Trooper (not be confused with the German dance band of the same name; known for their single 'Jetplane') is a Juno Award winning Canadian rock band that developed from a group formed by vocalist Ramon McGuire and guitarist Brian Smith in 1965. As the principal songwriters for the group, McGuire and Smith have performed as Trooper (originally called Winters Green and later Applejack) from inception to the present day.
1972 saw McGuire and Smith playing in a band named Winter's Green that recorded two songs, "Are you a Monkey" and "Jump in the River Blues", on Rumble records. Winter's Green became Applejack in the mid-seventies adding drummer Tommy Stewart and bassist Harry Kalinsky. After hearing Applejack perform, Randy Bachman of Bachman-Turner Overdrive and The Guess Who signed the band to his "Legend" label, and produced the band's first album, Trooper (their first recording with their new name), which contained the Canadian hits "Baby Woncha Please Come Home" (Smith/McGuire) and "General Hand Grenade" (Smith/McGuire). Managed by Sam Feldman, the band began touring extensively in both Canada and the US.
After moving from Legend Records to MCA Records, Trooper added Frank Ludwig on keyboards. Their 1975 self-titled debut album was followed by Two for the Show (1976), which was certified Gold in Canada. The album contained the hits "Two for the Show" (McGuire) and "Santa Maria" (Smith/McGuire). "The Boys in the Bright White Sportscar" (Smith/McGuire), initially on this album, later became a hit when it was re-released (with a few modifications) on the Hot Shots greatest hits package in 1979. Kalensky was replaced by Doni Underhill before the recording of Knock 'Em Dead Kid (1977), which was the group's first Canadian Platinum. This album contained the hits "We're Here For a Good Time (not a long time)" (Smith/McGuire) and "Oh, Pretty Lady" (Smith/McGuire). Thick as Thieves went double-platinum and featured the group's only successful U.S. single, "Raise A Little Hell" (Smith/McGuire) (1978). This album also contained the hit "Round, Round We Go" (written and sung by Frank Ludwig), and "The Moment That it Takes" (written by Stewart and Underhill and sung by Ludwig). Flying Colors (1979), which contained the hits "Three Dressed Up as a Nine" (Smith/McGuire) and "Janine" (Smith/McGuire), also attained Double-Platinum status. The band's 1979 greatest hits album, Hot Shots, broke all Canadian sales records for Canadian sales of a Canadian album, reaching Quadruple-Platinum.
1980s to Present
In March 1980, Trooper was honoured with a Juno Award (Canada's 'Grammy') for "Group of the Year". Two of their albums (Hot Shots and Flying Colors) were also nominated that year for "Best Album". That same year, Hot Shots was released, Trooper severed their artist/producer relationship with Randy Bachman and Ludwig was replaced by Rob Deans, who performed on the self-produced album Untitled (1980) and Money Talks (1982) (produced by Heart producer Mike Flicker and released on (Flicker/RCA). The Last of the Gypsies (1989), released on the band's self-owned Great Pacific Records label and distributed by Warner Music Canada, came after a six-year recording absence and was certified Canadian Gold. It contained the hits "Boy With the Beat" (Smith/McGuire) and "The Best Way (to Hold A Man)" (McGuire). Ten (1991), containing the regional hit "American Dream" (Smith/McGuire), was the group's tenth and last album to date.
In 1998, Trooper guest starred on This Hour Has 22 Minutes's New Year's Special. However, their songs were played in numerous episodes of 22 Minutes throughout the 8th season (2000-01).
In 2001, "Shot Spots", a Punk tribute to Trooper, was released on Visionary records. It contained 30 Trooper songs performed by 30 Canadian punk bands (D.O.A., SNFU, Dirty Bird, Dayglo Abortions and others) and an introduction by Canadian comedian Rick Mercer. As detailed in a four-page 2004 photo essay by Todd Korol in Macleans Magazine and a two-page 2005 Globe and Mail story by Peter Cheney, Trooper is still very active and popular as a touring band, performing as many as 100 shows a year across Canada. In April 2006, Trooper singer and songwriter, Ramon McGuire released his first book: "Here For a Good Time – On the Road With Trooper, Canada's Legendary Rock Band". The book was published by Insomniac Press.
Trooper – Hot Shots 1979
Hot Shots is the fifth studio album by the Canadian rock band Trooper, released in 1979. The album consists of the band's most popular songs with some modifications. Hot Shots broke all records for Canadian sales of a Canadian album, reaching quadruple-platinum. "The Boys in the Bright White Sports Car" is the album's biggest hit.
1. "The Boys in the Bright White Sports Car"
2. "Baby Woncha Please Come Home"
3. "General Hand Grenade"
4. "Two for the Show"
6. "Santa Maria"
7. "We're Here for a Good Time not a long time"
8. "Oh Pretty Lady"
9. "(It's Been a) Long Time"
10. "Round Round We Go"
11. "Moment That it Takes"
12. "Raise a Little Hell"