A recurring theme on this blog is the vast array of talented Canadian bands born in the 80’s who left an indelible mark on that decade’s music scene. Also recurring is the fact that a majority of these bands were criminally overlooked and underrated outside of their native country. Unfortunately, for the rest of the world, Chalk Circle was no exception.
Chalk Circle originally formed in 1982 in Newcastle, Ontario as a college rock band called The Casualties. The band consisted of Chris Tait, Brad Hopkins, Terry Miller and Stani Veselinovic. Shortly after, The Casualties decided to change its name to The Reactors, then yet another change to New Edition. Talk about an identity crisis! Finally, they settled on the name Chalk Circle, as well as a final line-up: Chris Tait (lead singer and guitarist), Brad Hopkins (bassist), Tad Winklarz (keyboardist), and Derrick Murphy (drummer).
The band’s first demo single was called “The World” and was recorded on a cassette. It earned the band the CASBY award for Most Promising Non-Recording Group in 1985. Chalk Circle followed up in 1986 with a 6-song EP called The Great Lake. It was produced by Chris Wardman, and two tracks, “April Fool” and “Me, Myself and I” reached the Canadian Top 10.
Chalk Circle released a full-length album in 1987 called Mending Wall. This LP earned the band another Top 10 single with “This Mourning” which was a scathing poke at the Reagan administration. The album was later re-released with a cover of T. Rex’s “20th Century Boy” which would also reach the Canadian Top 10.
The band’s swan song was the 1989 LP As the Crow Flies. It had two popular singles, “Sons and Daughters” and “Together.” That was it for Chalk Circle which broke up shortly after, citing ‘creative differences.’ Chris Tait and his distinctive, magnificent voice went on to form an indie band called Big Faith.
If you haven’t heard Chalk Circle, be sure to check them out to see what you, and an abundance of others, missed. This was truly a band that deserved international recogniton.
Purchase Chalk Circle music here.
“April Fool” via YouTube user kurdtss:
“This Mourning” via YouTube user kurdtss:
“20th Century Boy” via YouTube user kurdtss:
“Me, Myself and I” via YouTube user jsbx5:
As the Crow Flies – 1989