Sloan (band)

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Sloan
Sloan live 2006.jpg
Sloan performing at Olympic Island in Toronto, Ontario, 2004
Background information
Origin Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Genres Rock, alternative rock, power pop, indie rock
Years active 1991–present
Labels Yep Roc, Murderecords, Sony BMG, Geffen, Outside Music
Website sloanmusic.com
Members Chris Murphy
Patrick Pentland
Jay Ferguson
Andrew Scott

Sloan is a Canadian, Toronto-based rock/power pop quartet, from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Throughout their 20+ year tenure, Sloan has released 11 LPs, two EPs, a live album, a Greatest hits album and more than thirty singles. The band has received nine Juno Award nominations, winning one.[1] The band is known for their sharing of songwriting from each member of the group and their unaltered line-up throughout their career.

Official Sloan logo

History[edit]

Formation and Peppermint EP (1991-1992)[edit]

Chris Murphy of Sloan performing at South by Southwest.

The band was formed in 1991 when Chris Murphy and Andrew Scott met at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) in Halifax; Patrick Pentland and Jay Ferguson joined soon after. According to Sloan's official website, the band is named after the nickname of their friend, Jason Larson. Larsen was originally called Slow One by his French-speaking boss which, with the French accent, sounded more like "Sloan".[2] The original agreement was that they could name the band after Larsen as long as he was on the cover of their first album. As a result, it is Larsen who appears on the cover of the Peppermint EP, which was released on the band's own label, Murderecords.

Geffen Records, Smeared and Twice Removed (1992-1994)[edit]

Later in 1992, Sloan released their full-length album Smeared on Geffen Records. In 1994 Geffen did not promote their second album, Twice Removed, due to artistic disputes,[3] although it sold well in Canada. Spin named it one of the "Best Albums You Didn't Hear" in 1994. A 1996 reader poll by Canadian music magazine Chart! ranked it as the best Canadian album of all time, only two years after its release.[4] The same poll in 2000 ranked the album third, behind Joni Mitchell's Blue and Neil Young's Harvest.[5] However, the 2005 poll once again ranked the album first.[3]

Murderecords, One Chord to Another to Pretty Together (1996-2001)[edit]

After the release of Twice Removed, the band went on hiatus and were rumoured to have broken up, as they had rejected Geffen's offer for their next album.[6] In 1996, however, they released the widely praised One Chord to Another on their own Murderecords label. Following 1998's Navy Blues album, Sloan released their first live album 4 Nights at the Palais Royale in 1999. Those albums were followed by Between the Bridges in 1999, and Pretty Together in 2001.

Seeking US success (2003-2008)[edit]

Sloan made a concerted effort to break into the US market on their 2003 release Action Pact. Songs were recorded in L.A. with Tom Rothrock producing. The glossier, radio-ready sound failed to raise Sloan's profile in the US, though they continued to be highly popular in Canada.[7]

Sloan's first compilation album A Sides Win: Singles 1992-2005, included two new songs, "All Used Up" and "Try to Make It". The Japanese release included two additional new tracks.

Now signed to Yep Roc Records for their US releases, they put out their eighth disc, Never Hear the End of It in 2006. The album contained 30 tracks with all the members of the band contributing new songs. It was met with widespread critical acclaim and became the highest charting Sloan album in the US up to that point. In 2008, Sloan followed up their longest album with their shortest release, Parallel Play.

Hit & Run and B-Sides Win (2009-2010)[edit]

In November 2009 Sloan added a digital music store to their website. The band released an online-only EP called Hit & Run to promote the store. The EP featured two songs by Chris Murphy, and one by each of the other band members. Murphy's Take It Upon Yourself was released as a free single. In February 2010, the band released another online exclusive, the compilation album B-Sides Win: Extras, Bonus Tracks and B-Sides 1992 - 2008.[8]

20th anniversary celebration, The Double Cross (2011-2013)[edit]

Sloan announced plans to release a 10th album in 2011, to coincide with the 20th anniversary of their first show.[9]

On February 22, 2011, Sloan announced that their new album would be released on May 10, 2011. The album is entitled The Double Cross, a nod to their 20th (or XX) anniversary. The album is preceded by the its first single, "Unkind".

With the release of The Double Cross, Sloan has now released a catalogue of around 175 different songs.

