|Studio album by The Tragically Hip|
|Released||October 6, 1992 (CAN)
January 1993 (US)
|Recorded||Battery Studios (London)|
|Genre||Rock, alternative rock, folk rock|
|Producer||Chris Tsangarides, Piye|
|The Tragically Hip chronology|
|Singles from Fully Completely|
Fully Completely is the third full-length album by Canadian rock band The Tragically Hip. The album was released in October 1992 and produced by Chris Tsangarides. The cover art was designed by Dutch artist Lieve Prins. It produced six singles: Locked in the Trunk of a Car, Fifty Mission Cap, Courage (For Hugh MacLennan), At the Hundredth Meridian, Looking for a Place to Happen, and Fully Completely.
The Tragically Hip had released two full-length albums (Up To Here and Road Apples) before Fully Completely, working with producer Don Smith. While the albums had been successful in Canada, the Tragically Hip had not broken into the American market in a significant way. Hip guitarist Robert Baker later voiced the opinion that collaborating with the same producer on multiple projects (as the Hip had done with their first two albums) becomes troublesome because "little politics and intrigues enter into things". In late 1992, Producer Chris Tsangarides had just completed production on an album by Concrete Blonde, and was eager to work with the Tragically Hip. MCA, responsible for the financial success of the album, favoured Tsangarides because of his proven ability to generate an American radio-friendly sound. During production of the second album, singer Gordon Downie had announced that he would no longer sing lyrics written by other members of the band. Fully Completely was the first album that that would follow that decision by Downie.
Recording and Production
Fully Completely was recorded under the supervision of producer Chris Tsangarides at Battery Studios in London, England. In contrast to the band’s first two albums, the production techniques did not try to mimic what the band was performing on stage. Each track was built instrument by instrument over the course of five weeks, with only three days dedicated to vocals. The band expected recording in London to be a "grand experience," but had a mixed experience upon arriving. Some band members found the nights and weekends outside the studio to be, "dull and isolating". The art budget for the album was $30,000, and the total budget for the album was an estimated $185,000. The band has described the making of the album as being "about us wanting to learn".
The cover art for Fully Completely was designed by Dutch artist Lieve Prins. Prins was given the idea of a "bacchanalian sort of scene – lots of decadence, decay and rebirth," by Hip guitarist Rob Baker, and was left to work with the idea. Prins also drew inspiration from I ching symbols and numbers. The final artwork was created using a Canon colour photocopier. The cover consists of 30 segmented photocopied images pasted together. The band was granted licensing privileges to the artwork, but Prins retained the ownership of the actual artwork. In the late 1990s, the Tragically Hip bought the piece from a gallery in Los Angeles. It now hangs prominently in their studio near Kingston, Ontario.
The lyrics on the Fully Completely are heavily centered on Canadian icons and history. Writer Rob Mitchell has described the album as, "a trippy Canadiana dream/nightmare -- like The Odessy directed by Atom Egoyan". The title of the first track on the album, Courage (for Hugh MacLennan) makes reference to Canadian author Hugh MacLennan, and was inspired by his novel "The Watch That Ends the Night". The second track, "Looking for a Place to Happen," deals with the subject of European encroachment and the eventual annexation of Indigenous lands in North America, making specific reference to explorer Jacques Cartier. The third track, "At the Hundredth Meridian," references the line of latitude that separates much of Western Canada from the Central and Atlantic regions. The ninth track. "Fifty Mission Cap," references the life, career, and death of Toronto Maple Leafs player Bill Barilko, as well as fifty mission caps, which were provided to elite bomber pilots of the allied air forces during World War II. The tenth track, "Wheat Kings," references the wrongful imprisonment and eventual release of Canadian David Milgaard, Canadian wheat growers, and Canadian prime ministers.
Fully Completely was extremely well received in Canada. It sold 140,000 copies in Canada initially upon release, and 200,000 in Canada by the end of three months. The Tragically Hip and their label, MCA, had high expectations for the U.S. release of Fully Completely. Gord Sinclair described in an interview that the band, "were still holding out for the equivalent American success". The success, however, did not happen. MCA stopped American promotion of Fully Completely after two weeks. Its success in Canada, however, was unquestionable. It reached #1 on the RPM Top 100 albums chart. The album is listed at #5 on The Top 100 Canadian Albums by Bob Mersereau and #9 on The Top 102 Modern Rock Albums of All Time by 102.1 The Edge. The album was certified Diamond in Canada in January 2007 for sales of 1,000,000 copies. Despite the Tragically Hip's great domestic success, this was the only album of theirs to be released in Japan. It was released there on April 21, 1993 with the catalog number of MVCM-360.
Rather than a normal tour, the Tragically Hip followed the release of Fully Completely with the organization of "Another Roadside Attraction," in 1993. Another Roadside Attraction was a traveling music and arts summer festival which promoted little known bands and traveled across Canada. In 2014 and 2015, the band held a 22nd anniversary tour in which the played the album from beginning to end during each show.
A remastered "deluxe edition" of the album was released in 2014. The reissue included two new tracks from the original recording sessions, as well as a second disc featuring a 1992 concert performance at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto.
All songs were written by The Tragically Hip.
- "Courage (for Hugh MacLennan)" – 4:27
- "Looking for a Place to Happen" – 4:18
- "At the Hundredth Meridian" – 3:20
- "Pigeon Camera" – 4:34
- "Lionized" – 3:20
- "Locked in the Trunk of a Car" – 4:42
- "We'll Go, Too" – 3:24
- "Fully Completely" – 3:32
- "Fifty Mission Cap" – 4:10
- "Wheat Kings" – 4:19
- "The Wherewithal" – 2:55
- "Eldorado" – 3:46
- "Radio Show"†
- "So Hard Done By"†
† — Bonus tracks on 2014 edition.
2014 live disc
- "At the Hundredth Meridian"
- "Fifty-Mission Cap"
- "We’ll Go Too"
- "Fully Completely"
- "Pigeon Camera"
- "Twist My Arm"
- "Wheat Kings"
- "Looking for a Place to Happen"
- "Courage (For Hugh MacLennan)"
- "Locked in the Truck of a Car"
- "The Wherewithal"
- Allmusic review
- "Tragically Hip Fully and Completely recharged". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 2015-11-16.
- Aikenhead, Paul David (2010). Man-Sized Inside: A History of the Construction of Masculinity in The Tragically Hip’s album Fully Completely. http://ecommons.usask.ca/bitstream/handle/10388/etd-08112010-144224/PaulAikenheadETD.pdf: University of Saskatchewan. pp. 34–39.
- "Tragically Hip’s guitarist: ‘We were all reaching for the same thing’". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2015-11-16.
- Newt, The. "Gordon Downie goes Fully Completely Canadian on new Tragically Hip album". earofnewt.com. Retrieved 2015-11-16.
- "The Hip's 'Fully Completely' Connects Me to Canada". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2015-11-16.
- "Courage Exhibit". www.hipmuseum.com. Retrieved 2015-11-16.
- "Album Review: A look back at The Tragically Hip’s Fully Completely". postcity.com. Retrieved 2015-11-16.
- "Fifty Mission Cap". www.hipmuseum.com. Retrieved 2015-11-16.
- Top Albums/CDs - Volume 56, No. 19, November 07 1992
- "Canadian Recording Industry Association". 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-10.
- "The Tragically Hip". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2015-11-16.
- "Fully Completely Reissues and North American Tour | The Tragically Hip". The Tragically Hip. Retrieved 2015-11-16.
- "The Tragically Hip Treat 'Fully Completely' to Deluxe Reissue, Perform Album in Full on Tour". Exclaim!, October 6, 2014.