“Born on a Pirate Ship” (1996)

The Barenaked Ladies’ third full-length album was released on March 19, 1996, with the title of “Born on a Pirate Ship,” sometimes abbreviated as BOAPS. The most popular tracks from this album include “Shoe Box,” “The Old Apartment,” “When I Fall” and “Break Your Heart.” In 1997 the song “The Old Apartment” became BNL’s first US hit and won over many of American fans hearts. The front cover features a boy in a newspaper hat pulling at his cheeks, in reference to the childhood prank alluded to by the album’s title. Contrary to popular belief, this is not a childhood picture of BNL bassist Jim Creeggan, but simply an actor hired for the photos.

This was the first album recorded following the departure of keyboardist Andy CreegganKevin Hearn is not credited on the album but joined the group for the 1995 tour that preceded the album’s release in time to be thanked in the liner notes for “injecting new spirit.”

BNL preforming "The Old Apartment"

Tracks recorded for this album but left off the finished record are: “Trust Me” and “Back.” As with each of their early albums, the band recorded one song completely naked. On this album, “Back” was the “naked track.”

Although the album achieved a respectable No. 18 hit in Canada, the album only managed No. 111 in the US. “Born On A Pirate Ship” was awarded gold status in the U.S. in 2000 once the band had became more popular.

Track listing for “Born on a Pirate Ship”

  1. Stomach vs. Heart (Steven Page)
  2. Straw Hat and Old Dirty Hank (Steven Page)
  3. I know (Ed Robertson)
  4. This is Where It Ends (Steven Page)
  5. When I fall (Ed Robertson)
  6. I Live With It Every Day (Steven Page)
  7. The Old Apartment (Steven Page)
  8. Call Me Calmly (Steven Page)
  9. Break Your Heart (Steven Page)
  10. Spider in My Room (Jim Creeggan)
  11. Same Thing (Ed Robertson)
  12. Just a Toy (Steven Page)
  13. In the Drink (Jim Creeggan)
  14. Shoe Box (Steven Page)
  15. If I had $1,000,000 (Steven Page)

Have you heard any of the songs from this album? Which song is your favorite?


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