Up to Here

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For a definition of the phrase "up to here", see the Wiktionary entry up to here.
Up to Here
Hip up to here.jpg
Studio album by The Tragically Hip
Released September 5, 1989
Recorded Ardent Studios (Memphis)
Genre Rock
Length 43:29
Label MCA
Producer Don Smith
The Tragically Hip chronology
The Tragically Hip
Up to Here
Road Apples
Singles from Up to Here
  1. "Blow at High Dough"
  2. "New Orleans Is Sinking"
  3. "Boots or Hearts"
  4. "38 Years Old"
  5. "Trickle Down"

Up to Here is the first full-length album by Canadian rock band The Tragically Hip, released in September 1989. It is one of the band's most successful albums: it has achieved diamond status in Canada for sales of over a million copies, earned the band Juno Award for Most Promising Artist, and introduced fan-favourite songs such as "Blow at High Dough", "New Orleans Is Sinking", and "38 Years Old".


The Tragically Hip toured intensively behind their first release, the EP The Tragically Hip, which had earned considerable airplay on Canadian FM radio and the MuchMusic video station. The band found an audience on US college radio as well and drew the attention of MCA representative Bruce Dickinson while performing at the CMJ New Music Festival in New York City in late 1988. That December Dickinson travelled to Toronto to see the band perform at the Toronto Music Awards, and MCA signed the band later that month.[1]

Dickinson recommended the band record in Memphis, Tennessee, with producer Don Smith.[2] The band entered Ardent Studios[3] with a set of songs they had extensive experience playing live.[4]

Release and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[5]
PopMatters (8/10)[6]

The album appeared September 5, 1989.[citation needed] Its lead single, the hard-rocking "Blow at High Dough", had a strong showing on Canadian radio. The following single performed even better: "New Orleans Is Sinking", a loose jam piece which had taken a key place at the band's live shows; in the midst of "New Orleans" the band often débuted new songs or gave Downie the spotlight to improvise.[4] Downie's memories of a jailbreak in 1972 at the maximum-security Millhaven Institution inspired the lyrics to "38 Years Old",[3] whose ringing acoustic guitar backing is overlaid with distorted electric guitar leads.[6] The band introduced new material while touring Up to Here that was to appear on their next album Road Apples in 1991.[7]

In Canada the album ranked 14th Canadian Content album for 1989,[8] 5th for 1990,[9] and 1st for 1991.[10] The album peaked at #13 in February 1990 on RPM's Canadian Albums Chart.[11] Both "Blow at High Dough" and "New Orleans is Sinking" reached No. 1 on the RPM Canadian Content singles charts.[12] The album went gold in Canada in January 1990 and platinum that March. By 1999 it had sold enough to gain diamond status.[13] The album earned the band a Juno Award for Most Promising Artist in 1990.[7] "Blow at High Dough" was the theme song to the CBC comedy-drama Made in Canada (1998—2003).[14]

In 1990 the album peaked on the Billboard 200 album charts at No. 170 and "New Orleans is Sinking" reached No. 30 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock singles charts.[15] Despite strong sales and sustained popularity in Canada, the band and album failed to find a significant international audience; American sales of the album from 1991 to 1997 amounted to 80,000 copies.[16]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by The Tragically Hip. 

No. Title Length
1. "Blow at High Dough"   4:36
2. "I'll Believe in You (Or I'll Be Leaving You Tonight)"   4:01
3. "New Orleans Is Sinking"   4:16
4. "38 Years Old"   4:18
5. "She Didn't Know"   3:28
6. "Boots or Hearts"   3:41
7. "Everytime You Go"   3:21
8. "When the Weight Comes Down"   4:43
9. "Trickle Down"   3:10
10. "Another Midnight"   3:54
11. "Opiated"   3:40



  • Gordon Downie – vocals[17]
  • Rob Baker – guitar
  • Gord Sinclair – bass, vocals
  • Johnny Fay – drums
  • Paul Langlois – guitar, vocals

Recording personnel[edit]

  • Bruce Barris – engineer, mixing[17]
  • Jeff DeMorris – assistant engineer
  • Paul Eberson – assistant engineer
  • Stephen Marcussen – mastering
  • Don Smith – engineer, mixing, producer
  • Andy Udoff – assistant engineer


  • Jeanne Bradshaw – design[17]
  • Michael Going – photography


Works cited[edit]