Formed in Scarborough, Ontario, in 1988, the Barenaked Ladies (BNL) first rose to fame in the early 1990s with the release of a demo cassette and a cover of a Bruce Cockburn song, followed by their debut studio album, Gordon (1992), which has since been certified diamond in Canada for sales of more than 1 million copies. Their fourth album, Stunt (1998), sold more than 4 million copies in the United States and yielded the No. 1 hit song “One Week.” Known for their comedic lyrics and quirky alternative rock sound, the Barenaked Ladies were ranked No. 13 on CBC Music’s list of 100 Best Canadian Bands. They have won eight Juno Awards, including three for Best Group, and were inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2018.
Active since 2002, Malajube is an indie rock band from Quebec consisting of Julien Mineau (vocals, guitar), Francis Mineau (vocals, drums, percussion, guitar), Thomas Augustin (vocals, keyboard) and Mathieu Cournoyer (bass). With four studio albums in their discography, this Montreal group (several members of which are originally from Sorel-Tracy) has won several Félix Awards and a Juno Award for Francophone Album of the Year (2012).
The Guess Who was the most successful Canadian rock group of the late 1960s and early 1970s, and Canada’s first rock superstars. The songwriting team of guitarist-singer Randy Bachman and lead singer-keyboardist Burton Cummings wrote such classic songs as “These Eyes,” “Laughing,” “No Time,” “No Sugar Tonight” and “American Woman” (the first song by a Canadian band to hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart) before Bachman’s departure in 1970. The string of hits continued with “Share The Land,” “Albert Flasher,” “Rain Dance” and “Clap for the Wolfman,” among others, until Cummings left to pursue a solo career in 1975. The Guess Who won two Juno Awards and a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award, and was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, Canada’s Walk of Fame, the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame.
Rock group 54.40 was formed in Tsawassen, BC, in 1979 by former high school classmates Neil Osborne (vocals, guitar) and Brad Merritt (bass). The group took its name from the slogan "54.40 or Fight!," coined in 1848 by US president James Polk for a Manifest Destiny movement that believed the Canada-US border should be moved north to the 54th parallel, 40th minute (the present-day border of Canada and Alaska).
The group's debut recording, Outskirts (1987), included the plaintive top-10 Canadian hit "Try," which was sung by Cuddy. The subsequent albums Diamond Mine (1989), Casino (1990), Lost Together (1992), Five Days in July (1993) and Nowhere to Here (1995) have collectively sold more than 1.
Fronted by lead singer Paul Hyde’s eccentric, English-accented vocals and lyrics, and characterized by several shifts in style and sound, the punk/new wave/pop band Payola$ (later Paul Hyde and the Payolas, then Rock and Hyde) was one of the more idiosyncratic Canadian groups to enjoy commercial success in the 1980s.