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October 2, 2010 9:26 PM   Subscribe

Top 100 Songs by Canadians
posted by stp123 (229 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Who the hell are Ian and Sylvia? That's Men Without Hats' spot they got.
posted by contessa at 9:28 PM on October 2, 2010


And 4 of them aren't by Rush!
posted by empath at 9:32 PM on October 2, 2010 [5 favorites]


Are we sure this is Canadian? It seems awfully boastful for Canadians.
(plus Canadians would know to rank The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald higher than #15)
posted by .kobayashi. at 9:33 PM on October 2, 2010 [6 favorites]


So why is it The Guess Who the first time and just Guess Who the rest?
posted by ODiV at 9:33 PM on October 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


What's with the post title? Celine is there. Sarah McLachlan, however, is not. The list appears to be as incorrect as the title of this post.

Seriously, "You Oughta Know" is on the list but nothing from Fumbling? Get out, eh.

oh god i'm doing that thing aren't i
posted by Mikey-San at 9:34 PM on October 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


Where? Ah, #70. I must have willfully missed it.
posted by stp123 at 9:36 PM on October 2, 2010


I can never figure out why Neil Young is stilled considered to be a Canadian (or James Cameron, for that matter).
posted by KokuRyu at 9:37 PM on October 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Kee-rist -- for once and for all, Hallelujah wasn't Leonard's best song. It wasn't even the best song on the album. GRARR.
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:39 PM on October 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


Stan Rogers isn't included. There should have been room for either "Northwest Passage" or "Barrett's Privateers", at the very least. Automatic FAIL.
posted by e-man at 9:43 PM on October 2, 2010 [18 favorites]


Coincidentally, 2/3 of the bands in that list have been members of Broken Social Scene at some point...
posted by schmod at 9:45 PM on October 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


1. The Guess Who — American Woman

one of the most obnoxious singles ever done

2. Neil Young — Heart Of Gold

seriously - are they saying this is the best song neil's ever done?

92. Mashmakhan — As The Years Go By

oh, barf

Who the hell are Ian and Sylvia?

it's a well known song - although i really like neil young's cover of it
posted by pyramid termite at 9:49 PM on October 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hmm. A few nice tunes I haven't thought about in awhile. Best of? Nah.

Also, I probably would have discovered a lot sooner that I liked some of Tom Cochrane's stuff if it weren't for Life is a Highway.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 9:49 PM on October 2, 2010


I vote for the tragically hip to fall off the list, replace with whatever you'd like, but make them go away please.
posted by addelburgh at 9:50 PM on October 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


This music is Ey plus. Ey?
posted by twoleftfeet at 9:51 PM on October 2, 2010


whoops - ian and sylvia's version
posted by pyramid termite at 9:51 PM on October 2, 2010


This is sloppy and lame. Very arbitrary, almost random, really. And no links of any kind? Not even to the more obscure artists listed?

Thin stuff.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:52 PM on October 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


You have to go back to the main Entertainment page to learn that the list came from the book, The Top 100 Canadian Singles, by Bob Mersereau. And even that didn't have any other links. That's all, just a dump of the book's picks. That paper really doesn't get the internet.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 9:55 PM on October 2, 2010


Predictable as phoque, but Lindbergh made the list, so I won't bitch too much.
posted by maudlin at 9:55 PM on October 2, 2010


I can never figure out why Neil Young is stilled considered to be a Canadian

Why not? It's not like he gave up his citizenship or anything
posted by Throw away your common sense and get an afro! at 9:56 PM on October 2, 2010


wait, Bryan Adams in the top 5? that Canadian reefer is pretty good, eh?
posted by TrialByMedia at 9:57 PM on October 2, 2010


Not even to the more obscure artists listed?

DOA should be on the list, as should Paul Hyde and the Payolas. Dayglo Abortions and Skinny Puppy, too. What about Eric's Trip? Or Neko Case (our honourary Canadian)? Godspeed You Black Emperor. And these are hardly obscure artists; each are iconic in their own way just as much as the folks on the list.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:58 PM on October 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


>Why not? It's not like he gave up his citizenship or anything

The guy has lived on a ranch in California, and has written songs about American issues, for the past forty years.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:59 PM on October 2, 2010


This awesomeness of voices like Doug's.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 10:01 PM on October 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


addelburgh: "I vote for the tragically hip to fall off the list, replace with whatever you'd like, but make them go away please"

Are you joking? The Tragically Hip is freaking brilliant.
posted by bwg at 10:05 PM on October 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Too much from flavour of the month Arcade Fire and not enough Tragically Hip or Gord Downie; Letter From An Occupant should be much higher than 90; and never mind all of the amazing music being made by contemporary Canadian bands, nothing from Kate & Anna McGarrigle? Sacre mère!
posted by Flashman at 10:06 PM on October 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sloan — Underwhelmed

Not a fan of ther band. But it sums up my impression of that list.
Is Canada doomed to be a diet redneck nation?

Where is Skinny Puppy?!
posted by ogallalaknowhow at 10:07 PM on October 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Underwhelmed that Underwhelmed by Sloan outranked other Sloan songs.
posted by furtive at 10:08 PM on October 2, 2010 [6 favorites]


I gotta go with KokoRyu. Knowing what's best for someone else's country is pretty American.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:08 PM on October 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Terry Jacks? Who put this list together? The guy who programs the background music at the Canadian Tire store in Gananoque?

Grarr indeed!

No Mary Margaret O'Hara?
No Doug and the Slugs?
No Jane Siberry?
No Sarah McLachlan?

I should write a sternly worded letter to the Montreal Gazette telling them how shocked and appalled I am by this list! Where's my double-double?
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 10:08 PM on October 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


Who the hell are Ian and Sylvia?

