Impact Albums: The Tragically Hip: Day For Night(1994)

Living in Canada back in 1994 one of the biggest releases came in September of that year.

The Tragically Hip were putting out the fourth studio release and the ‘HYPE’ was huge! So much so that our local record stores(remember them?) were going to open at Midnight the day of release.

This was the second time in Thunder Bay that the record shops did this as they did the midnight opening in late 92 when The Hip released Fully Completely and we all headed to the record store at midnight on the dot!

Both times the store I was at was packed as people were not only grabbing Hip stuff but other CDs as well!

Tbone and I were there right at midnight as I didn’t want to lose out and not get a Hip disc as they could possibly sell out. As soon as we set foot in the door it was to the New Release Rack to grab our copies of Day For Night and then we could browse for other bands etc.

Being it was midnight, how the hell do you go home and go to bed?

Umm, you don’t!

No need for sleep at this point as we wanted to hear what The Hip had been up to!

Having said that they cooked up a real different batch of rock which was a brilliant move as by this point no two Hip records sounded the same. They changed up the style/songs on this album and it only takes about 10 seconds of opening track Grace Too for you to realize this song and perhaps the rest of the album is going to bring a whole different vibe to you the listener!

This being the fourth long-player in the Hip catalog shows the band not slowing down in regards to there creative juices.

The late Great Gord Downie is up to his usual mixed bag of lyrics (which make you think and take notice) and his vocals where he can soar at times singing or almost a holler like vibe but keeps it in check.

I dig Gord Sinclairs Bass playing as he drives some of these tunes like Grace Too and how about his Bassing on one of my favs of the Hips batch of songs anywhere in the form of ‘Invevialbity of Death.’

Actually, the whole band stepped up on this album. The guitar work of Bobby Baker and Paul Langlois is superb. There almost a Canadian version of Keef N Woody from the Stones. Johnny Fay as well keeps the album moving forward from behind his drum kit not letting slack off.

Some excellent weaving with the guitars throughout this album in general. I like the dry like production as well on Day For Night after the crisp rock sound of Fully Completely(1992). The Hip changed it up on this record and it shows in spades. Even the production sonically gives off a whole different vibe.

Living in Canada pretty much everyone has a fav Hip album. I always flip between 1991’s ‘Road Apples’ and The Hips 1989 Major Label release ‘Up To Here’.

But a few years back I did a Top 20 all-time fav studio records lists and asked some pals to contribute. Tbone’s brother Darr did participate and sitting in his all-time Top 20 was Day For Night. I thought it was a brilliant pick. ( I went with Road Apples on my list)

Day For Night is kinda that Hip album that sometimes flies under the radar as they have so many albums out. But all things considered, it shouldn’t. I still hear on out local crap radio at times about 5 tracks that are still played on the airwaves from this record.

Great to hear this and now own it on vinyl.

So maybe it’s not under the radar as much as I think it is!

In my case, this album could easily be my favorite  Hip record at this moment.

Yeah, it’s that crazy good!



38 thoughts on “Impact Albums: The Tragically Hip: Day For Night(1994)”

  1. Great story Deke. I can’t remember if I ever went at midnight to get an album (which probably means I never did). I did get a ton of releases on day of release though. Those albums that you go out of your way to get do stay with you. One day I will explore the Hip.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. John, I think they only did it for the Hip albums here in Canada. It was a cool thing to be able​ to score it right away. Course this was before the internet age where nothing is secret anymore

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Cool Drew.
      You should start with Up To Here from 89. Followed by Road Apples in 91 and Fully Completely from 92 then Day for Night in 94.
      The Hip still put out pretty decent albums but those first 4 are the deal!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember before the album was released, all the talk was about how dark of an album it was….I was kinda worried it wouldn’t live up to their previous albums, but was blown away with how great it was.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This one was blasting out of every day in my residence at York U. Some excellent tunes but I daresay it wore out its welcome with me for a time.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Fair enough. Nothing wrong with admitting it. Sometimes certain albums will do that whether it was overexposure on MuchMusic could grind on people as well.
      It was a slow grower on me as well as I much as I liked it but I always preferred Road Apples and that sound but over time ok well two and half decades it has grown on me big time especially as I have it on vinyl now.


  4. It’s my favourite Hip. It came out the year I started working at the store. A lot of people were shocked by it. It could easily have been a flop, but this is when we learned Hip fans had more diverse tastes than given credit for.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The changes really started on Fully Completely I think. When Tsangarides produced. There was more depth, they were clearly trying to aim higher than being a “bar band” on Fully Completely. Day For Night though was the first “NEW Hip” sounding album to me. Henhouse just cemented it further.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. True It was amazing they went with Tsangarides. I was like Whut? This dude did Anvil/Tygers and Painkiller by Priest. Chris gave them a tougher sound as u said not a bar sound anymore.
        That album made them get away from that in spades.
        Good call Mikey!


  5. Nice story. I’ve never done a midnight record purchase. But have done many midnight screenings.
    What can I say, I’ve never heard of Tragically Hip until you started posting them. I got into Big Wreck because of your posts.

    So off to Spotify I go to sample.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. BAHAHAHA….
        Up to Here and Road Apples are bar driven rock tracks.
        Fully Completley the band got heavier wiht the soncis and that was due to Chris Tsangdaries producing that album 2 years after he procduced Priests Painkiller!
        Thanks for being a good employee ! haha

        Liked by 1 person

      2. They do sound great I’m listening to it right now. I was always curious to hear producers who had a certain style work with artists who had a different style.

        From the Day For Night, Yawning or Snarling really stood out to me. It all worked, from the lyrics, the music and the performances.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve been aware of the Hip since the mid-90’s, but I just got around to checking them out a couple months ago, and I’m head over heels in love with this band. I’m currently on a huge Fully Completely kick (especially “Courage” and “We’ll Go Too”), but I intend to check out Day for Night very soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome Fella!
      Awesome that you got onbaord with the HIp!
      Fully Completley is a great album. Look for the deluxe release which has a live show from 1992 included. They are on fire.
      Great band as you are finding out and its never too late to discover great music!
      In this case its the HIP!


  7. Nice one, Deke. Can’t ever remember there being an occasion when I would have queued for a new release at midnight. That said, I did plenty late night shopping when passing Tower after a night out!

    Anyhoo, I got into The Hip when Geoff did his series a few years back. I listened to each album he was writing about and I liked what I heard. I like this one, but I couldn’t pick a favourite… maybe their last album? Others I liked a lot where Fully Completely and Road Apples.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For myself J I love the first 4 albums. I just need Fully Completely on vinyl than I’m set!
      Midnight buying was cool as it was the only two times I did that and it was for the HIP!
      Thanks for reading Pal!

      Liked by 1 person

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