The Tragically Hip Are Named Official Canadian Ambassadors for Record Store Day Canada 2024, and Their Galvanizing January 1993 Performance Live at CBGB’s Will Make Its First Appearance on Vinyl on RSD, April 20

Record Store Day just got a whole lot hipper — and that’s because The Tragically Hip, Canada’s favorite musical sons from Kingston, Ontario, a) have just been announced as the official Canadian Ambassadors for Record Store Day Canada 2024, b) will be releasing an exclusive standalone live album, Live at CBGB’s, on said Record Store Day on April 20, and c) it will be available in both the U.S. and Canada.

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Live at CBGB’s features nine songs originally recorded by the five-man band on January 14, 1993, at the legendary downtown New York club on The Bowery, CBGB. At the turn of ’93, The Tragically Hip were preparing to launch their third full-length studio album on the MCA label, Fully Completely, here in the States with this all-important private event. The band performed the balance of Fully Completely that night — albeit omitting a few tracks that “didn’t fit the bill” (their words) — and nine of its songs appear on this live LP. The Canadian marketplace will also be graced by a cassette version of Live at CBGB’s, as seen next to the pink LP at the top of this story.

Before we get into the vinyl stats, let’s “go to church” and check out the official YouTube announcement featuring The Hip’s lead guitarist, Robby Baker, an inveterate fan, testifier, and purveyor of vinyl very much in his own right (and I would know firsthand, as you’ll find out after the clip).

Full disclosure: I happened to be in attendance at that January 1993 CBGB’s show myself — in fact, it was the 4th of the (yep) 92 times I saw The Hip live over the years between 1991 and 2016, the year before lead singer and chief songwriter Gord Downie sadly passed away from a rare form of brain cancer in 2017.

I was also lucky enough to have been asked to join the band backstage in their smallish, dingy dressing room (dingy anything very much being a CBGB requisite/staple!) before they went out to perform that night. They pulled me inside the band’s heads-bowed huddle before going on, our interlocking arms wrapped around each’s other necks and hunched over in a full circle as if they were calling plays before heading to the line of scrimmage and/or a faceoff — or, in this case, the cramped CBGB stage that was only just a few feet away. I still have the rectangular, faded, lime green ticket for that gig with the date and time written on it in pen in my master files, but I digress.

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At any rate, the Live at CBGB’s stats are these, all of them confirmed directly with me exclusively for this story. The LPs themselves have been manufactured “completed in Canada” (their emphasis) by Microforum Vinyl Record Pressing in Toronto, Ontario, and the vinyl mastering was done by Kevin Park, Silver Lake, Ontario, Canada. The source material was 24-bit/96kHz digital files culled from the remixed original 24-track masters. Live at CBGB’s appears on pink translucent standard weight vinyl, and the label the LP is being released on is Universal Music Canada.

As most of us know, SRPs tend to vary for pretty much any RSD release and the press run/quantities available won’t be made known until after the official RSD list is launched, so be sure to monitor what’s what with the participating RSD indie record stores in both Canada and the States. (Direct links are duly provided — just click on the name of either country.)

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This announcement marks the first of many “moments” to come this year for The Tragically Hip, as they begin celebrating 40 years as a band. Among other things, another historical box set is on the way — the next one being for September 1989’s Up to Here, and I’ll be interviewing them about how it all came together when the time comes. (More disclosure: I wrote the liner notes for The Hip’s November 2021 5LP/1BD box set for February 1991’s Road Apples.)

Finally, let me share an official statement from our RSD friends north of the border: “Record Store Day Canada is overjoyed that legendary Canadian band, The Tragically Hip, will be the Record Store Day Canada 2024 Canadian Ambassadors,” said Ryan Kerr from Record Store Day Canada. “There are few bands that represent Canadiana; our traditions, values, and pastimes the way The Tragically Hip does. The band is woven into the fabric of our culture and the annals of our beloved rock radio with innumerable hits. Fans continue to honor the legacy of The Tragically Hip, who brought a genuine and unique passion to their music. RSDC is looking forward to contributing to the band’s ongoing legacy by releasing Live at CBGB’s for Record Store Day 2024. Pressed for the very first time, it will be a great addition to collections of The Tragically Hip fans nationwide.”

Hear, hear — and I truly can’t wait to get this special Hip RSD LP release in hand so I can finally replace my, er, “other” copy of that CBGB’s show. . .

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THE TRAGICALLY HIP
LIVE AT CBGB’s

140g 1LP (Universal Music Canada)

Side A
1. Fully Completely
2. Looking For A Place To Happen
3. Courage (For Hugh MacLennan)
4. Fifty-Mission Cap

Side B
1. Pigeon Camera
2. We’ll Go Too
3. At The Hundredth Meridian
4. Locked In The Trunk Of A Car
5. The Wherewithal

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COMMENTS
rschryer's picture

I love your enthusiasm for The Tragically Hip, a band that Americans never really cottoned to. Actually, you're one of the biggest fans of the Hip I've encountered, American or Canadian.

Thank you.

Rob

volvic's picture

Great write up Mike, grew up loving the Hip, was gutted when Gord left us so soon. I do hope the pressing and sonics will be up to snuff, I have no doubt the performance will be solid. Best memory of the Hip was their performance at the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, they performed for Canadian medal winners; great concert and great time had by all. Thanks for introducing the Hip to our loyal readers.

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