You're not from out west, are ya?
posted by furtive at 10:10 PM on October 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


How can this list not include Godspeed You! Black Emperor or Broken Social Scene. I mean really.
posted by naju at 10:11 PM on October 2, 2010


Yay! April Wine!

God, I hate them.

If I'd done the list it would have just been Neil Young, The Band, and Rush.
posted by marxchivist at 10:11 PM on October 2, 2010


If I'd done the list it would have just been Neil Young, The Band, and Rush.

no - the tragically hip MUST be on this list
posted by pyramid termite at 10:14 PM on October 2, 2010


i'm kind of surprised that shania twain's not on this list - although i'm not into her
posted by pyramid termite at 10:16 PM on October 2, 2010


Who the hell are Ian and Sylvia?

I can't tell if you're kidding or not. Ian and Sylvia Tyson.

And yeah, putting Hallelujah above Suzanne is insanity.

the Payolas

They've got Eyes of a Stranger at 75.

Underwhelmed that Underwhelmed by Sloan outranked other Sloan songs.

I dated the girl Underwhelmed is written about. Deeper Than Beauty is her as well. I wrote this about her almost 10 years ago. She's pretty awesome. And yes, her spelling's atrocious.
posted by dobbs at 10:17 PM on October 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


Jesus Crap. Look, I know these lists are made to suck, but this one is really insanely sucky.

Before this gets deleted, I want to point out, yet again, how incredibly and sickeningly narrow peoples' tastes seem to have become. Leonard Cohen is great, but they're not even picking one of his best tunes, and everybody who knows him knows that. Also, every single thing on this list runs from folk to rock music - nothing else, which is pretty boring, frankly.

For example, this song by Canada's greatest jazz musician (and the frontrunner for Canada's greatest composer) should be number one on this list. That's a damned important song (a song dedicated to, and adopted by, the civil rights movement) and a damned good one. But I'm willing to bet the guy who wrote this stupid list hasn't even heard of him.
posted by koeselitz at 10:20 PM on October 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Where's Lenny Breau?

Why does Gilles Vigneault's Mon Pays only show up at 88 but Les Gens de Mon Pays not show up at all even though it's sung by every single Quebecer at their birthday?

This is just embarassing.
posted by furtive at 10:22 PM on October 2, 2010


I can't tell if you're kidding or not. Ian and Sylvia Tyson.

I am really not kidding.
posted by contessa at 10:23 PM on October 2, 2010


This list is truly made of fail.

No Helpless??
posted by dry white toast at 10:27 PM on October 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Maybe it's crappy associated memories, maybe it's Gordons voice, maybe my taste in music just isn't that great. I dunno, but the tragically hip really grind my gears.
posted by addelburgh at 10:32 PM on October 2, 2010


While we're at it, where the fuck are Ritchie Hawtin and Hank Snow? Basically the message seems to be that if you're a musician in anything besides rock and roll and maybe folk, you can fuck off, because you don't belong on this idiotic list.
posted by koeselitz at 10:32 PM on October 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wikipedia's list of Canadian musicians
posted by koeselitz at 10:35 PM on October 2, 2010


I haven't lived in Montreal going on three years but this sounds like a Sunday playlist for CHOM FM.
posted by furtive at 10:35 PM on October 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Where's the old Hockey Night in Canada theme song? Surely that wasn't imported.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:37 PM on October 2, 2010


the haunted - 1-2-5

i'm not going to claim it's one of the top 100 canadian songs - but it beats the shit out of terry jacks and is a great garage rock track
posted by pyramid termite at 10:38 PM on October 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


Needs more Bran Van 3000.
posted by dontoine at 10:38 PM on October 2, 2010 [7 favorites]


Leonard Cohen is great, but they're not even picking one of his best tunes, and everybody who knows him knows that.

I have almost every Leonard Cohen album, and I think it's one of his best tunes (although I prefer the original lyrics).

Not that that prevents the list from sucking donkey balls through a bendy straw or anything. "American Woman"? "Taking Care of Business"? Jesus.

Good call on Ian & Sylvia, though. But then, higher than Joni Mitchell, even with the relatively weak "Big Yellow Taxi"? Jesus. Again.
posted by doubtfulpalace at 10:39 PM on October 2, 2010


Yeah, and apparently "Big Yellow Taxi" is better than anything off of "Blue." For which opinion someone should be punched in the knee.
posted by koeselitz at 10:40 PM on October 2, 2010


No Propaghandi? No Fucked Up? No Dayglo Abortions? No Skinny Puppy? No DOA? No list of Canadian artists is complete without Joey Shithead!

Also: who the hell is Sloan?

And I am ashamed to admit that I did not know that Hank Snow was Canadian.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:42 PM on October 2, 2010 [6 favorites]


On the plus side, no Nickelback.
posted by pised at 10:46 PM on October 2, 2010 [13 favorites]


No Fucked Up and no King Khan.

Boo.
posted by bardic at 10:50 PM on October 2, 2010


Yeah, this list sucks.

Then again, most suggestions people have here suck too.

I am just glad Our Lady Peace is nowhere to be found on the list. I am horrified "The Safety Dance" made it to the list, or that such a song was ever released.

If even half of these songs deserve to be in the top 100 Canadian songs, we Canadians are in serious trouble.

I mean, Malajube? Seriously?
posted by TheyCallItPeace at 10:53 PM on October 2, 2010


This is sloppy and lame. Very arbitrary, almost random, really. And no links of any kind? Not even to the more obscure artists listed?

Thin stuff.


All due respect, but this is a list compiled by Postmedia News. Postmedia News is the syndication service run by the Postmedia chain of newspapers, which were until recently the CanWest newspapers run by the awesomely out-of-touch Aspers, who'd bought the chain from Conrad Black, who wears his utter contempt for any culture produced after the fall of the Hapsburgs as a badge of honour.

