Artist Biography by Sean CarruthersIf anyone can lay claim to the title of "Most Canadian Band Ever", the Rheostatics certainly can make a compelling case, with songs about hockey, Saskatchewan, Canadian painters, and with cover versions of songs by other Canadian artists (Gordon Lightfoot, Jane Siberry). Of course, being loved by Canada's top-selling band, the Tragically Hip, doesn't hurt either.
The Rheostatics were formed in 1980 in Etobicoke, Ontario, when the members of the band were still too young to drink in the clubs where they played. Two early tapes were released under the name Rheostatics & the Trans Canada Soul Patrol, but according to rhythm guitarist/vocalist Dave Bidini, copies are very rare and fans probably "shouldn't even bother" trying to get ahold of them.
After a few early personnel changes, the band finally gelled with the lineup of Bidini, lead guitarist/vocalist Martin Tielli, bassist/vocalist Tim Vesely, and drummer Dave Clark. The first official Rheostatics release was 1987's Greatest Hits. Though a hit at college radio and on late-night CBC programming, the independent album wasn't much of a commercial success, though it spawned the cult hit "The Ballad of Wendel Clark, Pts. I & II." Melville came out after a four-year break, and showed a great musical maturation; where Greatest Hits was jangly and awkward, Melville was accomplished and confident. This album also showed the band stretching out into longer, more complex songs with less conventional lyrical matter.
|1||Record Body Count||1:54|
|2||Aliens (Christmas 1988)||4:16|
|7||Chanson Les Ruelles||2:49|
|10||When Winter Comes||6:31|
|11||The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald||8:44|
|12||You Are Very Star||3:28|