In promotion of the new album, a special video series produced and directed by Catherine Stockhausen has been launched on YouTube to commemorate the illustrious success of the band. Interviewed in these videos are several musicians and celebrities such as Jason Schwartzman, Joel Plaskett, Stefan Brogren, Dave Foley, Kevin Drew, Buck 65, Sebastien Grainger, The Dears, Ian D'Sa and Benjamin Kowalewicz from Billy Talent, K-OS, and Dave Hamlin.[10] Following the completion of touring for The Double Cross, Sloan reissued and toured behind Twice Removed as a three-record vinyl box set containing the original album, rarities, and demos.

On April 24, 2013, Sloan announced the release of a hardcore punk single, Jenny b/w It's In You, It's In Me. With it comes a digital download of a hardcore covers album, as well as a T-shirt portraying the band members circa 1985.

Commonwealth (2013-present)[edit]

In 2013, the band revealed plans for a double album, with each of the four sides featuring a solo suite by a different band member.[11] In May 2014, it was announced that the new album will be titled Commonwealth and will be released in September 2014.[12] On July 14, 2014, the band announced the official release date for the album (September 9) and the release of the album's first single, "Keep Swinging (Downtown)".[13] Additionally, the band announced the availability for pre-order of the album on ITunes.

Songwriting[edit]

Sloan performing at the Sudbury Summerfest 2007 in Sudbury, Ontario.

All four members of Sloan write their own songs, and when they play live they switch instruments accordingly. Usually the band performs as follows: Murphy is on lead vocals and plays bass, Pentland is also on lead vocals and plays lead guitar, Ferguson plays rhythm guitar, and Scott plays drums. The most notable exception is when Scott picks up the guitar to play his songs; Ferguson and Murphy switch to bass and drums, respectively. Prior to 2006's Never Hear the End of It, Ferguson and Scott would also play electric piano on songs that called for it; Gregory Macdonald now handles keyboard duties live and in the studio.

While Murphy has written more of the band's songs than any of the other members, Pentland is nonetheless responsible for having written many of Sloan's most recognizable hits. Perhaps more noteworthy, however, is the fact that every member of the group has contributed at least two songs per album, with only the following exceptions: On 1992's debut LP, Smeared, Scott and Pentland are credited with just one song each, while on 2003's Action Pact, Scott has no songs, for according to Eye Weekly, that album's producer, Tom Rothrock, essentially randomly selected tracks out of the band's submissions in the interest of creating a more streamlined sound. Scott's songwriting output at that time may also have been somewhat diminished because he had recently become a father.[14]

Discography[edit]

Main article: Sloan discography

Studio albums[edit]

Year Album
1992 Peppermint EP
1992 Smeared
1994 Twice Removed
1996 One Chord to Another
1998 Navy Blues
1999 Between the Bridges
2001 Pretty Together
2003 Action Pact
2006 Never Hear the End of It
2008 Parallel Play
2009 Hit & Run EP
2011 The Double Cross
2014 Commonwealth

Singles[edit]

Year Title Peak chart position Album
CAN
[15]
CAN
Alt.

[16]
CAN Content (Cancon)
[17]
US
Mod

[18]
1992 "Underwhelmed" - - 1 25 Smeared
"500 Up" - - - -
"Sugartune" - - 4 -
"Take It In" - - - -
"I Am the Cancer" - - - -
1994 "Coax Me" 30 - 6 - Twice Removed
"People of the Sky" 58 - 4 -
1996 "The Good in Everyone" 9 7 - - One Chord to Another
"Everything You've Done Wrong" 6 - - -
1997 "The Lines You Amend" 39 12 - -
"G Turns To D" - - - -
1998 "Money City Maniacs" 7 4 - - Navy Blues
"She Says What She Means" - 21 - -
"Keep on Thinkin" 85 - - -
1999 "Losing California" - 18 - - Between the Bridges
"Friendship" - - - -
2000 "Sensory Deprivation" - - - -
"Don’t You Believe a Word" - - - -
2001 "If It Feels Good Do It" - - - - Pretty Together
"The Other Man" - - - -
2003 "The Rest of My Life" - - - - Action Pact
"Live On" - - - -
2004 "Nothing Lasts Forever Anymore" - - - -
2005 "All Used Up" - - - - A Sides Win: Singles 1992–2005
"Try to Make It" - - - -
2006 "Who Taught You to Live Like That?" - - - - Never Hear the End of It
"Ill Placed Trust" - - - -
2007 "I've Gotta Try" - - - -
2008 "Believe in Me" - - - - Parallel Play
2009 "Witch's Wand" - - - -
"Take It Upon Yourself" - - - - Hit & Run
2011 "Unkind" - 16 - - The Double Cross
"The Answer Was You" - - - -
2013 "Jenny" - - - - Non-album single
2014 "Keep Swinging (Downtown)" - - - - Commonwealth

Honours and awards[edit]

Twice Removed was named the best Canadian album ever recorded in a 1996 reader poll by Chart! magazine.[4] In the 2000 poll, the album was voted third,[5] but in the 2005 poll it once again ranked first.[3] The band has also been nominated for several Juno Awards, winning one in 1997 for Best Alternative Album for One Chord to Another.

