Tragically Hip: The Series – Fully Completely (1992)
Surely, I don’t need to tell you about this album. You own it. You love it. ‘Nuff said. But, in case you’re the rare exception who’s been living under a rock somewhere…
This is where the Hip exploded. If they’d been huge prior to this release, and they had, Fully Completely ripped the roof off the mothersucker and their popularity burst its seams. This album is jam-packed with songs you’ll know even if you don’t listen to rock radio, even if you’re not a fan of the band. They are part of our psyche, our national make-up, our identity. They have seeped into our genetic make-up. This was one of the most important records of its time, cementing the band’s place in the pantheon of Canadian legends.
And what’s not to love, here? Opening track Courage (For Hugh McLennan) is so monumental, so infectious, so perfect that it deserves utter admiration. Follow that with Looking For A Place To Happen and At The Hundredth Meridian? Get outta here! That’s a true triple play if ever there was one. Pigeon Camera and Lionized bring things to a steady boil of creativity and beauty, and then another massive hit Locked In The Trunk Of A Car steps up to the plate. We’ll Go Too bobs along beautifully, Fully Completely absolutely rocks, and an energetic chunk of hockey history hits our ears with Fifty Mission Cap. Then, finally, the acoustic guitars come out for the achingly beautiful, sad but true Wheat Kings, one of the best songs this band has written, and further proof (as if we needed reminding) that the Hip are as tied to this country’s events and consciousness as are we all. The Wherewithal ramps us back up again, and Eldorado brings this monster of an album to a close.
Unbelievable. This record is proof that not only are the Hip, by now, entrenched in their roles as spokesmen for us all, they are making it look EASY, producing a record that is fully and completely perfect in every way.