Harlequin

Canadian Classic Rock
Biography

Harlequin

Harlequin

 

Harlequin's roots began as a Winnipeg circuit band from their inception in 1978. The nucleus of the band consisted of singer George Belanger, guitarist John Hannah and Gary Golden on keyboards, along with drummer David Budzak and Ralph James on bass. Within a year they were doing regular gigs across mid and eastern Canada and were signed to Epic Records in 1979. Their debut album, VICTIM OF A SONG was produced by Jack Douglas and was released that fall, immediately making an impression with both the critics and the fans alike. "Sweet Things In Life" and "You Are The Light" both became instant radio staples across the country and Harlequin was rewarded with a debut gold record. Backed by the solid writing of other tracks like "Turn Around" and "Survive", the rest was anything but filler.

After Hannah left to join Streetheart in 1980, Harlequin came back with CRIMES OF PASSION later that year. Fuelled by new guitarist Glen Willows, tracks like the singles "Innocence", "Take This Heart" and "Thinking Of You" put to rest any fears the group couldn't function through problems like personnel changes. The band was now taking its straight forward rock and roll message all across Canada.

It would be nearly two full years before their third record, ONE FALSE MOVE would hit the shelves. Back for his thir consecutive stint behind the controls was Douglas and the fans' wait was justified by Harlequin's best effort yet. "I Did It For Love", "Superstitious Feeling" and the ballad "Heart Gone Cold" pushed them to the elite status of only having three records, but all going gold. More touring across Canada and into the states and Europe followed for the next year or so.

Epic released a greatest hits package in the middle of in-fighting with the band in '84. Included was the new single "Take This Heart". The label dropped them shortly thereafter. Before long the continual fighting in the band led to their breakup in '85. Epic contacted Belanger in '86 and arranged for the release of another hits package that year. RADIO ROMANCES came out later that year and featured a collection of their previous hits with a new track, "No Mystery" with a new band. Jorn Anderson was the new drummer, the new axeman was Randy Hiebert, Randy Booth on bass and Lou Pomanti on keyboards. This turned out to be more cheesy marketing ploys as Epic again pulled the plug on them. With shattered dreams revisited, the band again disbanded in the middle of a mini tour in support of the new album.

Harlequin was never touted as a supergroup. Most people didn't even know who the members were. Though unable to ride the wave of Canadian pop in the '80's to further success, they did however crank out a lot of good, no-frills rock and roll. On the radio or live, they aimed to please ... and never disappointed.

Written by Dan Brisebois of
CanConRox

Discography

Victim Of A Song
Victim Of A Song (1979)

Sweet Things in Life
Survive
What's Your Name
Victim Of A Song
You Are The Light
Who Knows What A Love Can Do
Shame Shame
Turn Around
Barely Live

Love Crimes
Love Crimes (1980)

Innocence
Love On The Rocks
Thinking Of You
It's All Over Now
Heaven (Dial 999)
Sayin' Goodbye To The Boys
Wait For The Night
Crime Of Passion
Can't Hold Back
Midnight Magic

One False Move
One False Move (1982)

Fine Line
Heart Gone Cold
Heavy Talk
Superstitious Feeling
It's A Woman You Need
I Did It For Love
Hard Road
Shame If You Leave Me
Say Goodnight
Ready To Love Again

Radio Romances
Radio Romances (1983)

No mystery
Innocence
Superstitious feeling
I did it for love
Thinking of you
Take this heart
Sweet things in life
Survive
You are the light
Heart gone cold

Harlequin
Harlequin (1985)

Take This Heart
Keep This Fire Alive
Don't Waste My Time
Memories
Can't Turn It Off
Calling
Trouble in Paradise
Run for Your Life
Love in Disguise

Greatest Hits
Greatest Hits (1986)

(It's) No Mystery
Innocence
Superstitious Feeling
I Did It For Love
Thinking of You
Take This Heart
Sweet Things In Life
Survive
You Are The Light
Heart Gone Cold
Can't Hold Back
Love On The Rocks
Ready To Love Again
It's All Over Now


Other Biographies

Back to Canadian Classic Rock Main Page