The Great White North (album)
|The Great White North|
|Studio album by|
|Label||Anthem Records (Canada)|
Mercury Records (U.S.)
|Bob and Doug McKenzie chronology|
The Great White North is a Canadian comedy album by the fictional television characters Bob and Doug McKenzie (portrayed by actors Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas), released in 1981 by Anthem Records (ANR-1-1036) and distributed in the United States by Mercury Records (SRM-1-4034). The title is a popular nickname for Canada; the nickname was used for the title of a Second City Television (a.k.a. SCTV) sketch featuring the Bob and Doug characters. This album was released as a tie-in with SCTV at the height of the popularity of Bob and Doug, and a screenshot from the show was used on the album cover.
Sales and charting
At least one million copies of the album were sold in North America, 350,000 of these in Canada alone, which earned a triple-platinum certification from the Canadian Recording Industry Association.
The Great White North entered the RPM Canadian album charts at #3 on 12 December 1981 and rose to the #1 position the following week where it remained until 23 January 1982. Overall, RPM ranked the album #40 of albums released in Canada during 1981. It peaked at number 8 on the American Billboard 200 album chart in 1982.
"Take Off" single release
The song "Take Off" (identified on the album as "the hit single section"), features guest vocalist Geddy Lee of Rush. (Lee and Moranis had gone to grade school together.) It was a hit, peaking at number 16 on the Billboard 100 singles chart in March 1982, higher than any of Rush's songs ever charted on the U.S. top 40. (Rush's biggest hit on that chart, "New World Man," reached only number 21, and thus "Take Off" has been Lee's biggest hit.)  The song also reached #14 on the Cash Box chart and #5 on WLS-AM in Chicago.
In 1982, this album received the Juno Award for Comedy Album of the Year.
In 1983, it was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album, but lost to Richard Pryor's Live on the Sunset Strip.
- "This is our album, eh?" - 3:40
- "The Beerhunter" - 2:23 This sketch is a beer-drinking game based on The Deer Hunter: Russian Roulette with beer cans.
- "School Announcements" - 1:52 This sketch features Doug (Thomas) as a school vice-principal who encourages his charges to "have a beer and talk" at his office.
- "The Miracle of Music" - 0:41
- "Peter's Donuts" - 3:02
- "Gimme A Smoke" - 1:59
- "Take Off" - 2:43 This track features singing by guest vocalist Geddy Lee of Rush
- "Coffee Sandwich" - 2:26
- "Welcome to Side Two" - 0:58
- "Doug's Mouth" - 3:33
- "Elron McKenzie" - 2:28
- "Black Holes" - 2:06 There is a backwards message on this track.
- "You Are Our Guest" - 2:14 The duo's exaggerated accents pronounce "are" and "our" as homophones for comedic effect. Listeners play the "guest" by reading the enclosed script.
- "Ernie's Mom" - 1:54
- "The Twelve Days of Christmas" - 4:42
- "Ralph The Dog" - 3:11
- "Okay, This is the End, eh?" - 1:57
- "Honest" - 0:31
Side 2 of the original vinyl album also includes a very brief unlabeled track of Bob McKenzie (Moranis) saying the two words "black hole" and then laughing just before the "You Are Our Guest" segment. This is a callback to the fourth track on side 2 called "Black Holes".
Liam Lacey's review of the album in The Globe and Mail concluded on a negative sentiment, noting the production was "entertaining listening - about twice. Other hosers are going to find it extremely confusing."
In popular culture
"Take Off" is also featured in Ash vs. Evil Dead Season 2 episode, "DUI".
Featured among other classic artists, track #15, "The Twelve Days of Christmas" also appears on a compilation album entitled, A Rock 'n' Roll Christmas II.
"The Twelve Days of Christmas" is also featured as a karaoke song in numerous versions.
- List of one-hit wonders in the United States
- Strange Brew
- Bob & Doug McKenzie's Two-Four Anniversary
- Bob & Doug (2009 TV series)
- Second City Television
- Brother Bear - an animated film in which Thomas and Moranis provided the voices of two Canadian moose characters similar to the McKenzie brothers.
- Gatehouse, Jonathon (7 May 2007). "Take off, eh! Eh? / Bob and Doug McKenzie are back, maybe for the last time, for a 'two-four' anniversary". Maclean's. Archived from the original on 14 February 2009. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- Canadian Recording Industry Association - Search Certification Database Archived May 1, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
- "RPM 50 Albums". RPM. 12 December 1981. Retrieved 2008-10-27.
- "RPM 50 Albums". RPM. 19 December 1981. Retrieved 2008-10-27.
- "RPM 50 Albums". RPM. 30 January 1982. Retrieved 2008-10-27.
- "Top 100 Albums of 1981". RPM. 26 December 1981.
- "Billboard 200 (album chart)". Billboard. 3 April 1982. Archived from the original on 3 May 2009. Retrieved 2008-10-29.
- "Bob & Doug McKenzie, Take Off (chart listing)". Billboard. 27 March 1982. Archived from the original on July 13, 2014. Retrieved 2008-11-11.
- WLS Musicradio Survey, March 13, 1982
- Kirkland, Bruce (1 December 2007). "Bob & Doug McKenzie anniversary / 'Two-Four' DVD full of fresh material". Jam!/Sun Media.
- Lacey, Liam (28 November 1981). "Inside the Sleeve Pop / Great White North". The Globe and Mail. p. F6.