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The Best (and worse) Canadian Musicians

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canadianflagyf6.jpg I was surprised that once I started, how long the list grew.

I guess I'll start this with the Canadian National Anthem . This rendition left me teary-eyed.

Leading the pack, our own snowbird , Anne Murray.

From the same era, billed as Canada's last troubador, Gordon Lightfoot. . Gordy is so good, he deserves an encore performance.

At the time, he was just a new kid with a guitar and a harmonica, Neil Young was a miner for a heart of gold.

Early Canadian television was a place the often-copied Hank Snow could be seen.

You probably went to Grade Nine with geeks like our beloved Barenaked Ladies . A favorite everywhere, I don't think folks will mind an encore performance from those guys.

Stompin' Tom Connors performs this one because I couldn't find him doing the Hockey Song. Tommy is a Canadian icon.

Sarah Mclachlan achieved more commercial success than ol' Stompin' Tom. An angel.

This video by Brian Adams was big on Friday Night Videos back when.

The Band's swan song performance from the Last Waltz.

Avril Lavigne puts a girl's spin on Metallica's "Fuel" .

Guess Who has an issue with an American Woman? An awesome band.

Bachman Turner Overdrive always took care of business.

Just between you and me, April Wine was underrated.

You can go to Niagara Falls and get a Honeymoon Suite a lot easier than you'll get a New Girl Now.

Someone should have informed Snow that rap wasn't his forte.

Loverboy used to sing about 'working for the weekend'. I suspect they are slinging aluminum siding for Sears these days, and doing JUST that.

Gino Vanelli (who?) liked his black cars in the shade.

Tom Cochrane thought life was a highway. Most of us wanted him to hit that highway when he forgot the words to our National Anthem.

Jeff Healy had a huge hit with "Angel Eyes".

Martha and the Muffins used their 15 minutes of fame singing about Echo Beach.

Another Canadian icon, Joni Mitchell's Big Yellow Taxi is still a great tune.

Canadian bluesman, Colin James "Just Came Back" with this hit.

Sure hope Men Without Hats don't come back.

Helix taught us how to spell "Rock". What you gonna do?

kd lang and her powerful voice (one of my favorites) doing Constant Craving.

A lot of people I know are just wild about the Tragically Hip. to the point of following the band around like the Grateful Dead's followers did. Here they do "New Orleans Is Sinking", long before it did.

Crash Test Dummies hit it big here with mmm mmm mmm mmm.

My buddy Mike is wondering where the Rush inclusion is. Right here, performing to over a half-million people at the Toronto SARS-fest, July of 2003.

The Pursuit Of Happiness (commonly known 'round these parts as TPOH) with "Hard To Laugh". I couldn't find their hit "I'm An Adult Now".

Cowboy Junkies turned in this tribute to the Velvet Underground with their rendition of "Sweet Jane".

After scaring every guy on the planet with "Jagged Little Pill", Alanis Morissette turns in the sweet, "Thank You". Certain kinds 'o chicks you don't want turning up at the family dinner. She was one.

You can imagine my surprise when I found out that Arcade Fire were Canadian. I never knew. I keep getting them and Panic at the Disco confused. If they combined they could be Panic At The Arcade Fire.

Believe it or not, Nelly Furtado came into the place I work and asked to use a telephone. She wasn't like a bird. She was more like a bitc*.

*Hot Alert* *Hot Alert* *Hot Alert*

Shania Twain makes me think nasty nasty thoughts. "MAN I feel like a woman."

Celine Dion , her gigantic nose, and huge ego performs "My Heart Will Go On". I wish she woulda sank on that boat at the end of the movie...

I don't know much about Simple Plan but here they are with "Addicted".

Matthew Good had a moderate hit with "Weapon".

Another Canadian icon, the band the Rheostatics and "Stolen Car".

Our Lady Peace maintains they are innocent.

Sam Roberts standing at the Gate.

Nickelback with a good acoustic version of "Someday".

From Canada's East Coast, Great Big Sea and "Shines Right Through Me"

Sum 41 are still waiting for success.

Northern Lights was our version of "We Are The World" or "Do They Know It's Christmas?" with "Tears Are Not Enough".

The last couple of links are just bits of Canadiana, Don Cherry is a popular fixture on "Hockey Night In Canada" with his blustery politically incorrect "Coaches Corner" and can be seen here in this Quiznos commercial. My brother-in-law actually met him in an elevator, said he was pretty nice.

Molson Canadian isn't the only beer in Canada. The other popular one is Labatt's Blue . Usually ordered just by asking for a "couple 'a Blue, eh?"

And last, but not least, Canada's own ambassadors of Goodwill, eh? Bob and Doug McKenzie .

Take off, eh?

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After scaring every guy on the planet with "Jagged Little Pill", Alanis Morissette turns in the sweet, "Thank You". Certain kinds 'o chicks you don't want turning up at the family dinner. She was one.

Don't look now, Ken, but just about every woman on the planet cheered when that album came out - we've all had, are having, or will have reason to identify with it in one way or another sooner or later. :grin:

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Back in the late 80s /early 90s, when I was into the international post-hardcore / alt-core scene, one of the best bands around were the Canadian band NoMeansNo. I saw them "live" a number of times and was particularly thrilled when my own band Nerve Rack supported them at Bristol Bierkeller. (I had already been a fan of theirs for a couple of years at least, and was a bit overawed. They procured copies of our albums, but I can't remember whether they paid for them or not...) NoMeansNo have never split up and continue recording / performing today, albeit I have kind of lost touch with them.

