April Wine Biography

Canadian Classic Rock
Biography

April Wine

April Wine
(Gary Moffat, Steve Lang, Jerry Mercer, Myles Goodwyn, Brian Greenway)

 

April Wine's roots date back to December of 1969 when Miles Goodwyn and childhood friends David, Ritchie and Jimmy Henman played the local Halifax bars. The four moved to Montreal not long after with their equipment, a couple of bucks and big dreams. They were signed to MCA in '71 and cut "Fast Train". The reception given the song prompted the label big-wigs to release their first record, self-titled, that same year, which also featured "Drop Your Guns". Produced by Billy Hill, the album showed the promise of something special. Unfortunately, Jimmy Henman didn't see it and left the band. Filling the void on bass shortly thereafter was Jimmy Clench.

ON RECORD was on the shelves less than a year later and spawned the group's first number one hit, "Could've Been A Lady" and a cover of "Bad Side of the Moon", written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin.

Ritchie and David Henman also parted ways from April Wine in '73 during the recording of ELECTRIC JEWELS. Replacing them were Gary Moffet on guitars and Jerry Mercer on drums. The record featured the hits "The Band Has Just Begun", "Just Like That" and "Cat's Claw", and the timeless "Weeping Widow".

'74 saw the group embark on their first national tour and also saw the release of the single "I'm On Fire For You Baby". This 45 is extremely rare as the song was never released on any album except greatest hits packages. By this time April Wine had made a name for themselves for cutting no-nonsense rockers as well as showing incredible melody penning several "I love you the sky is blue" ballads. Later that same year saw the release of the group's first live recording, entitled, coincidentally enough APRIL WINE LIVE. The record captured the sheer power of their stage presence and showed their detractors they were not just a radio pop/love song band and why they were headlining concerts from coast to coast. People don't pay \\$20 to sold- out shows and sit and be bored, unless you're at a Celine Dion concert, in which case I hear you shell out a hell of a lot more than $20 anyway.

STAND BACK was cut in '75 and was backed by the hits "I Wouldn't Want To Lose Your Love", "Oowatanite" and "Cum Hear The Band". The band's first attempt at self-production, other tracks from the album included "Victim For Your Love" and "Don't Push Me Around", making the album one of their most popular sellers to this day. Clench left the group following the subsequent tour to join BTO and laterLOVERBOY. Steve Lang became the band's third bassist shortly thereafter.

April Wine made history in '76 with THE WHOLE WORLD'S GOING CRAZY. Backed by the power of the title track, the record was the first by a Canadian group to go platinum (one million sales). In retrospect it may have been a bad decision on the part of management to release FOREVER FOR NOW that same year, as it failed to build on the momentum gained by its predecessor, though it did have "Lady Run Lady Hide" as a single. Originally intended as a Myles Goodwyn solo project, the record possessed less of a moderately heavy sound, leaning more to the eclectic personal tastes of Goodwyn.

Brian Greenway joined the band in '77 after the LIVE AT EL MOCAMBO album and instantly showed that more guitars is sometimes better when they released FIRST GLANCE early the next year, the first disc done for their new label, Capitol Records. The "one big happy heavy axe sound" was evidenced by cuts like "Roller" and "Hot On The Wheels of Love" and broke the group out of its restraints, now headlining major events outside the Great White North.

HARDER FASTER came out in '80 and instantly went gold thanks to the driving force of "I Like To Rock" and the cover of Ian Hunter's "21st Century Schizoid Man". Even the power ballad "Tonite" was laced with bridges that grabbed you by the balls. Goodwyn also found time between records to produce TEAZE's ONE NIGHT STAND lp, his first crack at being behind the helm for someone else.

April Wine traveled to England to record THE NATURE OF THE BEAST early the next year. Relentless air-play given to the sappy, tacky and downright annoying if heard too often "Just Between You and Me" pushed the album platinum almost instantly. That God-awful tune was however the band's first number one single in the States. What's that tell you? But it's the sheer presence of the rockers "All Over Town", "Future Tense", "Crash and Burn" and "Tellin Me Lies" that make it most critics' pick as their best work, as well as the better of the two singles, "Sign of the Gypsy Queen". By this time April Wine was headlining major gigs all over Europe as well as here in North America.

The follow up came almost two years later when POWER PLAY was released. Though a good record, it had the misfortune of following a great record. Though not ground-breaking by any means, it showed the band's versatility with the hard-edged "Blood Money" and "Anything You Want" as well as the usual radio sell-outs with "If You See Kay". Also notable was their cover of THE POWDER BLUES BAND's "Doin' It Right".

ANIMAL GRACE came out in '84 and definitely lacked the lustre of previous efforts and pretty much marked the end of the group's run among the top groups from Canada. "This Could Be The Right One" was the only single released from the record.

