Doug and The Slugs

Canadian Classic Rock
Biography

Doug and The Slugs

Doug and The Slugs

 

Possibly no other band in Canadian history matches the presence and good-time feeling generated when listening to Doug and the Slugs. The brainchild of Vancouver's Doug Bennett, the Slugs were Simon Kendall on keyboards, guitarists John Burton and Richard Baker, drummer John Watson and Steve Bosley on bass. From their inception in '79, they quickly made a name for themselves on the west coast for their well-written but light-hearted approach to pop music. Bennett's witty presence and showmanship soon gained the attention of executives at Ritdong Records and they were signed to RCA soon thereafter.

Their debut was recorded in Mississauga in 1980 and COGNAC AND BOLOGNA was a fitting title, the album was a mix of witty satire and slick musicianship. Their whimsical attack consisted of the lead off single, "Too Bad". This was quickly followed by "Chinatown Calculation" and two serious, laid-back singles "To Be Laughing" and "Drifting Away". Their refinement but comical approach earned them a gold record. Meanwhile MuchMusic was relishing in the Slugs'often downright hilarious videos, broadening the group's appeal even more.

Their follow-up came in '81 with WRAP IT. Recorded in Vancouver, it was backed by the frantic-jive of "Dangerous", "Real Enough", complete with masterful acapella and "Not On The Corner", a single about a guy with a bulge in his levi's and no one to help him out with his dilemna. Produced by Jim Vallance (Prism, Bryan Adams fame), WRAP IT showed an added guidance in the control room lacked by producing their first record themselves. Also noteable from the record were the quirky jazzed-up polka-beat "Wrong Kind of Right" and the AM geared "Partly From Pressure".

Next on the Slugs' agenda was MUSIC FOR THE HARD OF THINKING, which hit the shelves in September of '83. Masterful harmonies behind "Making It Work" and the slick hit "Who Knows How" solidified them as the country's number one band for just good times, playing smaller venues all across Canada as well as in the States.

A greatest hits package was released in '85 called TEN BIG ONES. A curious marketing ploy, it also contained the also peculiar "It's Alright Medley". POPOGANDA was released the next year and contained the hits "Day By Day" and "Love Shines". Self-produced, the record showed Bennett and Kendall had the confidence to develop their own sound again, though the record the year before was also mostly their work behind the controls.

The group was put on brief hiatus while Bennett finished up ANIMATO, his first solo venture. Released in July of '88, it in all honesty could have passed a Slugs product. Though nothing ground-breaking, it did produce "It's Got To Be Monday". Partly because of this, and partly because of outside commitments, the group took nearly two years again to record their next record. With Brian MacLeod of Headpins and Chilliwack fame as producer, TOMCAT PROWL turned out to be one of the group's best efforts. A maturity was showing in their work, evidenced by the synthesizers in the title-track and hard-edged pop sensibility of "Powerful Thing". Also noteable were the ballad "Walkaway" and "Take My Breath Away".

The Slugs released TALES FROM A TERMINAL CITY in '90.Along with the title track, other noteable cuts were "You're Going To Leave Me", "Stand Up" and "Black Widow". Unknown to those who'd lost interest in the Slugs over recent years, TALES was considered one of their best by the die-hard fans.

The group came back with a greatest hits package entitled SLUGCOLOGY 101 in '92. A crash course in good times and a carefree attitude, it's a retrospective of the group's six records together as well as their '84 version of "White Christmas", previously unavailable on lp. In time for the Christmas rush that same year was.

Outside interests, including Bennett's Tomcat Records, keep Doug and the Slugs from touring full-time or recording at all these days. They do however get together from time to time for special functions. And although they really had no significant impact on the charts and no real staying power, they made no bones about it. A good-time party band is all they were. Fine musicians though they were, it was the showmanship on stage and image projected in their recordings that made Doug and the Slugs the cream of the crop for no-nonsense, gotta make my feet move party atmosphere.

Written by Dan Brisebois of
CanConRox

Discography

Cognac & Bologna
Cognac & Bologna (1980)

To be Laughing
Just Another Case
Soldier of Fortune
Too Bad
Stay With Me
Chinatown Calculation
Thunder Makes the Noise
Drifting Away
If I Fail
Tropical Rainstorm

Wrap It
Wrap It (1981)

Dangerous
Real Enough
Not On The Corner
Wrong Side Of Right
Partly From Pressure
Freshman's Alibi
Infrared
Forget About Me
Frankie
Embarrassed
River

Music For The Hard Of Thinking
Music For The Hard Of Thinking (1983)

If You Don't Come
No No No
Making It Work
Take It Or Leave It
St. Laurent Summer
Who Knows How
Operator
Cover Of Love
When The Doorbell Rings
She's Laughing At Me

Ten Big Ones
Ten Big Ones (1985)

Get Up And Go
Making It Work
Chinatown Calculation
Drifting Away
Too Bad
It's Alright Medley
1.Alright Now
2.But It's Alright
3.It's Alright
4.I'm Alright
Real Enough
Who Knows How
Partly From Pressure
Nobody But Me

Popoganda
Popoganda (1986)

Day By Day
Dancing On The Powerlines
Love Shines
I'm The One
Opinions
Waiting For You
Must Be Love
Please Please Please
Let Go!

Animato
Animato (1988)

It's Got to be Monday
1-2-3
Who's Foolin' Who?
Secrets
Love Another Day
Turn Away
I'm Excited
Million Ways
Wait For Me
Never Say Die

Doug & The Slugs
Doug & The Slugs (1988)
(US only)

Love Shines
It's Got to be Monday
Day by Day
Powerlines
I'm Excited!
Turn Away
1 2 3
Never Say Die
Who's Foolin' Who?
Love Another Day

Tomcat Prowl
Tomcat Prowl (1988)

Tomcat Prowl
It's A Powerful Thing
The Colour Of Life
The Same Old Story
Walk Away
Take My Breath Away
Climbing The Walls
Anyday Now
Find Out
Must Be The Rain

Tales From Terminal City
Tales From Terminal City (1990)

Tales From Terminal City
Stand Up
Say You're Going To Love Me
Black Widow
Shotgun
Rusty Bus
Carved in Stone
Mystery Bride
Cover Me with Roses
Victim of Love
Let The Jelly Roll

Cognac & Bolgna / Wrap It
Cognac & Bolgna / Wrap It (1991)
(re-release)









Slugcology 101
Slugcology 101 (1992)

Too Bad
Chinatown Calculation
Real Enough
Who Knows How
Making It Work
Drifting Away
Tomcat Prowl
Day By Day
Love Shines
Powerful Thing
It's Got To Be Monday
Dangerous
To Be Laughing
Walk Away
White Christmas


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