For our American cousins, this is like if the op-ed editors at the Wall Street Journal decided to join whoever was on the entertainment desk at USA Today and/or the syndication desk at McClatchy this weekend to dash off a random list of the best people we don't care about doing something we've never understood to fill the space between the Roger Ebert review and the New York Times bestseller list plucked off the wire to fill page Y6 in the "Weekned TV Listings & Living & An Artist or Two to Namedrop in Lieu of More Lindsay Lohan Gossip" section of the St. Anywhere Daily Regurgitator. To be true to its authors, the list should've had Bryan Adams, Celine Dion and Nickelback alternating spots for whole Top 20.

Thin? At the source, this gruel passes for gravy, friend.
posted by gompa at 10:54 PM on October 2, 2010 [12 favorites]


Three Gordon Lightfoots in the Top 20? Yes! As probably the only Southern Californian to buy the "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" single (yes, I'm weird, and was even weirder when I was 20), I felt vindicated. Then I saw Terry Jacks on the list and realized the listmakers were nuts. Damn.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:55 PM on October 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


At least the list included Gordon Lightfoot, but unfortunately failed to disinclude Anne Murray. And where are Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians, for christssake?
posted by motown missile at 11:00 PM on October 2, 2010


Also: who the hell is Sloan?

A power-pop group out of Halifax and one of the half-dozen best Canadian indie bands of the 1990s. Never really broke outside of Canada, but at home they occupy a space that sort of combines the ones occupied in the US by Guided by Voices and Smashing Pumpkins in the Indie Pantheon.
posted by gompa at 11:07 PM on October 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Needs more Doug and the Slugs, as people have already mentioned.
posted by Dreamcast at 11:12 PM on October 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


unfortunately failed to disinclude Anne Murray

I'll take "Snowbird" over "American Woman" or "Taking Care of Business" in a Toronto minute.
posted by doubtfulpalace at 11:13 PM on October 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


Echo Beach isn't even the best Martha and the Muffins song!

I've been waiting a long time to say that.
posted by klangklangston at 11:18 PM on October 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


Can we please, please, please, please, please once and for all declare Bryan Adams officially, I don't know, Hungarian or something?

And, I mean, it's nice of them to give a nod to Quebec, but Harmonium? Ew, no. Voivod!
posted by Sys Rq at 11:21 PM on October 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Funniest part for me is that we're under the tab for 'story' from the get go ... yet there's no story? Like, I'd at least enjoy an explanation of whether this was voted on by readers, or decided by parliament, or a cabal of french speaking space aliens ... c'mon gazette, context! CONTEXT!
posted by mannequito at 11:35 PM on October 2, 2010


Can we please, please, please, please, please once and for all declare Bryan Adams officially, I don't know, Hungarian or something?

If it makes you feel better, in Vancouver we think of West Vancouver as another country!
posted by mannequito at 11:36 PM on October 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Heh, on the way from Winnipeg to Seattle this summer there was one of these on the radio.

Me cheesehead wife was moved to nostalgic tears at some of the anthems of her youth. It was fun.

"The Admiral and Tenille" and "Credence Hydro Revival" were my favorites.
posted by vapidave at 11:36 PM on October 2, 2010


So is the guy who compiled the list a Canuck?

And if he is, can we rescind his citizenship?
posted by five fresh fish at 11:40 PM on October 2, 2010


Robin Sparkles - Let's Go To The Mall

This glaring omission is an outrage, I tell you.
posted by cgomez at 11:43 PM on October 2, 2010 [7 favorites]


wait, Bryan Adams in the top 5?

Summer of 69 is truly an awful piece of aural sculpture, but it would hard to come up with anything better from Mr. Adams, a man who managed to master the craft of songwriting without ever actually learning to love, or even like, music. I'd be embarrassed to present a list including any song by the man to even my pets.

Dire. Even if there are some darned good songs on the list. They're being used to prop up the excrement, give it some measure of credibility.

And for what it's worth, Bryan Adams may currently live in West Van but he lived and went to high school in North Van. Argyle sucks.
posted by philip-random at 11:46 PM on October 2, 2010


This glaring omission is an outrage, I tell you.

The Glaring Omissions... that was a Canadian band, right?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:48 PM on October 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think this is the context, FWIW. You can buy the book! The shitty, shitty book!
posted by Sys Rq at 11:49 PM on October 2, 2010


Summer of 69 is truly an awful piece of aural sculpture, but it would hard to come up with anything better from Mr. Adams

Hey, now! He did, after all promise to DIE FOR YOU in "Everything I Do (I Do It for You)." That's something to look forward to!
posted by Sys Rq at 11:55 PM on October 2, 2010


And there I was thinking I was the only person who still remembered Jean LeLoup.
posted by MuffinMan at 12:09 AM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I loathe "Seasons in the Sun", but I don't mind some of Terry Jacks' songs; "Christina" is my favorite, and "Concrete Sea" isn't too bad. Would've like to seen Joey Gregorash on the list; I've always loved "Jodie."
posted by Oriole Adams at 12:09 AM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


A lot of the performers included in that list are really Canadian but then here's Alanis Morissette, pretty much a regular person; who'd have guessed?
posted by dancestoblue at 12:19 AM on October 3, 2010


I love how number 1 is "American Woman." That's the Commonwealth Cultural Cringe in action!

Hey, now! He did, after all promise to DIE FOR YOU in "Everything I Do (I Do It for You)." That's something to look forward to!

