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The Tragically Hip – Trouble at the Henhouse (1996)

August 1, 2016


It was 20 years ago today…or at least, 20 years and a few months/weeks/days ago today that I picked up Trouble at the Henhouse (TATH).

I even stayed up past my bedtime to get it!



So was it worth the midnight trip?


The first half is one for the books.

Gift Shop – the band entry on “the pendulum swings” may be the best band entry in the catalogue.

Springtime in Vienna – is on my bucket list of places to go at a specific time of year.

Ahead by a Century – The Paul Langlois backup vocals, beauty.

Don’t Wake Daddy – I’ve been pausing and wondering about these lyrics for years!

Flamenco & 700 ft. Ceiling – Another fine exemplar of how to sequence a record, gliding seamlessly from gentle to aggressive as only The Hip can.

Though for the first time since I became a Hip obsessive, on the second half of TATH, they seemed somewhat human.

Butts Wigglin had/has the nice Kids in the Hall connection and Put it Off wrapped/wraps things up effectively, but in between, tracks 8-11, just weren’t/aren’t at the same awe-inspiring level.

But because tracks 7 & 12 started and ended the side with strength, the great band sounding merely ‘good’ wasn’t that much of a cause for concern.


Despite being almost a decade into their career, TATH was an album of a few other firsts.

-The first to arrive in a 100% recycled materials case (no booklet, lyrics printed on the cardboard)
-The first self-produced effort (as I learned from the Spring ’96 issue of Tales From the Hip pictured above!)
– The first album tour I had the privilege to attend, December 11, 1996, at Copps Coliseum (and seeing The Hip has been a privilege many more times since)

Good/great as the TATH songs were, as Rob Baker noted in the Summer ’96 issue of Tales From the Hip, “the song has to be better live. I think a song has to continue to improve…”

Now if only The Hip were to record a live album, to see if some of these TATH songs would continue to improve…


hipThe Hip Tour/My Post Schedule

Jul 22 2016 The Hip played: Victoria, BC. I played: The Tragically Hip (1987)
Check out these TTH (1987) reviews by: Brian, Aaron

Jul 24 2016 The Hip plays: Vancouver, BC. I played: Up to Here (1989)
Check out these Up to Here (1989) reviews by: Brian, Aaron

Jul 26 2016 The Hip plays: Vancouver, BC. I played: Road Apples (1991)
Check out these Road Apples (1991) reviews by: Brian, Aaron, Deke

Jul 28 2016 The Hip plays: Edmonton, AB. I played: Fully Completely (1992)
Check out these Fully Completely (1992) reviews by: Brian, Aaron, Sarca

Jul 30 2016 The Hip plays: Edmonton, AB. I played: Day for Night (1994)
Check out these Day for Night (1994) reviews by: Brian, Aaron

Aug 1 2016 The Hip plays: Calgary, AB. I play: Trouble at the Henhouse (1996)
Check out these Trouble at the Henhouse (1996) reviews by: Brian, Aaron

Aug 3 2016 The Hip plays: Calgary, AB. I play: Live Between Us (1997)

Aug 5 2016 The Hip plays: Winnipeg, MB. I play: Phantom Power (1998)

Aug 8 2016 The Hip plays: London, ON. I play: Music at Work (2000)

Aug 10 2016 The Hip plays: Toronto, ON. I play: In Violet Light (2002)

Aug 12 2016 The Hip plays: Toronto, ON. I play: In Between Evolution (2004)

Aug 14 2016 The Hip plays: Toronto, ON. I play: World Container (2006)

Aug 16 2016 The Hip plays: Hamilton, ON. I play: We are the Same (2009)

Aug 18 2016 The Hip plays: Ottawa, ON. I play: Now for Plan A (2011)

Aug 20 2016 The Hip plays: Kingston, ON. I play: Man Machine Poem (2016)

From → Uncategorized

  1. This album for me personally is where I started too drift off from the Hip! The songs are good with the first two being exceptional! I don’t know really I guess with these guys like all great bands do they push and move forward but man I miss the Don Smith production on the first two Hip albums and it wasn’t until Steve Berlin did Phantom Power did I dig the sonics of a Hip record…
    Good stuff Geoff gonna have to dig this one out….and give it a twirl …..

    • It’s got to be one of the harder things for a band – moving forward, yet keeping what worked, but without being repetitive!
      I’d say Phantom Power’s a more complete one too, in addition to being the sonically superior.
      But still, any album that starts like this one does, can’t be all bad!

      • True I hear what your saying it’s a good album but man hard to beat those first 4 classic major label releases and hard for a lot of bands to even have 4 classics in a row!
        I clicked the Coops link pretty cool set list especially to drop EveryTime I Go in at the two spot. Slick Move!
        U should review that show…..

      • Love the intro guitar in everytime you go!
        Deke I think I was so in awe during the show, it would be like asking one of the people in the Ed Sullivan audience to write a review of the Beatles performance they just screamed through!

  2. Oh man, this is a great record. Great great great, not a bad spot on it anywhere.

    It was my first time seeing them live too, for this one. Edenfest. AMAZING.

    • I was sadly out of the province when Edenfest was going on – I was glad to live vicariously through your recaps a while back!

      • It was a great festival, overall, marred only by brutal July heat, drunken yobs, and a huge garbage fight at the end. But the bands were, by and large, stellar. And that Saturday run of Odds, Porno For Pyros, Live, then The Hip was a mind-blower.

      • PS I’m glad you dug my post on it. Those were some happy memories.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. The Tragically Hip – Live Between Us (1997) | 1001albumsin10years
  2. The Tragically Hip – Phantom Power (1998) | 1001albumsin10years
  3. The Tragically Hip – Music @ Work (2000) | 1001albumsin10years
  4. The Tragically Hip – In Violet Light (2002) | 1001albumsin10years
  5. The Tragically Hip – In Between Evolution (2004) | 1001albumsin10years
  6. The Tragically Hip – World Container (2006) | 1001albumsin10years
  7. The Tragically Hip – We are the Same (2009) | 1001albumsin10years
  8. The Tragically Hip – Now for Plan A (2012) | 1001albumsin10years
  9. The Tragically Hip – Man Machine Poem (2016) | 1001albumsin10years
  10. Top 5 “I’m Grateful For…” | 1001albumsin10years

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