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About Honeymoon Suite
Honeymoon Suite emerged in the middle of the '80s playing muscular album-oriented rock that earned them a significant audience in their native Canada, not to mention a following in the U.S.A. Their peak arrived in 1986, when "Feel It Again" reached number 16 on the Canadian charts and 34 on Billboard, but they continued to have hits in Canada until the early '90s and wound up reuniting at the dawn of the 2010s, launching a steady career as a legacy act during that decade.
Such thoughts were a fantasy when the band formed back in 1981 in Niagara Falls. The group understood that Niagara Falls was a wedding destination so they named their band Honeymoon Suite, with the core of the band being guitarist Johnnie Dee, keyboardist Brad Bent, and drummer Mike Lengyell. All but Dee left by 1983, so he added drummer Dave Betts and guitarist Derry Grehan. The group continued to cycle through keyboardists and bassists but signed to WEA Canada on the strength of Grehan's original "New Girl Now." Ray Coburn joined as a keyboardist prior to the recording of the band's eponymous debut and bassist Gary Lalonde joined after its completion.
Released in the summer of 1984, Honeymoon Suite generated a hit in "New Girl Now" -- which reached 23 in Canada, 57 in the U.S. -- and "Stay in the Light" almost made it into the Canadian Top 40 in 1985. Later that year, The Big Prize was released and it became the group's biggest hit, peaking at six on the Canadian charts, largely on the strength of the number 16 hit "Feel It Again"; that song became their biggest hit in the U.S. too, reaching 34 on the Billboard Hot 100. Soon afterward, Coburn was replaced by Rob Preuss. Racing After Midnight made it to eight on the Canadian charts in 1988, thanks in part to the Top Ten single "Love Changes Everything," but that was the end of their run as hitmakers. Lalonde and Betts left the band after that -- they were replaced by Steve Webster and Jorn Anderson, respectively -- and the group managed to release 1991's Monsters Under the Bed before fading away.
Johnnie Dee and Derry Grehan led various touring lineups of Honeymoon Suite during the '90s and they finally returned to the studio in 2002 to record Lemon Tongue, their first album in 11 years. Dreamland followed quickly and these latter-day incarnations continued to tour in the 2000s. The original lineup of the band reunited in 2007 to tour Canada, and a brand-new studio album titled Clifton Hill followed in 2008. Coburn left the band in 2009 and was replaced by Peter Nunn, and this lineup toured in the 2010s and recorded the new EP Hands Up in 2016. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
- Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
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