from Saskatoon, Canada
formed January 1, 1984 - January 1, 1993 (age 9)
Northern Pikes were founded in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in 1983 from the remains of three Canadian prairie bands -- the Idols, Seventeen Envelope, and Doris Daye. The band released two self-financed independent albums, Northern Pikes and Scene in North America, which attracted the attention of Virgin Records Canada -- at the time in the process of expanding their roster of Canadian acts. Signed to a six-album international deal in 1985, their major-label debut was Big Blue Sky, which contained the singles and videos "Teenland" and "The Things I Do for Money." In that same year, the band opened tours by Duran Duran, David Bowie, and the Fixx, vaulting them into international stardom. The band's next album, Secrets of the Alibi, failed to generate a similar buzz, but British pop star Robert Palmer saw potential in the band and asked them to open for him on his 1989 North American tour. In 1990, Snow in June became their third major release. The album was a comeback of sorts, and boasted three Top 40 hits in "She Ain't Pretty," "Girl with a Problem," and "Kiss Me You Fool." Snow in June pulled out all the stops, with mixes by Hugh Padgham and Bob Clearmountain and production by Rick Hutt, Fraser Hill, and Northern Pikes themselves. The album also had an impressive roster of guests, including Garth Hudson (the Band) and John Sebastian (Lovin' Spoonful). Despite the attention the album received, Virgin America passed on its U.S. release, and the band ended up having it released by Scotti Brothers in 1991. The album would go on to sell double platinum. In 1992, the band released Neptune, which featured the hit "Believe," but the following year saw the Pikes cease operations after the departure of bandleader Jay Semko. The group reconvened in 1999 in support of the release of the career-spanning Hits Assorted Secrets: 1984 - 1993, and two years later, they independently issued their sixth studio album, Truest Inspiration. It's a Good Life followed in 2003, and in 2007, the group collaborated with Canadian survival expert, filmmaker, and musician Les Stroud for the EP Les Stroud The Pikes: Long Way Home. In 2017, Jay Semko, Bryan Potvin, Don Schmid, and Grapes of Wrath's Kevin Kane headed out on a national tour celebrating the 30th anniversary of the group's debut album, Big Blue Sky. ~ Keith Pettipas, Rovi
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