Al Connelly

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Al Connelly
Al Connelly 2013.jpg
Connelly in 2013
Background information
Birth name Alan Connelly
Born (1960-10-02) October 2, 1960 (age 56)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Genres Rock, Roots music, Reggae
Occupation(s) Songwriter, Guitarist, Vocalist
Years active 1986–present
Associated acts Glass Tiger, Al Connelly, AJaCon

Alan "Al" Connelly (born October 2, 1960) is a guitarist and songwriter, He is a founding member of Glass Tiger, the Canadian rock band. He and his band received five Canadian music industry Juno Awards and multiple Canadian SOCAN Awards, and were nominated for a Best New Artist Grammy Award.[1] Connelly has released solo recordings as well.


Alan Connelly was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada to Edward Connelly and Dorothy Dempsey.

At the age of 18 Al Connelly was asked to play with (future Glass Tiger band mates) singer Alan Frew and bassist Wayne Parker in their late seventies rock band Onyx. The band disintegrated after two years and Connelly formed a punk band called The Untouchable Lowlifes. They recorded some of Connelly's and singer Roland Merkle's songs.

Soon a new band, Tokyo, emerged in the Toronto music scene with Alan Frew and Wayne Parker joining forces with keyboardist Sam Reid and drummer Michael Hanson, to eventually become Glass Tiger. Connelly was asked to join the new outfit in 1983. Their Toronto area popularity and songwriting capabilities eventually led the band to a recording contract in 1985 with EMI/Capitol records worldwide. They were released on Blue Note Records under EMI Group in America.

The band signed to Canadian Capitol Records, whose A&R put them in touch with songwriter Jim Vallance and singer Bryan Adams (co-writer) to produce Glass Tiger's debut album, The Thin Red Line. The album eventually sold multi-platinum. While on a writing trip to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Al Connelly joined bandmates Sam Reid and Alan Frew to contribute to the songs "Don't Forget Me (When I'm Gone)" and "Someday". The two singles propelled to the top of the American Billboard charts in 1986 and helped to break the band internationally.

Glass Tiger received three Juno Awards that year: Album of the Year, The Thin Red Line, Single of the Year, "Don't Forget Me (When I'm Gone)", and Most Promising Group of the Year. Also the producer Jim Vallance received a Juno, for the Composer of the Year. Glass Tiger were nominated for Best New Artist 1987 at the Grammy Awards among Simply Red, Timbuk3, Nu Shooz, with Bruce Hornsby and the Range ultimately receiving the award.

Touring in America with Journey on Raised on Radio Tour and on Tina Turner's European Break Every Rule Tour quickly secured an international response to the band's music. Drummer Hanson left the group in 1988 after the release of their second album Diamond Sun. Hanson was replaced by Jimmy Scotland, then by Randall Coryell, eventually to be replaced by Toronto drummer Chris McNeill, still with the band since 1997.

The band's third album Simple Mission was released by Capitol Records in 1991. The album was produced by Tom Werman and engineered by Ed Delena. It was recorded in Los Angeles at a number of studios, Sunset Sound and Herb Alpert's famous A&M Records studios among others. It received a strong radio response in Europe and Canada with "My Town" as a European single reaching No. 1 in Germany. "My Town" features Rod Stewart on lead vocals alongside Alan Frew, and reached #33 in the UK, marking the band's second highest position in that country. The album went platinum in Canada with the track "Animal Heart" released as a single, which reached No. 2 on Canadian rock charts. A tour across Canada was successful, followed by two-month Join the Joyride! World Tour (1991/92) in Europe with the Swedish band Roxette.

Glass Tiger's music is still heard on the airwaves, well in the 21st century. In 2009 the band played to the Canadian Armed Forces stationed in Kandahar, Afghanistan, and at Camp Mirage. They went into dangerous areas at Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) to bring acoustic versions of their songs to front line soldiers.

Glass Tiger continues to have demand by fans and performs live concerts. A 2012 tour across Canada was with 'Roxette', whom they had toured Europe with in 1992. This brought out a few new songs on the then released Greatest Hits album Then Now Next, with one new song introduced by Al Connelly, entitled "Stand Up (Give Yourself A Hand)".

Connelly continues to write and produce with many musicians and performers, on many musical genres: world music, reggae, R&B, blues, rock and pop. His writing has kept a distinction along with his singing voice. He submitted and performed the song "I Am That Strong" to live audiences during the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto. The Arts & Culture York Region picked it up and had Connelly perform it for their 2015 gala theme song.

Connelly has acquired Studio engineering diplomas both through Seneca College and Humber College in Toronto. In addition to songwriting, he has spent many years being involved with behaviorally and developmentally challenged as well as autistic youth.

Awards, nominations and chart success[edit]

  • Juno Awards, to Glass Tiger:
    • 1989 Canadian Entertainer of the Year
    • 1987 Single of the Year - "Someday" (co-writer)
    • 1986 Album of the Year - The Thin Red Line
    • 1986 Single of the Year - "Don't Forget Me (When I'm Gone)"
    • 1986 Most Promising Group of the Year
  • Grammy Nomination, for Glass Tiger:
    • 1987 Nomination: Best New Artist.
  • SOCAN awards to Glass Tiger songs:
    • "My Town" (co-writer)
      • 1992 - Pop/Rock Music
      • 2009 - SOCAN Classic
    • "Someday" (co-writer)
      • 1996 - SOCAN Classic
    • "Animal Heart" (co-writer)
      • 1991 - 2nd runner-up, SOCAN Rock Song of the Year
  • Other success for "Someday":
    • 1986 - Gold Single Award for 50,000 sales of the 45 RPM single in Canada
    • 1988 - ASCAP Pop Award - Among the Most Performed Songs of the 1987 Survey Year
    • No 7 - Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart / January 1987 (21 weeks on the chart)
    • No 11 - The Record (Canada) / November 24, 1986 (20 weeks on the chart)


As a solo artist[edit]

  • Alan Connelly: In Another Life (2004, independent release)

Glass Tiger[edit]


  1. ^

External links[edit]