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The Five Man Electrical Band had many hits in their native Canada, including the top 10 entries "Half Past Midnight" (1967) (as The Staccatos), "Absolutely Right" (1971) and "I'm a Stranger Here" (1972). Internationally, they are best known for their 1971 hit single "Signs".
It was written by Les Emmerson and popularized the relatively unknown band, who recorded it for their second album, Good-byes and Butterflies, in 1970. "Signs" was originally released that year as the B-side to the relatively unsuccessful single "Hello Melinda Goodbye" (#55 Canada). Re-released in 1971 as the A-side, "Signs" reached No. 4 in Canada and No. 3 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. Billboard ranked it as the No. 24 song for 1971. It became a gold record.