James Taylor issues an update on "the friendship promise."
posted by No-sword at 12:21 AM on October 3, 2010


I dunno, I always liked Bryan Adams' Fits Ya Good.
posted by bwg at 12:29 AM on October 3, 2010


I love how number 1 is "American Woman." That's the Commonwealth Cultural Cringe in action!

Um, you do know that's an anti-American anthem, right? (Someone ought to break it gently to Lenny Kravitz.)
posted by Sys Rq at 12:36 AM on October 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


OK, I just lost 2 hours of my life listening to every Sloan track on YouTube and being 14 again.
posted by LMGM at 12:47 AM on October 3, 2010


What, no Slow? Give me a break.

Much Music airs that video one time in 1991 out of the blue and somehow everyone who's anyone caught it and was talking about it the next day.

You see, kids, back in the olden days if you wanted to see a particular music video your only option was to park your ass in front of the TV and watch Much Music for hours and hours at a time and hope your video would come up. So that's what we all did, everyday, and invariably you'd always end up catching some cool stuff you weren't expecting.
posted by i_have_a_computer at 12:52 AM on October 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


So is the guy who compiled the list a Canuck?

And if he is, can we rescind his citizenship?


I believe that the aforementioned omission of Stan Rogers from the list pretty much demands it.
posted by louche mustachio at 1:17 AM on October 3, 2010


You see, kids, back in the olden days if you wanted to see a particular music video your only option was to park your ass in front of the TV and watch Much Music for hours and hours at a time and hope your video would come up.

The day cycle would be repeated 12 hours later, so if you saw a great video over the lunch hour, you could sit there at 12:30am or whenever with the record+pause on, ready to un-pause, and capture that awesome video to videotape.

OK, I just lost 2 hours of my life listening to every Sloan track on YouTube and being 14 again.

Fucking hell, dude.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 1:31 AM on October 3, 2010


What about Dan Hill:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5oisxiEH3FA
He didn't write or compose it but whatevs.
posted by coolxcool=rad at 1:34 AM on October 3, 2010


Three off of the top of my head... Subhumans - Fuck You (audio only), Young Canadians - Hawaii, and the mighty DOA doing World War 3.
posted by Zack_Replica at 2:16 AM on October 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


Shrugs. I can never see the point of these lists. "Top 100 Songs By People Who Have Blue Eyes And Own A Pair Of Converse Sneakers" would be just as valid (whatever that means) or pointless.
posted by MajorDundee at 3:01 AM on October 3, 2010


No Godspeed you Black Emperor? For shame. And isn't Rufus Wainwright Canadian? What about Kate & Anna McGarrigle?
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:07 AM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


South Park: "Now now, the Canadian Government has already apologies for Brian Adams on several occassions"
posted by russmaxdesign at 3:16 AM on October 3, 2010


No Cowboy Junkies? No Caribou?

New Pornographers only at 90?

Echoing no Godspeed and Broken Social Scene.

I'm not a massive Cohen fan but I do like Hallelujah a lot, even if it maybe isn't his best song. But I had one of my best ever live experiences watching him play that to a 20-something festival crowd: everyone was singing it, but really really quietly and respectfully, so as not to drown him out. It was a beautiful moment. So for that alone, I'm happy to see it up there.
posted by Infinite Jest at 3:18 AM on October 3, 2010


Echoing "no Cowboy Junkies? No Manitoba Caribou?"

And The Trinity Session (Cowboy Junkies) would have to be the favourite album of anybody who has ever heard it. Lou Reed himself said that their version of Sweet Jane was the best ever.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:52 AM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


A shocking lack of Canadian country and the list still is eastern centric.
posted by PinkMoose at 4:02 AM on October 3, 2010


Where is Anvil?

Horrible list.
posted by SpannerX at 4:24 AM on October 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Is Rufus Wainwright considered Canadian? If so... why the shit is he not on this list?
posted by Xere at 4:38 AM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is Rufus Wainwright considered Canadian? If so... why the shit is he not on this list?

He is very Canadian and that is puzzling. Also, this list is shit. I feel that Canadians have been improperly represented on this list. Here you go.
posted by Fizz at 4:41 AM on October 3, 2010


And also this.
posted by Fizz at 4:42 AM on October 3, 2010


Okay, so Good Day. Our topic today is music.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:53 AM on October 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


What, no Triumph, nor Saga?
posted by readyfreddy at 5:25 AM on October 3, 2010


I love how number 1 is "American Woman." That's the Commonwealth Cultural Cringe in action!

Um, aren't Canadians "Americans"? I'm so confused.
posted by readyfreddy at 5:29 AM on October 3, 2010


Hey, Tired of Waking Up Tired and High School Confidential made the top 30, so...some redeeming aspects (too bad Cherry Beach Express didn't make the list).

Wait...Maestro Fresh Wes came in above Arcade Fire? Could they think of no other Canadian hip hop? Did he write this list?



For Americans and others: it would be like ranking Tone Loc above Nirvana on a list of greatest American musicians.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:31 AM on October 3, 2010


Seriously, I'm surprised they didn't put Organized Rhyme somewhere on here.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:44 AM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh my Lord! The Kings "Beat Goes On/Switching to Glide"?!?! The creator of this list is obviously in his mid-40s, and still stuck in highschool.

Of the Tragically Hip songs, I would have moved Wheat Kings up a lot higher, and where are the Weakerthans?
posted by djfiander at 6:00 AM on October 3, 2010


"if you're a musician in anything besides rock and roll and maybe folk, you can fuck off"

Coincidentally, that's been my working motto for years. And as a matter of fact, your favourite band/singer does suck.

Lists like these are pretty much useless, yes, but they do generate a lot of entertaining "GRAR!"-type arguments.
posted by spoobnooble at 6:06 AM on October 3, 2010



And yes, "Beat Goes On/Switching to Glide" by The Kings is indeed made of pure awesome. But "Have Not Been The Same" by Slow should have been on this list, too.


