Sons of Freedom (band)

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Sons of Freedom
Sons of Freedom.jpg
Background information
Origin Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Genres alternative rock, funk rock
Years active 1986-1994
Labels Slash Records, MCA Records, Chrysalis Records
Associated acts Black Eye Buddha, 2preciious, Jakalope, Rat Silo
Past members James Newton
Don Harrison
Don Short
Don Binns

Sons of Freedom were a Canadian alternative rock band of the late 1980s and early 1990s.[1] The band, consisting of vocalist James Newton, guitarist Don Harrison, bassist Don Binns and drummer Don Short,[2] formed in 1986 in Vancouver, British Columbia.[1]

Although sharing the same name as the Sons of Freedom, a controversial Doukhobor activist group, the band chose their name before learning of the existence of the Doukhobor group and briefly deliberated changing it.[1] Because three of the four band members had the first name Don, the band was also sometimes jokingly nicknamed "Dons of Freedom".[2]


Their self-titled debut album was released in 1988 on Slash Records,[3] and was supported by a cross-Canada concert tour.[2] The album was marked by a hybrid rock-funk style which was described by critics as a cross between Led Zeppelin and Gang of Four.[4] They won the CASBY Award for Most Promising Group in 1989,[5] and were shortlisted for the Juno Award for Most Promising Group at the Juno Awards of 1990.[6]

The band's second album Gump was released in 1991 on MCA Records in Canada and Chrysalis Records in the United States.[7] The album debuted at #1 on Chart, Canada's campus radio charts, and spawned "You're No Good", the band's only single to chart in the RPM Hot 100.

After being dropped from their record labels, the band broke up in 1993.[8] Harrison, Binns and Short initially joined with singer Jen Wilson under the new band name Black Eye Buddha,[8] although Sons of Freedom briefly reunited in 1995 to tour in support of a rarities compilation, Tex.[9]

Later work[edit]

Binns, Short and Harrison subsequently joined with Lee Aaron in the band 2preciious,[10] and with Dave "Rave" Ogilvie in the project Jakalope.[11]

In 2008, Newton launched a new project called Rat Silo.[12] The band consisted of Don Binns (bass), Finn Manniche (guitar), Dave Osborne (keyboards) and Sean Stubbs (drums).[12]

On October 4, 2014 the four original members performed a reunion show to a sold out crowd at Vancouver's Imperial Lounge.[13]


Sons of Freedom (1988)[edit]

Track listing:

  • 1. "Super Cool Wagon"
  • 2. "The Criminal"
  • 3. "Mona Lisa"
  • 4. "Dead Dog on the Highway"
  • 5. "Holy Rollers"
  • 6. "Shoot Shoot"
  • 7. "Judy Come Home"
  • 8. "Is It Love"
  • 9. "Fuck the System"
  • 10. "This Is Tao"
  • 11. "Alice Henderson"

Gump (1991)[edit]

Track listing:

  • 1. "You're No Good"
  • 2. "Dreamgirl No. 1"
  • 3. "Call Me"
  • 4. "Circle Circle"
  • 5. "I Can See"
  • 6. "USA Long Distance"
  • 7. "I Don't Care Anymore"
  • 8. "Jesus and Jim"
  • 9. "Girl Can't Help It"
  • 10. "Dreamgirl No. 2"

Tex (1995)[edit]

Track listing:

  • 1. "Walkie Talkie"
  • 2. "I Want You"
  • 3. "Hit It"
  • 4. "Heaven"
  • 5. "Yer Too High"
  • 6. "I Believe"
  • 7. "Sugar High"
  • 8. "Blind Children"
  • 9. "I'm Burning"
  • 10. "Help Me"
  • 11. "Underneath Yer Window"
  • 12. "Wrong Direction"
  • 13. "Best Friend"
  • 14. "You Don't Belong"
  • 15. "Don't Come Back"
  • 16. "Blowakisstry This"


  1. ^ a b c "SONS of FREEDOM; Playing in no-man's land". Ottawa Citizen, May 5, 1989.
  2. ^ a b c "Dons Of Freedom and boy-voiced Jim". Toronto Star, December 9, 1988.
  3. ^ "Sons of Freedom pack considerable musical bite". Montreal Gazette, September 8, 1988.
  4. ^ "Sons adopt distinctive music styles; Sons 'appeal to senses' with rock/funk blend". Vancouver Sun, December 28, 1988.
  5. ^ "CASBYs salute pop's best". Edmonton Journal, November 9, 1989.
  6. ^ "Up for Junos". Edmonton Journal, February 8, 1990.
  7. ^ "Sons of freedom's new album an emotional roller-coaster ride". Ottawa Citizen, September 26, 1991.
  8. ^ a b "Sons of Freedom reincarnated". The Province, March 25, 1994.
  9. ^ "Sons of Freedom gear up for tour". Edmonton Journal, February 5, 1995.
  10. ^ "Karen/Lee brings out SoF's best". The Province, August 22, 1996.
  11. ^ "Dave Ogilvie Recruits Trent Reznor And The Sons Of Freedom For Jakalope". Chart Attack, March 9, 2004.
  12. ^ a b "Freedom's Newton gravitates to new band". The Province, February 4, 2008.
  13. ^ "Shows you'll want to see: Temperatures cool down, but the world of arts and entertainment heats up as we pick the best". The Province, September 14, 2014.

External links[edit]