Origin: Burlington, Ontario, 🇨🇦
Formed in 1980, an intrepid young band from Burlington Ontario would soon make "Spoons" a different kind of household word...
Together with Derrick Ross and Rob Preuss, Gord Deppe and Sandy Horne would help define the sound of pop and New Wave in the 80's, with hits including "Nova Heart", "Romantic Traffic", "Old Emotions" and "Tell No Lies".
Their album "Arias & Symphonies" would go on to be named one of the 20 Most Influential Albums of The 80's by "the Chart" Magazine, and their song "Nova Heart" was recently included in Bob Mersereau's book "the Top 100 Canadian Singles of All Time"...
...Not bad for a bunch of kids from Burlington, Ontario...
Their first album, "Stick Figure Neighbourhood", was recorded in 1981 at Grant Avenue Studios in Hamilton, Ontario, with a then unknown engineer by the name of Daniel Lanois. The album garnered rave press reviews and reached the #1 slot on college radio.
But it wouldn’t be until the release of their song "Nova Heart", produced by John Punter of Roxy Music and Bryan Ferry fame, that the Spoons became a household name...
The Arias & Symphonies album, recorded at George Martin’s famous Air Studios in London, England, solidified the Spoons’ presence on the new wave music front.
With the commercial radio success that followed, the band saw themselves opening for such acts as the Police, Culture Club, and Simple Minds. A little TV show called MuchMusic had also just been launched, and the young Spoons were tailor-made for a whole new video-driven generation. In fact, the very first episode of the show began with, "Welcome to MuchMusic. Coming up we have brand new videos by Duran Duran, Howard Jones and the Spoons." A new era was launched with those words.
In 1983, Ready Records brought on Nile Rodgers (Chic, David Bowie, Madonna, and most recently Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky”) to produce their follow-up album Talkback. More radio hits emerged, including Romantic Traffic, Old Emotions and Tell No Lies. The Spoons continued to build their fan base around the world. The video for Romantic Traffic, shot in the subways of Toronto, remains as one of the most iconic Canadian videos of all time.
A soundtrack for Ron Mann’s movie "Listen To The City" followed, as well as two more as two more studio albums.
Under the wing of Rush’s manager Ray Danniels, and with the added talents of keyboardist Scott MacDonald and drummer Steve Kendry, the Spoons recorded the "Bridges Over Borders" and "Vertigo Tango" albums on Anthem Records.
The resulting singles, "Bridges Over Borders", "Be Alone Tonight", "Rodeo", "When Time Turns Around", and "Waterline", kept the band touring until the end of the 80's.
But it seemed too soon, that day when when we realized that the 80's were winding down, and a new style of music called "Grunge" seemed to be taking the world by storm...
A lot of people believed that this marked the end for all things 80's... But they couldn’t have been more wrong...Something that would soon be known as "the Retro 80s movement" was looming just around the corner.
The Spoons greatest hits package, "Collectible Spoons", was released in 1994, on MCA/Universal Music, and it led to one of the band’s most successful tours ever. The old fans were hungry for the music they grew up on, and new ones were eager to give the 80's a second listen...Spoons songs were being played more and more frequently, as many radio stations featured "all-80's" shows...and a new offshoot of MuchMusic, called "MuchMoreMusic", was reviving the best of the old 80's videos...keyboard player Steve Sweeney joined the band during a slow-but-sure 80's re-emergence...
...The unthinkable was happening...
When the retro phenomenon showed no signs of stopping, a new album just seemed like the next logical step...
In 2010, Gordon and Sandy, along with producer and keyboard player Jeff Carter, the Spoons released "Static In Transmission", their first collection of new songs in over two decades, with a modern twist on the classic Spoons sound...
Although still undeniably Spoons, the singles "You Light Up" and "Escape with You" proved that the band remained inexplicably current. In fact, John Sakamoto of the Toronto Star included it in his prestigious "Anti-Hit List", the week of its release, usually reserved for up and coming new artists...Not bad for a band that’d been around for thirty years.
It was then that new band members, the young but phenomenal keyboard player Casey MQ, and skilled veteran drummer Chris McNeill added a fresh and invigorating stage dynamic to the "Static In Transmission" tour...
In 2012, Sparks Music and Ready Records celebrated the 30th anniversary of one of the band’s most successful releases, with a special "Nova Heart Anniversary E.P.". The package contained the quintessential 1982 album cut, plus two remixes, including Jeff Carter's electronic "Singularity Mix", an unexpected "fan fave" that has closed newer live performances with an intensity that has to be seen and heard "live" to truly be appreciated. The Nova Heart 30th Anniversary E.P. also includes a rare demo recording from 1981, and a live recording mixed by the legendary John Punter himself, at Barrymore’s in Ottawa in 1982.
A special 30th Anniversary edition of the "Arias and Symphonies" album followed, released by Sparks/Ready Records/Universal Music, complete with extensive liner notes, historical photos, and live tracks. It also saw the reunion, after twenty-six years, of the original band line-up, for an incredible sold-out release party in Toronto.
In 2013, the Spoons won the Music Express Magazine "Back In The Spotlight Award", and a remastered version of their debut album "Stick Figure Neighbourhood" was released, followed by a 30th Anniversary CD of their popular "TalkBack" album, including their hits "Romantic Traffic", "Tell No Lies", "Old Emotions" and the rare, previously unreleased song "Candy Apple".
In the spring of 2014, Spoons have been juggling the recording of new material with an extensive tour of western Canada, and are set to return to perform in Southern Ontario this summer.
Gord has published a book on the Spoons story, titled "Spoon Fed", released through Manor House Publishing.
In 2019, Spoons Released a bold new album, “New Day New World”, the first studio project to be released by the Spoons in over eight years, once again Produced by Jeff Carter. Their new album plays on the band’s earlier edgy electro-80s sound and evokes the fun, pop sounds of their biggest hits while transporting them firmly into 2019. Four video singles have been released so far: For the First & Last Time, All the Wrong Things (In the Right Places), Landing Lights, and the title track, New Day New World. Three of these videos have been directed by Peter Sacco, winning multiple awards worldwide.
In 2020, Spoons released a new Greatest Hits Collection: "Repeatable: 1980-2020", on both Cd and double-vinyl LP, for the first time covering the entire span of Spoon's music, from the early Ready Records releases, the Anthem Records albums, to the modern, 21st century work.
In 2021, Spoons released "Echoes", a collection of new music recorded by other incredible artists from around the world, covering their favourite Spoons songs in their own unique way. Proceeds from the Echoes CD go toward the Unison Fund, helping professional musicians and live music technicians recover financially from the terrible repercussions of Covid19 on the music industry.
The retro 80s movement, now almost a decade old, shows no signs of slowing down. Not one bit. And as far as Sandy, Gord, and a lot of fans are concerned, that is a very good thing indeed.