Tracks from the Past: Barenaked Ladies’ Stunt

BY DI ARTS STAFF | JULY 23, 2009 7:15 AM

Barenaked Ladies: Stunt
July 7, 1998

“I like vanilla — it’s the finest of the flavors.” Ed Robertson, guitarist/vocalist for Barenaked Ladies summed up the band’s approach to music in those nine words. Barenaked Lades were accessible and popular, and its tunes felt good to get in one’s body. The group’s shimmering, playful sound defined ’90s pop music and even keeps nostalgia junkies from throwing away those old CDs today.

In 1998, Barenaked Ladies released Stunt. Up until that point, the band had received mild fame and airplay in Canada with its indie masterpiece The Yellow Tape and then considerably larger success with its first studio album, Gordon. Then came “One Week.”

Stunt was generally well-received on its own, but Barenaked Ladies owes its lasting name recognition to that tune. The track exemplifies what people look for in feel-good college rock. The sparkling, quirky video for the song embedded itself in the memories of millions as Ed Robertson, guitarist/vocalist, laid down a light-hearted, lightning-fast flow of rhymes while racing around in a blaze orange Gran Torino. The song closed with a harmonized, spacy break as a female Evel Knievel jumped a Barenaked Ladies tour bus in glorious slow motion. No wonder “One Week” was a chart-topper.

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