The Northern Pikes
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|The Northern Pikes|
|Origin||Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada|
|Years active||1984 – 1993
1999 – 2012
|Past members||Glen Hollingshead
The Northern Pikes are a Canadian rock band formed in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in 1984. The original members were Bryan Potvin, Jay Semko, Merl Bryck and Glen Hollingshead. Hollingshead left the band in 1985, and was replaced by Don Schmid in 1986.
The band was active until 1993, and toured and recorded again from 1999 through 2012. The Northern Pikes official website currently lists the group as "on hiatus", with no gigs planned for the foreseeable future.
The Northern Pikes released two independent EPs before being signed to Virgin Records in 1986, "The Northern Pikes" (1984) and "Scene in North America" (1985). Their first album for the label, Big Blue Sky, included the Semko-penned "Teenland", the band's first significant hit. The follow-up album Secrets of the Alibi contained two more minor Canadian hits, "Wait for Me" and "Let's Pretend" (both by Semko), as well as the slightly bigger hit "Hope Go Astray", written by Potvin.
Their 1990 album, Snow in June became their biggest seller in Canada and the US. That album's lead single, "She Ain't Pretty", was the band's biggest hit, and was written by Potvin. An innovative music video for that song received heavy play on MuchMusic and was nominated for a Juno Award. Overall, the band has been nominated for 5 Juno Awards, but have yet to record a win.
In 1992, the band released Neptune. The album's biggest hit, "Believe", was written by Potvin. After touring to support the album, they announced their retirement as a group in July 1993.
In 1999, Virgin Records asked the band members for their input on a "greatest hits" package. The band decided to do a short promotional tour following the release of Hits and Assorted Secrets 1984-1993, but found themselves enjoying the more relaxed independence of making their own schedule that they continued touring. They have since released three independent albums, including Truest Inspiration (2001) and It's a Good Life (2003), as well as the aptly titled Live (2000).
In 2005, the band struck up a musical collaboration with Les Stroud. Throughout 2005 and 2006 they performed together live several times. A six-song EP born from this collaboration entitled Long Walk Home was released in the spring of 2007, and was credited to "Les Stroud & The Pikes".
In 2006, the band was expected to release a hybrid collection of songs from Truest Inspiration and It's a Good Life under the name Beautiful Music. It was to include a bonus DVD of footage from the recording of Truest Inspiration and some promo clips from It's a Good Life. However, this has yet to see the light of day. In 2011, the band released its first two independent EPs digitally via iTunes.
Bryck left the band in 2007, and long-time auxiliary keyboard player Ross Nykiforuk was promoted to full membership in his stead. The band's website promised a new studio release for 2012, but this never materialized.
The Northern Pikes went "on hiatus" at the end of 2012, and according to their website have no plans to tour or record at any time in the foreseeable future.
|Release date||Title||Chart peak||Album|
|June 1987||"Teenland" (Semko)||29||Big Blue Sky|
|October 1987||"Things I Do For Money" (Semko)||85|
|January 1988||"Dancing In A Dance Club" (Semko)|
|August 1988||"Wait For Me" (Semko)||58||Secrets of the Alibi|
|November 1988||"Hopes Go Astray" (Potvin)||45|
|April 1989||"Let's Pretend" (Semko)||66|
|May 1990||"She Ain't Pretty" (Potvin)||6||86||Snow in June|
|August 1990||"Girl With A Problem" (Semko)||8|
|November 1990||"Kiss Me You Fool" (Bryck/Semko)||12|
|March 1991||"Dream Away" (Potvin)||47|
|October 1992||"Twister" (Semko/Potvin)||25||Neptune|
|February 1993||"Believe" (Potvin)||17|
|April 1993||"Worlds Away" (Semko)||40|
|2001||"Echo Off The Beach" (Potvin)||Truest Inspiration|
|2001||"Colour Into Colour" (Bryck)|
|2003||"It's A Good Life" (Semko)||It's a Good Life|
- 1987 - Big Blue Sky
- 1988 - Secrets of the Alibi
- 1990 - Snow in June
- 1992 - Neptune
- 2001 - Truest Inspiration
- 2003 - It's a Good Life
- 2007 - Les Stroud & The Pikes: Long Walk Home
- 1999 - Hits and Assorted Secrets 1984-1993
- 2007 - Platinum
- "Survivorman a catch for the Northern Pikes". Entertainment (Parry Sound North Star). 2006-03-22. Retrieved 2007-08-14.
- "News". The Northern Pikes - Official Website. Archived from the original on 2007-06-27. Retrieved 2007-08-14.