/I can feel the GRAR flowing through my veins right now... feels good...

posted by spoobnooble at 6:09 AM on October 3, 2010


How could you rank "American Woman" over "Summer of 69" and every song by Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Arcade Fire, and the New Pornographers?!
posted by John Cohen at 6:47 AM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


As a Guess Who fan from, well, their beginning, I approve of this list.
posted by tommasz at 6:53 AM on October 3, 2010


No Triumph?
posted by jonmc at 6:58 AM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's also a little silly to list a second Bryan Adams song -- "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" -- at 63, and have the only New Pornographers song ("Letter to an Occupant") at 90. The New Pornographers have plenty of songs that are better than "Everything I Do" (to put it mildly), but the person compiling the list was probably more familiar with Bryan Adams and just threw in the New Pornographers at the end to satisfy the indie crowd.
posted by John Cohen at 6:58 AM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


One kd lang song - ooohhh I wonder what that might be?
posted by ntrifle at 7:02 AM on October 3, 2010


No DOA?

Heh. I was going to say the same along with where's the 54-40, Skinny Puppy, Front Line Assembly, No Means No, Sons of Freedom ...
posted by squeak at 7:05 AM on October 3, 2010


(Seriously, Triumph are some heavy shit up in Canuckistan. When I was 17, my family visited Quebec City for a few days. After dinner one night, they left us kids to roam free. I wandered into this rocker/biker bar called L'Arlequin IIRC, and ordred a LaBatt's. There was a big video screen on one wall playing all the usual suspects: Kiss, AC/DC, Ozzy...then Triumph's "Follow Your Heart"" came on and the place went apeshit; people jumping up and down, shouting out the words, banging their heads. I dug Triumph, but my friend Frank was a fanatic and this story warmed his fucking cockles.

Years later, I told this story to a Canadian raised friend and MeFite, who said "Oh yeah, those guys never have to pay for their own drinks in Canada again." He said the same was true fro April Wine and Max Webster. Our Neighbor To The North takes good care of her mullet-rockers.)
posted by jonmc at 7:13 AM on October 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Damn you, Metafilter. Now I have "Run to You" jammed firmly in my head. I thought nothing could make this hangover worse; boy was I wrong.
posted by Go Banana at 7:16 AM on October 3, 2010


Go Banana: I don't mind Bryan Adams (In fact I prefer him to Ryan Adams), but I do hate that song. "Take Me Back" is better.
posted by jonmc at 7:21 AM on October 3, 2010


the Payolas

They've got Eyes of a Stranger at 75.


"A Place Like This" is better.
posted by jonmc at 7:29 AM on October 3, 2010


Alternatively: 50 Tracks: The Canadian Version "was a Canadian radio series, which aired across Canada on CBC Radio One in 2005. The show, hosted by Jian Ghomeshi, was a competition to determine the 50 most essential songs in English language Canadian pop music history.

The list addresses many of the shortcomings pointed out in this thread though only being 50 songs I'm sure it a) doesn't get them all and b) introduces a few more. I like however how they called them the essential songs rather than best. I'd love for someone(s) to bring out a 34 hours of essential Canadian music compliation/list; 300-600 would be just about right.
posted by Mitheral at 7:35 AM on October 3, 2010


"Oh yeah, those guys never have to pay for their own drinks in Canada again."
Socialism.
posted by Wolfdog at 7:35 AM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


What, no MacLean & MacLean?

Dildo Dawn (nsfw)
posted by jeffmik at 7:36 AM on October 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Top five places should go to Sylvia Tyson (also known as Sylvia Fricker) of Ian and Sylvia, who wrote "You Were on My Mind" (We Five, remember?), "Someday Soon" (huge hit for Judy Collins), "River Road" (giant smash for Crystal Gayle), "Truckers Cafe", "Denim Blue Eyes" and many more. This woman has as many bull's eyes as Joni Mitchell, but is way underappreciated.
posted by Faze at 7:36 AM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


No Means No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Victoria representin'!
posted by KokuRyu at 7:40 AM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


and the omission of Jack Scott's "Goodbye Baby" is downright criminal.
posted by jonmc at 7:45 AM on October 3, 2010


April Wine : I like to rock

(i dig the "ticket to ride" riff against the "satisfaction" riff)

Triumph: Fight the good Fight

(i post this anytime it's appropriate.)
posted by wittgenstein at 8:15 AM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


No Simply Saucer.
posted by ovvl at 8:16 AM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]



The Tea Party's not on the list, but Parachute Club is.

The hell?

(On the plus side, I just made my Canadian spouse's brain explode by playing a Parachute Club song on YouTube and then trying to act like I wasn't doing anything out of the ordinary. And that was a WIN.)
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 8:23 AM on October 3, 2010


No Mr Tambourine Man?
posted by BrotherCaine at 8:33 AM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, if we're going to bring Triumph into it, I've always had a soft spot for We're Here for a Good Time, even before Rick Mercer and 22 Minutes briefly used the Internet for good, not evil.

(The video is awful quality, but the song and the Mercer clips seem to have been ruthlessly scrubbed from just about every public area of the Net.)
posted by maudlin at 8:34 AM on October 3, 2010


Just coming in to say I was at a bar on Thursday, and who did I see there there? None other than Les Emmerson--see #38.
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 8:35 AM on October 3, 2010


No Great Big Sea. Suggest "When I'm Up (I Can't Get Down)" or "Sea of No Cares."