Their records appeared on Jello Biafra's Alternative Tentacles label, but they were far from being "straightahead punk-rock". NoMeansNo were not only extremely technically competent in comparison to many of their peers, but distinguished themselves by having distinctly jazz-flavoured influences; quite unusual for the time.

For their first four years the duo music would seem to be influenced as much by jazz and progressive rock as punk rock. The musical press described their earliest recordings as "Devo on a jazz trip, Motörhead after art school or Wire on psychotic steroids."[1]

I tell you what: if you're really interested, why don't you read more about NoMeansNo here....


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Good call , BF ! :thumbsup: I saw them in Kingston , Ont. years ago and agree with you fully ! Other 'under the radar ' group were The Spoons and The Waltons ( yes .. The Waltons ) :) and Jerry Jerry and The Sons Of Rythym Orchestra .

I think Ken left out ( by oversight ) Rough Trade , who truly rocked the Casbah for awhile ! 'High School Confidential ' is still likely one of the best teenage -themed tunes around -ever !

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A great and comprehensive list, Ken!! :thumbsup:

Here are a few other Canadian bands/artists who are worthy of mention.

Blue Rodeo - Great country rock. Jim Cuddy's voice soars on great tunes like Five Days in May, Til I Am Myself Again and Trust Yourself. One of Meryl Streep's favourite bands.

Five Man Electrical Band - Tremendously underrated Candadian band which had hits like Signs, Absolutely Right and I'm A Stranger Here. Les Emmerson was the creative force behind this group.

Larry Gowan - He is now the lead singer with Styx (he sounds eerily like Dennis DeYoung), but he had a fairly successful solo career in Canada with hits like A Criminal Mind and Moonlight Desires.

Crowbar - An early 70's naughty blues/rock band whose only hit was Oh, What A Feeling.

Lighthouse - One of my favourite bands, they had a string of hits including One Fine Morning, Sunny Days, Pretty Lady and Hats Off To The Stranger. In their heyday, they were every bit as good as Chicago.

Chilliwack - Did not have a lot of commercial success outside of Canada, but they had numerous hits in The Great White North like Crazy Talk, California Girl, Watcha Gonna Do and Lonesome Mary.

The Stampeders - A great Calgary band of the late 60's and early 70's. The trio had many hits in Canada including Sweet City Woman (their one US success), Carry Me, Wild Eyes, Oh My Lady and Then Came The White Man.

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Something pretty spooky just happened...

Yesterday, I'm telling a disinterested world about NoMeansNo, my favourite pretty-much-unheard-of, absolutely-a-"minority interest" Canadian post-core jazz-punk band. This morning I have called in at my local "Community Shop", (a charity shop that ploughs its income into local community projects), essentially to deliver a donation: a bagful of used wellie-boots & walking boots. Not to look at the merchandise, as I only browsed there last week. In one of the racks of vinyl, normally populated heavily by Andy Williams, Shirley Bassey, Roger Whittaker, Paul Young, etc. (as well as Tchaicovsky, Berlioz et al), what should I see right at the front? Only NoMeansNo "Live And Cuddly" (double live album!!!) and right behind it their "Small Parts Isolated And Destroyed" album. Wild!!!

I snaffled these for 25 pence each (25p = like, one cigarette!!!), along with similarly-priced albums by The Pixies , Jane's Addiction and Siouxsie & THe Banshees.

But I just can't get over NomeansNo just appearing there like that, today of all days....

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54-40 ( grab a greatest hits ...trust me ! )

Deja Voodoo ( same )

Platinum Blonde ( not big in The US )

Ian and Sylvia Tyson

Red Ryder / and Tom Cochran

Bruce Cochburn ( once on the CIA's 'undesirables' list-like Lennon )

Skinny Puppy ( I think BF may like these guys: Bauhaus meets Kraftwerk )

The Irish Rovers ( the anti-Pogues ...well , not always )

April Wine

Corey Hart ( inadvertantly reminded us that sunglasses at night aren't cool ! )

Rene Simard ( may have brought Quebec's mothers to tears and made teenaged girls swoon , but that's about it . Our ' David Cassidy ' )

Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians ( New Year's has never been the same )

K.D Lang ( banned from Alberta , she's all NYC , now- good luck with that )


Terry Jacks

Ian Thomas

Trooper ( those crazy boys and their bright white sports car )

SNFU and The DayGlo Abortions ( two more for BF )

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Ian and Sylvia Tyson

In the late 60's I was in a folk duo called Jim and Me. We almost exclusively covered Ian and Sylvia. Four Strong Winds, In The Early Morning Rain, Someday Soon, January Morning, Red Velvet, Un Canada Errant, to name just a few of their outstanding compositions. Sylvia (Fricker) Tyson wrote You Were On My Mind, a big hit when covered by the group We Five.

No one mentioned The Guess Who. I believe they were considered a Canadian group, eh?

Jeanette MacDonald had quite a voice and was the shining star of Canada in the 1930's and 40's.

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