Though the band actually did their last show in Kelowna in July of '84, Capitol released two April Wine records in '85. ONE FOR THE ROAD contained nothing particularly memorable except the cover of Starship's "Rock Myself To Sleep".

WALKING THROUGH FIRE was the last Wine record and the typical power ballad they'd become known for "Love Has Remembered Me", was the only single. A whole swack of greatest hits packages from Capitol Records as well as a re-release of the earlier hits by Aquarius (In Canada only) came out in the next few years.

Goodwyn and Greenway both put out solo records in '88, Though both were met with moderate critical acceptance, the fire that was April Wine was definitely not there, proving that although Wine was Goodwyn's band, the whole is sometimes greater than the individual parts.

Renewed attention for the group prompted Goodwyn to leave the sunny Bahamas and reform the band with Greenway, Mercer, Clench and newcomer Steve Segal on guitars for a cross-Canada tour in '92, followed by the first new material in eight years with "If You Believe In Me". The song would easily fit onto almost any record they'd done before, typical radio-friendly material.

Their mini-reunion sparked an all-new album in '93 in ATTITUDE. The first single, "Here's Looking At You Kid" was a classic example of the other side of the April Wine coin, a rocker grabbing you by the balls and never letting go. The album showed a definite maturity in the sound, now encorporating some synthesizers and more studio effects than before. Also let out as singles were "That's Love" and "Voice In My Heart" ... incidentally, it's Goodwyn's kid on the cover.

FRIGATE came out the next year and had three singles, "I'm A Man", "Driving With My Eyes Closed" and "If I Was A Stranger". Though not a bad album, interest in keeping the fire burning died again and the group called it quits shortly after the record's release.

It wasn't long however before the public cry beckoned again and the group reformed, less Segal. They can usually be found touring the continent, rocking the house and reminding everyone why they're one of Canada's greatest exports of all time. April Wine has always been a critic's bitch and a fan's fave. Selling out venues worldwide throughout most of their long and storied career, April Wine has proved above all else that critics don't know a thing. Only happy when the group was selling its soul to the devil just for radio play, the know-it-all's have often remarked they couldn't find a niche ... is it rock ... or radio pop? Fork ... or spoon .... either work and they always keep someone happy no matter what they're playing.

April Wine
(Steve Segal, Myles Goodwyn, Jerry Mercer, Brian Greenway, Jim Clench)

Written by Dan Brisebois of
CanConRox

Discography

April Wine
April Wine (1971)

Oceana
Can't Find The Town
Fast Train
Listen Mister
Page Five
Song For Mary
Wench
Time

On Record
On Record (1972)

Farkus
Could've Been A Lady
Believe In Me
Work All Day
Drop Your Guns
Bad Side of the Moon
Refuge
Flow River Flow
Carry On
Didn't You

Electric Jewels
Electric Jewels (1974)

Weeping Widow
Just Like That
Electric Jewels
You Opened My Eyes
Come On Along
Lady Run, Lady Hide
I Can Hear You Calling
Cat's Claw
The Band Has Just Begun

April Wine Live
April Wine Live (1974)

Mama It's True
Druthers
Cat's Claw
I'm On Fire For You Baby
Band Has Just Begun
Just Like That
Could Have Been A Lady

Stand Back
Stand Back (1975)

Oowatanite
Don't Push Me Around
Cum Hear The Band
Slow Poke
Victim Of Your Love
Baby Done Got Some Soul
I Wouldn't Want To Lose Your Love
Highway Hard Run
Not For You Not For Rock & Roll
I Wouldn't Want To Lose Your Love
Tonight Is A Wonderful Time To Fall In Love

The Whole World's Goin' Crazy
The Whole World's Goin' Crazy (1976)

Rock and Roll Women
Shotdown
Like A Lover Like A Song
Kick Willy Rd.
Gimme Love
So Bad
Wings Of Love
We Can Be More Than We Are

Forever For Now
Forever For Now (1977)

Forever, For Now
Child's Garden
Lovin' You
Holly Would
You Won't Dance With Me
Come Away
Mama Laye
I'd Rather Be Strong
Hard Times
Marjorie

Live At The El Mocambo
Live At The El Mocambo (1977)

Teenage Love
Tonight Is A Wonderful Time To Fall In Love
Juvenile Delinquent
Don't Push Me Around
Oowatanite
Drop Your Guns
Slow Poke
She's No Angel
You Could have Been A Lady

First Glance
First Glance (1978)

Get Ready For Love
Hot On The Wheels Of Love
Rock N' Roll Is A Vicious Game
Right Down To It
Roller
Comin' Right Down On Top Of Me
I'm Alive
Let Yourself Go
Silver Dollar

Harder... Faster
Harder... Faster (1979)

