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Tenants. The - 1983 The Tenants

ARTIST: Tenants. The
ALBUM: The Tenants
SERIAL: BL 38671
YEAR: 1983


LINEUP: Gary Brown - vocals, guitar * Andy McLean - guitar, vocals * Lewis Mele - bass * Derek Gassyt - drums, percussion * Fraser MacDougall - keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Look The Other Way * 02 Schoolgirl * 03 I Love Romance * 04 Sheriff * 05 Winner * 06 How Do You Sleep At Night? * 07 You Don't Know What I've Been Thru * 08 Connect The Dots * 09 What's In It For Me? * 10 Forget About Forgetting

Bands like Toronto's The Tenants were a dime a dozen back in the day, playing a new wave pop that was all the rage in that cosmopolitan city's then vital club scene. Formed in 1981, they only had to play a handful of gigs before signing to CBS and under the direction of producer Paul Gross (Saga, Wrabit) recorded an album that saw some chart action in Canada and was even released in the U.S. although I don't think anyone noticed.

The Songs
It's been a long, long time since I've heard this record and my feelings are very much the same as they were thirty years ago - agitating as hell. The way I see it that their premature contract was nothing but dumb luck, 'cause there isn't much here beyond some photo-copied hooks and looming large were The Police, INXS and The Fixx. Playing it safe and probably think they found the next Sting; two songs tickled the fancy of snowbound Northern programmers - 'Sheriff' with its abrasive Men At Work faux reggae beat and on the flip 'How Do You Sleep At Night?' whose chiming guitars and chorus rips off the best parts of 'Ghost In The Machine' and early INXS without paying a funky beaver-faced nickel in royalties.

In Summary
And yet I seemed to be a glutton for punishment, spending two hours in the rain staring at The Tenants drum kit when they were opening an outdoor gig for Sheriff in Hamilton, Ontario in 1983. Sadly both bands were a no-show after the lightning and wind picked-up although it would have been interesting to see The Tenants in the raw and if they veered from the record's homogeneous sound or played it status quo. I tend to think the latter and further gigging with Rush as well as a tour of Western Canada with Streetheart set the stage for an inevitable second album in 1984's 'Visions Of Our Future'. Apparently in the same unimaginative style, the LP sold well but with a conniving American manager dipping into the bands piggy bank; The Tenants luck finally ran out.

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#1 | Eric on February 24 2013 14:17:46
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#2 | super80boy on February 24 2013 16:59:38
They have a 2nd album called Visions Of Our Future, which takes a more melancholic mid tempo approach. Actually quite a cool looking album jacket as well. For this self titled debut, I kept thinking The Police on every other song.
#3 | TheMurf on March 11 2013 01:53:30
I always thought it was pretty funny to have a band so influenced by the Police to the point of being accused of being a clone and that the biggest hit off the album still being played on Jack or Bob FM format radio is "Sheriff".

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