Summer of 69 is truly an awful piece of aural sculpture, but it would hard to come up with anything better from Mr. Adams

"Lonely Nights," "Straight From the Heart," and "Cuts Like a Knife" are all better than "Summer of '69." Also, Bryan Adams was 10 in 1969. I doubt he was actually in a band.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:55 AM on October 3, 2010


No Max Webster. Shameful.
posted by davebush at 9:13 AM on October 3, 2010


How is it possible that there are only two of us in this thread upset that the Weakerthans are not on this list? I always assumed they were Canada's favourite band. I guess I am mistaking "Canada" for "my".

On the plus side, I'll take the "no Nickelback" victory, as pointed out by Pised.
posted by just_ducky at 9:17 AM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm more surprised by the comments in this thread than by the list itself. Are you honestly surprised that [insert band here] wasn't included? It's a list of *singles* from a mainstream publication. It's going to include mostly mainstream commercial radio playlist fodder, and be heavy on the "classic rock". You shouldn't expect anything less or more.
Besides, the fact that your favourite band don't make lists like this is 80% of the reason you like them.
posted by rocket88 at 9:20 AM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Suggest "When I'm Up (I Can't Get Down)"

Their version kicks, but it's not their song (cf writing credits and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oysterband).

And Max Webster does not get enough respect.
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 9:38 AM on October 3, 2010


Holy crap. Men Without Hats are Canadian?!
posted by punkfloyd at 9:53 AM on October 3, 2010


I'm glad the Canadian late 70's punk contingent got nods with The Diodes and The Demics. They were just a small part of an large and awesome music scene up here.
posted by rocket88 at 9:54 AM on October 3, 2010


Another flashback: Summer Of '69 Jokes Send Adams Into Therapy.
posted by gimonca at 9:59 AM on October 3, 2010


No Peter Francix Quinlan? No Wonderful Grand Band*? No Dick Nolan? No Harry Hibbs?

*Yeah yeah, Ron Hynes is in there, I know, just riffin' here
posted by hangashore at 9:59 AM on October 3, 2010


kirkaracha: "Also, Bryan Adams was 10 in 1969. I doubt he was actually in a band"

I bet Adam Ant wasn't a highwayman either, but - you know - songwriting and all that...

"Summer of 69" is a terrific rock and roll song... Not everything has to be "worthy" and "heartfelt" - sometimes we can just have a good time!
posted by benzo8 at 10:03 AM on October 3, 2010


i could make the argument that summer of 69 was the second best canadian song about oral sex, but it's b/w that and chelsea hotel no. 2...
posted by PinkMoose at 10:47 AM on October 3, 2010


4. Bryan Adams — Summer of '69

No
posted by stargell at 11:17 AM on October 3, 2010


"Lonely Nights," "Straight From the Heart," and "Cuts Like a Knife" are all better than "Summer of '69."

and "Take Me Back!"
posted by jonmc at 11:22 AM on October 3, 2010


What no Recess Monkeys?
posted by stargell at 11:24 AM on October 3, 2010


Well, that was arbitrary.
posted by orange swan at 11:39 AM on October 3, 2010


How could you rank "American Woman" over "Summer of 69" and every song by Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Arcade Fire, and the New Pornographers?!

John Cohen, what the hell are you doing including Bryan Adams with Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Arcade Fire, and the New Pornographers?

"Summer of 69" is a terrific rock and roll song...

No it ain't. Trust me. I've been alive forever (or at least as long as I remember) and at no time has this dumb, dumb, dumb song about ....? (oral sex? doubtful. Being 9 years old living in North Van, being in a band? pretending you were ten years older being in a band?) ever mattered. Why? Because it's not about anything (other than selling records), just like every other Bryan Adams song, because as I suggested earlier, the guy has no love for music, no passion, just a facility for it.

As I heard it put once back in the day, Bryan Adams is to Bruce Springsteen what White Snake is to Led Zeppelin, what Hermans Hermits were to the Beatles, what Ronald Reagan is to John Wayne -- the word is, unnecessary, and as some deeply serious French intellectual chainsmoking Gitannes once commented, "That which is evil is that which is unnecessary."

[rant over]

Except to say that I could actually find a little love for this list if it included this particular Bryan Guy Adams song, but not in the Top 5.
posted by philip-random at 11:44 AM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


... and ummm, wasn't it The Wreck Of The Gordon Lightfoot, by Edmund Fitzgerald?
posted by philip-random at 11:48 AM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


What about Gino Vannelli? Both "Livin' Inside Myself" and "I Just Wanna Stop" were top hits. FAIL.
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 11:57 AM on October 3, 2010


Canadians on a rampage; who knew :D
posted by liza at 11:59 AM on October 3, 2010


How is it possible that there are only two of us in this thread upset that the Weakerthans are not on this list? I always assumed they were Canada's favourite band. I guess I am mistaking "Canada" for "my".

I'm with you, dude - "One Great City!" is the unofficial municipal anthem of every city on the prairie, and "Left and Leaving" and "Civil Twilight" are two of the best-crafted pop songs you'll find anywhere in the past decade - but the Weakerthans are just one of so many glaring omissions it ain't even worth listing 'em. I mean, note that the category, as described, doesn't specify genre at all, and yet there's no Oscar Peterson, no Glenn Gould, no Ashley MacIsaac or anything else from Cape Breton's vibrant folk tradition, etc., etc..

See my post above about the nature of the source. This thing was compiled with all the care of a minor inside-page feature in the weekend Wheels supplement.
posted by gompa at 12:02 PM on October 3, 2010


What about Chilliwack? Platinum Blonde? The Spoons?

What about "All We Are" by Kim Mitchell?

Nah, now I'm just trying to be a shit-disturber.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:03 PM on October 3, 2010


Hell, what about Aldo Nova?
posted by jonmc at 12:03 PM on October 3, 2010


And while we're on the subject, I'd like to nominate Joel Plaskett's "Through & Through & Through" as Best Canadian Song of Right About Now.

