Barenaked Ladies – Born On A Pirate Ship

I got this in Toronto on my trip with Mike this year. It was in the 3 For $10 bin at BMV so I rescued it because it’s worth waaaaay more than that! Also, I needed to replace my copy so win-win!

By the time of this, their third, full-length, I was deep into my love of BNL. Hearing this again now takes me right back to those days. And through my ears in 2014, this one stands up completely. Not a bad song here! It’s still (what I think of as) classic period BNL, full of that sound they used to have that’s so infectious, with songs that are pop perfection, achingly gorgeous, goofy and just plain fun (in combinations thereof, as well) – and all of them so damn smart and well-written… Damn!

This also only reminds me that it ain’t really BNL without Page. I know, I know, that ship has probably sailed. But there’s something about those two voices, Page and Robertson (ha, I almost wrote Page And Plant!) in combination that just works. As it is now is surely fine, but how it used to be is how I know it best.

The hits are here, like The Old Apartment and Shoe Box, and one of my all-time faves is Break Your Heart, but there’s so many others I’ll just list ’em so you can nod in agreement: Stomach Vs. Heart, Straw Hat And Old Dirty Hank, I Know, This Is Where It Ends, When I Fall, I Live With It Every Day, Call Me Calmly, Spider In My Room, Same Thing, Just A Toy, and In The Drink.

See what I mean? Awesome.

 

11 thoughts on “Barenaked Ladies – Born On A Pirate Ship

  1. kladano says:

    I’m personally not a huge fan of this album – and Andy Creeggan was already gone by this point (he left shortly after ‘Maybe You Should Drive’ was released). Maybe i’m too nostalgic, but I think the best album is still ‘Gordon’ and I don’t think they’ve ever come close to topping it. They tried to change their sound by moving away from all acoustic instruments (which I understand, but it removed their characteristic sound that people fell in love with). This album came out when the band was in transition and didn’t have a replacement for Andy yet – they were marketing themselves as a quartet.
    I totally agree that after Andy left, things just weren’t as strong. Andy went on to write all the orchestrations for their tour two years ago with orchestras across Canada (which I saw at the Centre in the Square, and it was really good – I met Andy there too!). He’s interested in writing a piece for my band, ‘Stealth’ and we’ve talked about it several times – but i’m not sure when the piece will be complete – other things (like BNL orchestrations!) keep getting in the way. Someday we’ll have it and I think it’ll be great.

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    1. keepsmealive says:

      Sorry, this went in and was awaiting moderation… not sure why, surely you’ve commented here before? Anyway.

      Fair enough on your assessment of this one, though I will still I love it (can we agree to disagree? 🙂 ). These are strong songs. Nostalgia is really easy when it comes to these guys, especially if Gordon was your entry point (like most of us here, I would assume). But I do often wonder if they had try to replicate Gordon on MYSD, and even into BOAPS, maybe they would have faded away? People listening would say ugh, more of the same? I like that they branched out, however many members there were at varying points, and find the first 3 records pretty much unimpeachable. As I said to Mike though, something happened when they went to the US and (I sincerely wish them all success) they haven’t recovered from whatever shift that was… yet, anyway. I can’t even properly articulate what that was. It’s just different in my ears.

      Cool you might have collaboration with Andy, he’s a great musician, no doubt. Hope it works out. And thanks for chiming in, here. BNL has always been one of those bands for a lot of people our age and it’s good to keep the discussion alive!

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  2. mikeladano says:

    My favourite song on this disc is Straw Hat and Old Dirty Hank. I think artistically speaking this is their strongest moment. It was also the last album was Andy Creegan, and my sister would tell you that she thinks he was the most talented one. She doesn’t feel the band ever really recovered from his leaving. Nothing against Kevin Hearn of course, that’s just her opinion.

    Around the Maybe You Should Drive album, Andy Creegan was looking for stickers to put on his bongo drums, so my sister sent him one of our vintage Darth Vader stickers from 1977. And he did indeed put it on his bongo drums. I’m sure there are photos out there with that sticker on his drums.

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    1. keepsmealive says:

      Yeah that was a great tune too! Didn’t your sis have dealings with Creegan? My dusty memory tells me so but I could be wrong, but anyway that would explain it! They never REALLY recovered from his leaving and, and this is just me being protectionist about the band and I really did wish them every success, I don’t think they ever really came back from going to the US either. Something shifted, for better or worse. Power to them, I mean it. And good on them for growing. I always rant about bands stagnating. But I still prefer their first records.

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      1. mikeladano says:

        Yeah they corresponded. They made vows to work with each other, I don’t know if that happened or not truthfully!

        Yeah you’re right. They never came back from the US success either. Things lost a certain edge after that.

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        1. keepsmealive says:

          I suppose it’s easy, in retrospect, to analyze and pick it all apart. They’ve had quite a story. I remember reading in their Public Stunts book about how touring in the States they might as well have put a big open suitcase full of money on top of the car and driven down the interstate at high speed and let the money just fly off into the night, something like that. Haha ouch.

          Hey did I tell you I now have 3 copies of their Yellow Tape? GO ME!

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          1. mikeladano says:

            NO KIDDING!! How the hell does that happen?

            I don’t know which one my sis has — but she does have the CD Barenaked Lunch which was a reissue of one of the tapes.

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            1. keepsmealive says:

              I had one copy from back in the day (I bought it new at Stedman’s – remember them?), and in my travels in the past year or so I’ve found two more (I always rescue them), all three in perfect shape!

              There’s a CD of it? I had no idea! To the Discogs!

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                1. keepsmealive says:

                  That link is for the CD and the cassette, and the 4 available are all cassettes! No CDs right now 😦

                  Also interesting: The CD does not have Fight The Power on it, where the cassette does.

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