The Barenaked Ladies, from Toronto, are a humorous folk-pop group. Through constant touring and strong word-of-mouth, they've built a loyal following throughout North America --especially among college and high school students. And to set the record straight right away, no, they do not get naked, nor are there women in the band -- their moniker was chosen simply to draw attention, not as a sexist statement.
The Barenaked Ladies first formed around 1989, when Ed Robertson and Steven Page got together and made a tape (Buck Naked) of them playing guitar and singing.
They went on to make BareNaked Lunch in 1990, which they sold at their early concerts. By this time, the Creegans (Jim and Andy) had joined the band and can be heard on this tape. The songs on this tape were recorded on Ed's 4-track recorder and produced by both Ed and Steve. They hit it big in their homeland with a 1991 self-titled tape, the first independent release to reach the Top 20 and go platinum in Canada.
The release of "Be My Yoko Ono" in 1991 leaded to a major label deal with Sire/Reprise Records in 1992, and the band made their debut with Gordon, which was #1 in Canada for 8 weeks.
The album Maybe You Should Drive (1994) was met with the same success as Gordon at home, but wasn't noticed in the US except for a small but growing group of fans. Shortly after the album came out, Andrew Creeggan left the band to return to college; he was never permanently replaced, though keyboardist Kevin Hearn currently accompanies Barenaked Ladies on tour.
In 1996, they released Born On A Pirate Ship, and the song "The Old Apartment" cracked the Top 40 one year after it was first released.
Things got even better in 1997, with Steven Page, Ed Robertson, Jim Creegan, Tyler Stewart, and Kevin Hearn in the band. Appearances on CNN's Showbiz Today, NPR's All Things Considered, Beverly Hills 90210, VH1's Hard Rock Live, and Conan O'Brian's New Year's Eve show put the band into a huge new audience that liked what it heard. Sales of Rock Spectacle (a live album) began to explode and gave the band their first gold US album and first crossover pop smash.
The Barenaked Ladies began to work on Stunt in January 1998, and it was released later that year. It was Kevin's first record, since he had previously only been heard on the live record (Rock Spectacle). This record finally made the United States really sit up and listen. The band participated in that summer's H.O.R.D.E. tour.
Now that Maroon is out in stores, and "Pinch Me" is climbing the charts, I'm sure that they will stay in the spotlight for many years to come.