All the dirty blonds playing blue-eyed soul / You won't hear our songs on the radio . . .
posted by gompa at 12:12 PM on October 3, 2010


philip-random: "No it ain't. Trust me."

I take it Bryan Adams once shit on your cornflakes. Still, I point you to your own Guiding Principle...
posted by benzo8 at 12:14 PM on October 3, 2010


cgomez: “This glaring omission is an outrage, I tell you.”

Well, that's it. You just won the thread.
posted by koeselitz at 12:32 PM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


When I saw this list my first thought was, "This guy must be old." 70's pop rock > 80's pop rock > 90's pop rock with the smallest indication that anything good came out of this country in the past decade.

Someone like the Polaris committee needs to do their own list. That would at least be worth talking about.
posted by thecjm at 12:34 PM on October 3, 2010


Also, I am saddened that no one has mentioned Avril yet.
posted by koeselitz at 12:34 PM on October 3, 2010


At least there's no Nickleback.
posted by bonobothegreat at 12:35 PM on October 3, 2010


Also, I am saddened that no one has mentioned Avril yet.

It took me seven years and a visit to a specialist in Sweden to finally dislodge that fucking "Complicated" earworm. They call it debjornology there, after that dude in ABBA. Anyway, my final treatment was just a month ago. I'd been blessedly Avril free for long enough I could risk going out in public again. I could even bump into Cher's "Believe" without a relapse.

And now? And now? You fall and you crawl and you break and you take . . . hiccuping round and round in my head again, like some drunken tween Wrath of Khan parasite.

You son of a bitch.
posted by gompa at 12:43 PM on October 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


Ha! Someone should have told you what they told me, gompa: there's an alternative treatment for the "Complicated" earworm. Make others feel your pain.
posted by koeselitz at 12:56 PM on October 3, 2010


philip-random: "No it ain't. Trust me."

I take it Bryan Adams once shit on your cornflakes. Still, I point you to your own Guiding Principle...
posted by benzo8 at 12:14 PM on October 3 [+] [!]


What guiding principle exactly?

As for the cornflakes + shit, I catch your drift. My issue with Mr. Adams is at least slightly personal. We're both from same basic geography, same basic age, so though I've never actually met him, the degrees of separation are not long. So yeah, I've heard a few things, and more to the point, borne witness. Can't go into details here because it's the kind of thing that would get lawyers involved but let's just say, where there's stink, there's inevitably shit.

Of course, there's a lot of shit in a band like Led Zeppelin's back story, too, but I still love them pretty much unconditionally. So whatever disregard I may have for Mr. Adams' music, though it might be flavored by some his associations, it ultimately comes from the music itself. I do think he's a master of pop-rock form, a prodigy even. I don't think there's any substance to any of it; that is, no soul, no experience, no personal investigations, no style even. It's just empty surface, which let's face it, works fine if you all you want from your pop-rock is something to hang in the background on your fave rock radio station, filling time between commercials.

But if you actually care about culture, humanity, genuine communication between people of genuine hopes, feelings, experiences, insights --- the music of Bryan Adams (the sheer ubiquity of it in the ongoing, unavoidable, corporate media onslaught that was everyday life in the 1980s, particularly in Mr Adams hometown), well it becomes a repeated kick in the face (shit in the cornflakes).

So yeah, I was there. I suffered the pain. I remember. I may forgive but I won't forget. And part of the not forgetting is doing my bit to sway the ongoing cultural argument in the direction of NOT allowing this guy's dreck to be accorded any respect on the historical record.

I mean take his four songs off the list and you've got room for DOA, Black Mountain, The Evaporators and Sons Of Freedom -- now there's four Vancouver bands it's very easy to respect.
posted by philip-random at 1:14 PM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


While this list is grating in its predictability and blehness, it has sparked an interesting conversation with some great suggestions, which is generally the best result this sort of thing can do. That said, LEAVE BRYAN ADAMS ALONE!1!

I can never figure out why Neil Young is stilled considered to be a Canadian [...] Or Neko Case (our honourary Canadian)?

While I am not one of those Canadians who desperately need to claim countrymen who've found success in the south, Young was a young man, already pretty experienced and artistically well-formed by the time he went to the States. No doubt he developed and was influenced further, but saying he's a Canadian artist isn't the same as those knobs who crow that 'Didja know Superman was made up by a Canadian?!'. Those people totally deserve a throatpunch.

Also, Neko Case annoys me. Taking her but leaving Neil? Give your head a shake, man.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:34 PM on October 3, 2010


Ian and Sylvia also wrote and recorded "That's What You Get For Lovin' Me" and "You Were On My Mind." Their cover of Gordon Lightfoot's "Early Morning Rain" was released a year before his own version, and made him famous as a songwriter.
posted by tzikeh at 1:48 PM on October 3, 2010


"Lonely Nights," "Straight From the Heart," and "Cuts Like a Knife" are all better than "Summer of '69." Also, Bryan Adams was 10 in 1969. I doubt he was actually in a band.

Heaven forbid that an artist should ever take on a character other than himself.

Anyway, I think "Summer of '69" is a pretty great song, so I'll check out the other ones you mentioned to see if I like them even better.
posted by John Cohen at 1:59 PM on October 3, 2010


philip-random: "What guiding principle exactly?"

The one on your user page, under the title: "GUIDING PRINCIPLE"...

You've appealed to your own authority a couple of times in this thread, so I feel free to do the same. I am a musician, and for many years, a performer. A regular part of my set has been "The Summer of 69" by Bryan Adams and I can attest to the reactions I get from the audience when singing it - it most definitely reaches and connects with people and each for their own personal reasons. No matter how much you claim the song has never meant anything, you are wrong - it has just never meant anything to you. That's your prerogative, of course, but you're swimming against the stream and misunderstanding rock and roll to boot.

