November 30, 2004

SJP


Artist: Chalk Circle




Chris Tait (lead vocals, guitars)
Brad Hopkins (bass)
Derrick Murphy (drums)
Tad Winklarz (keyboards)

Newcastle's Clarke High School was home to a drummer-less band called "The Casualties" featuring Tait (guitar), Hopkins (guitar), Terry Miller (bass) and Stan Veselinovic (vocals). After picking up drummer Derrick Murphy to do a talent show, the band became The Reactors. Their first real gig was opening for Goddo at their high school.

With the departure of Miller and Veselinovic, they became a three-piece band (with Hopkins switching to bass) and were introduced facetiously at a school Christmas concert assembly in 1981 as Rudolph And His F*cking Reindeer. They briefly used the name New Addition in 1982 before finally chosing their name from Bertolt Brecht's play 'The Caucasian Chalk Circle' in 1983. They made their way through the Toronto club circuit hocking their demo single "The World/Black Pit" and won Most Promising Non-Recording Act in CFNY-FM's CASBY Awards for 1985.

The band decided to augment their straight ahead three-piece rock and roll line-up with keyboardist Tad Winklarz, a classically trained pianist and Polish refugee, who escaped to Canada shortly before martial law was declared in his homeland.

This recognition brought them to the attention of Duke Street Records who signed the band in 1986. The label wanted to test the public waters and released the 6 song 'Great Lake' EP. As it turned out, the EP sold in excess of 35,000 copies. The label's biggest selling record at the time.

"April Fool" and "Me, Myself And I" became Top-10 hits and so Chalk Circle had to rush back into the studio to capitalize on the their new found success. 'Mending Wall' was released in 1987 to critical acclaim and spawned a Top-10 hit with "This Mourning". A throw away cover version of T.Rex's "20th Century Boy" became a surprise hit and also went Top-10. Duke Street decided to cash in on this single and re-issued the 'Great Lake' EP on CD with "20th Century Boy" as a bonus track. This success allowed them to open shows for major touring acts including Rush and Crowded House.

In 1988 the band landed a German distribution deal where they were able to promote the 'Mending Wall' on TV and radio. The band were actually a success in Europe before ever playing in the US.

1989's 'As The Crow Flies', produced by Michael Phillip Wojewoda, saw a more mature Chalk Circle who enlisted the help of fellow Duke Street alumni Jane Siberry, Hugh Marsh and Moe Koffman. Former Vital Sines guitarist Kurt Swinghammer also made a sneak appearance.

Tait would leave Chalk Circle at the end of 1990 after the band's career hit an iceberg. He would form Big Faith with Fergus Marsh, Hugh Marsh and Mike Sloski.

In early 2006 the band reunited in Toronto for rehearsals in anticipation of the Universal Music CD release of their 'greatest hits' package.

with notes from Terry Miller, Chris Tait, and Brad Hopkins.


Singles
1985 The World/Black Pit [cassette] (SFTS Recordings)
1986 April Fool/Big White Clouds (Acoustic Mix) (Duke Street) DSR-71024
1986 April Fool [12"] (Duke Street)
[April Fool (April First)//April Fool (April Second)/Me, Myself & I (Precious Mix)]
1986 Me, Myself And I/Me, Myself & I (Precious Mix) (Duke Street) DSR-81024
1987 This Mourning/Village (Duke Street) 71035
1987 This Mourning [12"] (Duke Street)
[This Mourning (Extended Mix)//Come With Me/Believe In Something]
1987 20th Century Boy/Blame It On The Moon (Duke Street) 81035
1987 N.I.M.B.Y./Who Can Say (Duke Street) 91035
1989 Sons And Daughters (Duke Street)

Albums
1986 The Great Lake (Duke Street) DSRD-41024
1987 Mending Wall (Duke Street) DSRD-31035
1987 Mending Wall [re-issue] (Duke Street) DSMD-31035
[bonus track: "20th Century Boy"]
1988 The Great Lake [CD re-issue] (Duke Street) DSMD-41024
[bonus tracks: 20th Century Boy/Come With Me/Believe In Something]
1989 As The Crow Flies (Duke Street)
2006 20th Century Masters: The Best Of Chalk Circle (Universal) 602498333815

Video
1986 April Fool
1986 Me, Myself And I
1987 This Mourning
1987 N.I.M.B.Y.
1987 20th Century Boy
1989 Sons And Daughters


Compilation Tracks




Official Chalk Circle Website
Official Chris Tait Website
Official Brad Hopkins Website
COMING IN OCTOBER 2011: The book version of the Encyclopedia.

Click on the image and pre-order now!


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