Road Apples is the second full-length studio album from the Canadian band the Tragically Hip. It was released in 1991 on the MCA label (and rereleased in February 2000 as an Enhanced CD, with the video for "Twist My Arm" in Hyper CD format). The Hip originally wanted to call the album "Saskadelphia," in tribute to all the days and nights spent on the road in the wilds of Canada, but the title was vetoed by the record label. In protest, the album was named "Road Apples," which unbeknownst to MCA, literally means horseshit.

Most of the songs on Road Apples were written, suitably, on the road (with the exception being "Little Bones"). The band reunited with producer Don Smith and engineer Bruce Barris, with whom they recorded their debut "Up to Here." In September 1990, the groups booked time at Daniel Lanois' Kingsway Studio in New Orleans' French Quarter. The locale contributed to the overall feel to the album, adding a dirty, cajun feel to tracks like "Little Bones," "Bring it All Back," "Fight" and "The Luxury."

If it was Up To Here that announced The Hip's arrival on the Canadian rock scene, Road Apples was the album that cemented the band as the new standard bearer for Canadian music. The album combines all of the urgency and ballsiness found on The Hip's debut, but each song bears a little more individuality, a little more texture.

Once the album was released, it became apparent just how big of a hit it would be. "Little Bones" immediately struck a chord with radio audiences and became a huge hit, as did follow-up singles "Twist My Arm" and "Three Pistols." In 1999, the record was certified eight times platinum in Canada (800,000 units sold) by the CRIA.


The track listing on Road Apples is:

Little Bones
Twist My Arm
Cordelia
The Luxury
Born in the Water
Long Time Running
Bring it all Back
Three Pistols
Fight
On the Verge
Fiddler's Green
The Last of the Unplucked Gems

For the new listener, the best place to start is the crunching opening track, the sway of "The Luxury" and the somber "Fiddler's Green."


Sources:
The Tragically Hip - http://www.thehip.com/hypercd/ra-index.htm
ChartAttack, your Canadian Music Source - http://www.chartattack.com
AMG All Music Guide - http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=Axn6uak2k5m3k

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