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The Tragically Hip – Now for Plan A (2012)

August 18, 2016

Plan A


.October 2012


Given my listening context, and my initial feeling of indifference to the album, Now For Plan A was relegated to the shelf for much of the next few years.

So were many of my other Hip albums, as I continued to obsess with collecting, exploring, and writing about hundreds of new-to-me recordings.

And so the story went.

The nice thing about stories though, is that the narrative can change. Unfortunately this May, the changes weren’t all nice.




The 24th was a truly devastating Tuesday for legions of Hip fans.

But once again, the nice thing about stories is that the narrative can change.

And it has changed quite nicely over the past few months.

After the initial phases of shock, sadness, and anger, this summer has transformed into an incredible journey.

A personal journey, for one.


July 2016


Going through The Hip’s catalogue chronologically, while listening to little else, has been an enormous source of comfort for me this summer. This personal re-immersion has also helped me appreciate the band’s evolution throughout their unparalleled career. Which also means for certain recordings that I didn’t necessarily warm up to at the time, like Now For Plan A, I’m appreciating them a lot more when placed in the appropriate context.

But more importantly, from that Victoria Day weekend onward, we’ve gone through a national journey as well.

When The Hip play Kingston on Saturday night, the concert will be broadcast live on CBC (also online at

Millions across the country will be watching. At home, with family & friends. At public screenings hosted by local arenas, libraries, and churches. Even those who aren’t all that familiar with the band are planning on tuning in, including my 93-year-old Great Aunt!

None of this was anybody’s Plan A.

We’re all blessed that The Hip’s tour has positively changed the narrative and that their tour has become such a wonderfully unifying event.


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 played: 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 played: Live Between Us (1997)
Check out these Live Between Us (1997) reviews by: Brian, Aaron

Aug 5 2016 The Hip plays: Winnipeg, MB. I played: Phantom Power (1998)
Check out these Phantom Power (1998) reviews by: Brian, Aaron

Aug 8 2016 The Hip plays: London, ON. I played: Music @ Work (2000)
Check out these Music @ Work (2000) reviews by: Brian, Aaron

Aug 10 2016 The Hip plays: Toronto, ON. I played: In Violet Light (2002)
Check out these In Violet Light (2002) reviews by: Brian, Aaron

Aug 12 2016 The Hip plays: Toronto, ON. I play: In Between Evolution (2004)
Check out these In Between Evolution (2004) reviews by: Brian, Aaron

Aug 14 2016 The Hip plays: Toronto, ON. I played: World Container (2006)
Check out these World Container (2006) reviews by: Brian, Aaron

Aug 16 2016 The Hip plays: Hamilton, ON. I played: We are the Same (2009)
Check out these We are the Same (2009) reviews by: Brian, Aaron

Aug 18 2016 The Hip plays: Ottawa, ON. I play: Now for Plan A (2012)
Check out these Now For Plan A (2012) reviews by: Brian, Aaron

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

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  1. Cool use of Graphs and such! Too focus on one artist and just listen non stop is impressive and I applaud both you and Bop on undertaking this Hip series with a passion!
    I still laugh when Aaron powered through all of Motley Crue’s catalogue in a week and quoted ” that he felt dirty and needed a shower after listening to them steady for a week” hahaha
    Dude you may go in withdrawal or hibernate once this is done ….
    Least you can wrap it up before the start of the school year…

    • haha, no need for a shower after the hip series at least!
      Thanks Deke – and absolutely, I think I’m going to be in some serious withdrawal afterwards. But it’s been a great month!

      • Sure has…where are u watching Saturdays show from? Home or Watering Hole?

      • Started at a local downtown watering hole – sprinted down to Market square during that quick 5-minute intermission!

      • It rained here so we streamed did 11 million other people

      • Boourns to the rain! But cheers to CBC, so glad they made it available to everyone

      • yeah for sure. I remember saying to Sue if there was a glitch or the CBC was to lose the feed for even a few seconds Canada would be under a state of Emergency ! All was good though

      • It would have been a crisis! It’s funny, the stream at the pub did that ‘buffering circle’ before the show started, you could hear the whole place groan. Luckily it all worked out in the end!

  2. I hope the show / event this weekend is everything it should be, Geoff. I’ve really enjoyed this series and might even share my own thoughts on these albums once I listen to this one and revisit some of the others!

    • Thanks J – I really appreciate you joining in this journey. I’d love to read a resurrection songs review or fifteen!

      • As someone who was new to the band, it was nice to have an ‘in’. Fair enough these were your experiences and thoughts, but it helped pull me into the album. That’s a good thing. Great work on these, Geoff.

        … and yeah, I think I’ll scribble some thoughts down.

      • J – I think that’s what we all hope for when we write, that our personal experiences with an album can feel somewhat universal or relatable, and ideally inspire others to check out the music we adore so much.
        Please scribble away!

  3. I am not reading this yet because I promised to get my own review of this album (the only one of theirs I haven’t written up yet, for no good reason) but then I went to the beach and forgot all about it! I’ll get mine on the KMA ASAP.

    • Sounds good sir – I was of the same philosophy, as soon as I clicked publish, I read your reviews – it took discipline not to read them in advance! Unsurprisingly, we agreed on the excellence of the albums frequently!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. The Tragically Hip – Man Machine Poem (2016) | 1001albumsin10years
  2. Top 5 “I’m Grateful For…” | 1001albumsin10years

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