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54-40

From Academic Kids

54-40 is a Canadian alternative rock group from Vancouver, British Columbia, whose literate and melodic music is frequently compared to that of R.E.M.. The band takes their name from American President James K. Polk, whose campaign slogan was "Fifty-Four Forty or Fight," stating Polk's intention on expanding the U.S.-Canada border northward.

The group formed in 1981 as a trio consisting of Brad Merritt (bass), Darryl Neudorf (drums), and Neil Osbourne (vocals). In 1984, Phil Comparelli was added on guitar and vocals, and Neudorf was replaced by Matt Johnson. The band announced in March of 2005 that Phil Comparelli had officially passed on guitar duties to Dave Genn, formerly of Matthew Good Band.

The band's self-titled second album, released in 1986, began to attract attention from radio and record buyers across Canada, with the single "Baby Ran" gaining significant radio airplay. The band's third album, Show Me, became their commercial breakthrough in Canada, with the hits "One Gun" and "One Day in Your Life".

Although the band were popular on college radio in the United States, they never had a commercial breakthrough -- 1992's Dear Dear was their first album not to have a U.S. release. Ironically, though, it was their best-selling album in Canada, leading to a new U.S. contract for the followup, Smilin' Buddha Cabaret, which had a significant hit in "Ocean Pearl".

The band's most recent album was 2003's Goodbye Flatland.

Discography

  • 1984 - Set the Fire
  • 1986 - 54-40
  • 1987 - Show Me
  • 1989 - Fight for Love
  • 1991 - Sweeter Things: A Compilation
  • 1992 - Dear Dear
  • 1994 - Smilin' Buddha Cabaret
  • 1996 - Trusted by Millions
  • 1997 - Sound of Truth (The Independent Collection)
  • 1998 - Since When
  • 1999 - Heavy Mellow
  • 2000 - Casual Viewin'
  • 2002 - Radio Love Songs: The Singles Collection
  • 2003 - Goodbye Flatland
  • 2005 - Yes to Everything

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