Juno Awards[edit]

[1]

East Coast Music Awards[edit]

  • 1993: Nominated – Album of the Year (Smeared), Entertainer of the Year, Pop Rock Recording of the Year, Song of the Year ("Underwhelmed"), Video of the Year ("Underwhelmed")
  • 1996: Won – Alternative Recording of the Year
    • Nominated – Pop Rock Recording of the Year, Video of the Year ("People of the Sky")
  • 1997: Won – Alternative Recording of the Year, Group of the Year
    • Nominated – Pop Rock Recording of the Year
  • 1998: Nominated – Single of the Year ("Everything You've Done Wrong"), Video of the Year ("Everything You've Done Wrong")
  • 1999: Nominated – Group of the Year, Video of the Year ("Money City Maniacs")
  • 2001: Nominated – Group of the Year
  • 2002: Won – Video of the Year ("If It Feels Good Do It")
    • Nominated – Album of the Year (Pretty Together), Entertainer of the Year, Group of the Year, Rock Recording of the Year, Songwriter of the Year ("If It Feels Good Do It")
  • 2003: Nominated – Entertainer of the Year, Single of the Year ("The Other Man"), Video of the Year ("The Other Man")
  • 2004: Won – Video of the Year ("The Rest of My Life")
    • Nominated – Album of the Year (Action Pact), Group of the Year, Rock Recording of the Year (Action Pact), Single of the Year ("The Rest of My Life"), Songwriter of the Year ("The Rest of My Life")
  • 2006 Nominated – Single of the Year ("All Used Up")
  • 2007 Won – Rock Recording of the Year (Never Hear the End of It)
    • Nominated: Album of the Year (Never Hear the End of It), Group of the Year

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Artist Summary - The JUNO Awards". Junoawards.ca. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  2. ^ "Fan F.A.Q. - Top 10 Questions (August 2000)". Retrieved 2006-07-28. 
  3. ^ a b c "Sloan's Twice Removed Named Top Canadian Album Of All Time". Chart (magazine). 2005-03-01. Retrieved 2008-11-09. 
  4. ^ a b "Top 100 Canadian albums of all time". Chart (magazine). Archived from the original on 2008-01-25. Retrieved 2008-11-09. 
  5. ^ a b "Top 50 Canadian Albums Of All Time (10 To 1)". Chart (magazine). 2000-06-30. Retrieved 2008-11-09. 
  6. ^ For more information see this 2010 Twitter post from the band
  7. ^ "Ladies and gentleman...Sloan (2006)". Retrieved 2008-06-20. 
  8. ^ "26 Sloan Rarites Now Available!". Retrieved 2010-02-12. 
  9. ^ "Sloan announce 10th LP". Retrieved 2010-07-20. 
  10. ^ Sloan. "Sloanmusic.com (News)". Sloan Official. Retrieved 11 May 2011. 
  11. ^ "Sloan Reveal Plans for Solo-sided Double Album". Exclaim!. Retrieved June 1, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Sloan has defied labels over a lengthy career". Niagara this Week. Retrieved June 1, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Sloan’s new “Commonwealth” is coming!". sloanmusic.com. Retrieved July 14, 2014. 
  14. ^ Grant, Kieren (2003-08-14). "Shake some action". Eye Weekly. Archived from the original on 2003-08-30. Retrieved 2009-10-18. 
  15. ^ "Sloan Top Singles positions". RPM. Retrieved 2010-05-13. 
  16. ^ "Sloan Rock/Alternative positions". RPM. Retrieved 2010-05-13. 
  17. ^ "Sloan Canadian Content positions". RPM. Retrieved 2010-06-07. 
  18. ^ "Sloan Album & Song Chart History – Alternative Songs". Billboard. Retrieved 2010-10-23. 

External links[edit]