholic" 56
"Ocean Pearl" 22
1996 "Love You All" 20 7 Trusted by Millions
"Lies to Me" 19 5
"Crossing a Canyon" 30
1997 "I Love Candy" 61
1998 "Since When" 11 2 Since When
"Lost and Lazy" 87 8
2000 "Casual Viewin'" 48 3 Casual Viewin
"Unbend"
2001 "Blue Sky"
2002 "Love Rush" Radio Love Songs: The Singles Collection
"Plenty Emotion"
2003 "Take Me Out" Goodbye Flatland
"Animal in Pain"
"Ride"
"Wish I Knew"
2005 "Easy to Love" Yes to Everything
"Golden Sun"
2008 "Snap" Northern Soul
"Lucky"
2010 "Lost In The City" Lost In The City

Live Albums[edit]

Year Title Chart positions
CAN
1999 Heavy Mellow -

Compilations[edit]

Year Title Chart positions Certifications
CAN
[8]
CAN
[4]
1981 Things Are Still Coming Ashore - -
1991 Sweeter Things: A Compilation 39 Platinum
1997 Sound of Truth: The Independent Collection - -
2001 Casual Viewin' USA - -
2002 Radio Love Songs: The Singles Collection - -
2005 The Essentials - -

DVDs[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://5440.com/index.php?view=article&catid=1:latest-news&id=71:5440-celebrates-30th-anniversary-by-going-qgreenq-again&tmpl=component&print=1&layout=default&page=
  2. ^ http://hondacelebrationoflight.com/artists/shorefest-2014
  3. ^ Peak positions for 54-40's albums in Canada:
  4. ^ a b "Gold/Platinum". Music Canada. Retrieved 2011-07-09. 
  5. ^ Peak positions for 54-40's singles on Singles Chart:
  6. ^ Peak positions for 54-40's singles on Rock/Alternative Chart:
  7. ^ Peak positions for 54-40's singles on Canadian Content Chart:
  8. ^ "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 55, No. 3, December 21, 1991". RPM. Retrieved 2010-09-29. 

External links[edit]