I Like To Rock
Say Hello
Tonite
Ladies Man
Before The Dawn
Babes In Arms
Better Do It Well
21st Century Schizoid Man

Nature Of The Beast
Nature Of The Beast (1981)

All Over Town
Tellin' Me Lies
Sign Of The Gypsy Queen
Just Between You and Me
Wanna Rock
Caught In The Crossfire
Future Tense
Big City Girls
Crash and Burn
Bad Boys
One More Time

Power Play
Power Play (1982)

Anything You Want You Got It
Enough Is Enough
If You See Kay
What If We Fall In Love
Waiting On A Miracle
Doin' It Right
Ain't Got Your Love
Blood Money
Tell Me Why
Runners In The Night

King Biscuit Flower Hour
King Biscuit Flower Hour (1982)

Anything You Want
Future Tense
Crash & Burn
Before The Dawn
Waiting On A Miracle
Enough Is Enough
If You See Kay
Just Between You And Me
Sign Of The Gypsy Queen
21st Century Schizoid Man
I Like To Rock
Roller
Oowatanite
All Over Town
You Could've Been A Lady - (bonus track, 1985)

Animal Grace
Animal Grace (1984)

This Could Be The Right One
Sons Of The Pioneers
Without Your Love
Rock Tonite
Hard Rock Kid
Money Talks
Give Me That Thing Called Love
Too Much To Handle
Last Time I Sing The Blues

One For The Road
One For The Road (1985)

Anything You Want You Got It
I Like To Rock
All Over Town
Just Between You and Me
Enough Is Enough
This could Be The Right One
Sign Of The Gypsy Queen
Like A Lover Like A Song
Comin Right Down
Rock and Roll Is A Vicious Game
Roller

Walking Through Fire
Walking Through Fire (1986)

Rock Myself To Sleep
Wanted Dead Or Alive
Beg For Your Love
Love Has Remembered Me
Anejo
Open Soul Surgery
You Don't Have To Act That Way
Hold On
All It Will Ever Be
Wait Any More

Attitude
Attitude (1993)

Givin It Takin It
Good From Far Far From Good
If You Believe In Me
That's Love
It Hurts
Hour Of Need
Here's Looking At You Kid
Better Slow Down
Strange Kind Of Love
Can't Take Another Night
Luv Your Stuff
Emotional Dreams
Voice In Your Heart
Girl In My Dreams

Frigate
Frigate (1994)

Look Into The Sun
Just Wanna Make Love To You
If I Was A Stranger
Tonight Is A Wonderful Time To Fall In Love
Nothin' But A Kiss
I'm A Man
Whatever It Takes
Drivin' With My Eyes Closed
Hard To Believe
Keep On Rockin'
Mind Over Matter

Oowatanite
Oowatanite (1994)

Oowatanite
Get Ready For Love
Just Like That
The Band Has Just Begun
Rock n Roll Woman
Roller
Don't Push Me Around
Wanna Rock
Highway Hard Run
I'm Alive

Greatest Hits
Greatest Hits (1979)

Fast Train
Drop Your Guns
Weeping Widow
Rock and Roll Is A Vicious Game
Oowatanite
You Could've Been A Lady
Roller
Like A Lover Like A Song
I'm On Fire For You Baby
Lady Run Lady Hide
Bad Side Of The Moon
I Wouldn't Want To Lose Your Love
You Won't Dance With Me
Tonight Is A Wonderful Time To Fall In Love

All The Rockers
All The Rockers

Anything You Want You Got It
I Like To Rock
Roller
All Over Town
Hot On The Wheels Of Love
Tonite
Future Tense
21st Century Schizoid Man
Crash and Burn
Don't Push Me Around
Get Ready For Love
Tellin Me Lies
Blood Money
Gimme Love
Weeping Widow
Victim For Your Love

The Hits
The Hits

Say Hello
Enough Is Enough
Just Between You and Me
Roller
Love Has Remembered Me
This Could Be The Right One
What If We Fall In Love
Rock Myself To Sleep
Doin' It Right
Tell Me Why
Tonight Is A Wonderful Time To Fall In Love
I'm On Fire For You Baby
You Could've Been A Lady
Rock and Roll Is A Vicious Game
Like A Lover, Like A Song
You Won't Dance With Me
Fast Train
I Wouldn't Want To Lose Your Love

Boxed Set
Boxed Set (1992)

4 Disc Set:
Vol. I - The Singles
Vol. II - The Rock Songs
Vol. III - Vintage Wine
Vol. IV - Live













Back to the Mansion
Back to the Mansion (2001)

Won't Go There
Talk To Me
Paradise
Holiday
I'll Give You That
Wish I Could Sing
Looking For A Place (We've Never Been)
Falling Down
In Your World
Won't Walk That Road No More
I Am A Rock


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