Strange Advance

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Strange Advance
Strange Advance.png
Drew Arnott and Darryl Kromm circa 1988
Background information
OriginVancouver, British Columbia, Canada
GenresNew wave
Years active1982–1995, 2019–present
MembersDrew Arnott
Sean Dillon
Rob Bailey
Alexander Boynton
Ian Cameron
Ross Friesen
Past membersDarryl Kromm
Ric deGroot
Joey Alvero
David Quinton
Paul Iverson

Strange Advance is a Canadian new wave band formed in 1982 in Vancouver, British Columbia. They were nominated for a 1983 Juno Award as Most Promising Group of the Year and again in 1985 as Group of the Year.[1] Their first two albums, 1982's Worlds Away[2] and 1985's 2WO, were Canadian gold selling records.[3]


1982–1995: Formation and Canadian popularity[edit]

Strange Advance was initially made up of Drew Arnott (keyboards, percussion, vocals), Darryl Kromm (lead vocals, guitars), and Paul Iverson (bass). The three met in Vancouver and founded the group in 1980. Initially called Metropolis, they changed their name after discovering a band in Germany using "Metropolis".[4]

The group's first album, Worlds Away featured the title track, "Worlds Away", which saw modest airplay in North American markets in 1983. The album was produced by Bruce Fairbairn, known for his work with Loverboy and Prism, but featured a very different sound from those groups.[5] Rather than commercial hard rock, Strange Advance's music was a fusion of progressive rock and new wave, with a heavy reliance on synthesizers and keyboards.

Iverson left the group after the first album and was not replaced. The group's 1985 album 2WO also went gold in Canada and was produced by Arnott, using an extensive array of session players, and brought the band their first big Canadian hit with "We Run". Strange Advance had never played a live gig prior to 1985, so Arnott and Kromm added musicians Ric deGroot (keyboards), Ian Cameron (guitar, violin), Joey Alvero (bass) and David Quinton (drums) to the line-up as session players, and supported the first two albums with a tour of Eastern Canada.

Strange Advance's third album, 1988's The Distance Between[6] also used well-known session musicians (including Randy Bachman and Allan Holdsworth), and produced the top 20 single "Love Becomes Electric". Following this album's release, the group became essentially inactive. Arnott stated in 2021 that other music genres such as grunge were gaining popularity, and he wasn't interested in changing the group's sound.[7]

In 1995, the Strange Advance compilation album Worlds Away & Back featured a mix of previously released material, outtakes, remixes, demos, and three newly recorded tracks—one from 1991, and two from 1995.

2016–present: Remastering and reunion[edit]

On 24 June 2016, The Distance Between was remastered and re-released on CD with two bonus tracks, an extended club mix of "Love Becomes Electric" and the previously unreleased song, "Flow My Tears".

In December 2018, Worlds Away was remastered and re-released on CD with two bonus tracks, the UK Dance Mix of "Love Games" (transferred from vinyl) and the b-side to "She Controls Me" – "Lost in Your Eyes". This marked the first time their debut has seen a CD release of any kind, despite the albums' popularity. This release is only available in the Philippines, on the Sound Philosophy label, which is a new boutique label for titles not released on CD. This version appears to be sourced from the master tapes.

On 17 September 2018, Drew Arnott announced a crowdfunding campaign on Facebook to finance a summer 2019 Strange Advance reunion tour.[8][9] The fundraising was successful, and the band (minus Kromm) planned to perform in 2019 for the Radical Orbits Tour. Unfortunately, due to cancellations and delays, the tour was rescheduled to 2021.


Studio albums[edit]

Compilation albums[edit]

  • Over 60 Minutes with... Strange Advance (1987)
  • Worlds Away & Back (1995)

Music video compilations[edit]

  • Strange Advance (1985)


Title Release Peak chart positions Album
"She Controls Me" 1982 Worlds Away
"Kiss in the Dark" 1983
"Love Games"
"Worlds Away" 46 29
"We Run" 1985 28 2WO
"Running Away"
"The Second That I Saw You" 20
"Love Becomes Electric" 1988 20 The Distance Between
"Till the Stars Fall"
"Hold You"

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Juno Awards Database". Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 19 February 2011.
  2. ^ Library and Archives Canada. "AMICUS No. 7406743". Retrieved 19 February 2011.
  3. ^ "Gold/Platinum". musicCanada. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  4. ^ McGinnis, Ray (21 August 2019). "Love Becomes Electric by Strange Advance - Vancouver Pop Music". Retrieved 27 September 2020.
  5. ^ "Artist: Strange Advance Biography". Jam!. 7 December 2004. Archived from the original on 1 January 2013. Retrieved 19 February 2011.
  6. ^ Library and Archives Canada. "AMICUS No. 8146164". Retrieved 19 February 2011.
  7. ^ Azpiri, Jon; Barnes, Squire (13 February 2021). "The strange story of Strange Advance, the B.C. band that made it big in the '80s and is coming back". Global News. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  8. ^ Drain, Heather (5 January 2019). "Who Can Touch Us When We Run?: The Pain & Beauty of Strange Advance". Diabolique magazine. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  9. ^ "Strange Advance". Strange Advance. 19 September 2018. Retrieved 3 July 2019.

External links[edit]