And as a song-writer and composer, I can also attest that it is a perfectly written rock and roll song - and for that it doesn't need to be complex, deep, or stolen from a forgotten black artist by over-privileged white boys - it just has to move people. And "The Summer of 69" most definitely does that.
posted by benzo8 at 2:09 PM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I couldn't agree more with benzo8.

Not all good music has to be counterculture or innovative; some songs are just good songs.

And the idea that it's somehow inferior because he's describing things he didn't literally experience ... suggests a total misunderstanding of what lyrics and art are about.
posted by John Cohen at 2:15 PM on October 3, 2010


The one on your user page, under the title: "GUIDING PRINCIPLE"...

Oh, you mean people actually read that stuff?

But seriously. I take your point, and consider it well put. I hope I've delivered mine without too much insensitivity. In the end, mine is just another voice, maybe wrong, maybe right, (probably fictional anyway) that will inevitably disappear with the sands (and sounds) of time. If there's a special hell waiting for me, I trust it will feature a kickass cover band doing non-stop versions of all my least favorite songs, and I will be compelled until eternity to insist that I'm not enjoying myself ... even if I am.
posted by philip-random at 2:28 PM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Though I tell you what, I had a good time at the World Cup Fanfest in Kaiserslautern in 2006 singing along to Summer of '69 with a bunch of drunk Scotsmen who knew ever word.
posted by stargell at 2:37 PM on October 3, 2010


philip-random: "If there's a special hell waiting for me, I trust it will feature a kickass cover band doing non-stop versions of all my least favorite songs"

And if there is a god, and thus a devil, I'll be playing guitar in that band and singing out every word, just for you, for helping me prove that disagreements on Metafilter can be handled with grace!

Now, where was the person who dissed "Run To You", because that riff is just stellar...
posted by benzo8 at 2:50 PM on October 3, 2010


No Canadian Railroad Trilogy? No Northwest Passage? What the hell?
posted by Dasein at 3:23 PM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Stan Rogers isn't included. There should have been room for either "Northwest Passage" or "Barrett's Privateers", at the very least. Automatic FAIL.

I'm with you, e-man. How could you not put this on the list?
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:41 PM on October 3, 2010


benzo8: “And as a song-writer and composer, I can also attest that it is a perfectly written rock and roll song - and for that it doesn't need to be complex, deep, or stolen from a forgotten black artist by over-privileged white boys - it just has to move people. And "The Summer of 69" most definitely does that.”

Look, if you've cowed, philip-random by quoting from his user page, I'll say what needs to be said myself:

"Summer Of 69" is evil. It's sleazy trash, clearly and distinctly calculated to sell product. Seriously, you don't have to have the rock perceptivity of a Lester Bangs or a Mark E Smith to see this, and I'm aghast that anyone can defend that song – a song that is so clearly engineered to be a radio-friendly unit-shifter, a song that callously plays to the bored, desexed, pacified, sold-out nostalgic whims of a generation of sad hippies who hadn't glimpsed anything genuine or honest or heartfelt for two decades. It's the re-contextualization of rock music – the subversive, life-rearranging force of rock music – as something cute and quaint that the clean-cut kids can dig on a Saturday night without getting too wild or doing anything too worrisome or smoking or drinking or anything like that.

The first and foremost thing about "Summer of 69" is that it's a betrayal of history. It's a commonplace at this point that Adams was 10 years old in 1969, so I'm sure you know that; but it's a standard criticism not because of some rockist need for 'authenticity' or anything like that – it's a standard criticism because the song fails completely, utterly, entirely to actually capture what exactly the summer of 1969 was actually about. 1969 was the beginning of the end for a generation that was convinced it was driving hell-bent into revolution; it was the moment when that revolution ended not with a bang but a whimper. After Kent State and Chicago '68 and the Weathermen and everything else, to have the generational momentum that everybody felt was leading somewhere simply dissipate was a dramatic and momentous shift. Lots of people found that painful and difficult; lots of people who had had hope for a better world in particular.

To look back on that moment with a "gee whiz, weren't those days swell, guys?" is to shit on everything anybody had done in those times. "I guess that nothing lasts forever..." You can cast aspersions on them for their naivete, but nobody who was active and involved in the 1960s would ever have written off these central facts of their lives in such a completely crass way. A 10-year-old can be forgiven for having felt that way in 1969; a ten-year-old wasn't socially and culturally aware, he'd been preserved in the sealed chamber of childhood through those turbulent time. But Bryan Adams wasn't 10 anymore when he helped write that song, and it only goes to show that he hadn't matured in any way, or come to understand even his own history any better, in all those years. I was 10 years old in 1989, and what I probably remember most about that year is that I was in choir for the first time; but now I understand that the Soviet Union fell that year, and I have some context on what 1989 meant. Bryan Adams has no context on what 1969 meant, other than some bland, nameless, faceless commercial 'fun.'

You cast aspersions on well-thought rock music by acting as though it can't be fun. I find this offensive. What you need to understand about the 1980s is that there wasn't room for well-thought rock music; it wasn't allowed to exist in the mainstream. So we had people like Bryan Adams. And you can act as though it's just fine, now that he's a fringe guy with a nostalgia song from the 1980s that you don't have to listen to every time you turn on the radio. But please consider: when this idiotic hack, Bryan Adams, was recording this complete trash, a few rock-loving guys in San Pedro were recording beautiful, mind-bending, life-changing stuff like this. Are you really convinced that the people who went to their shows were pretentious, stick-up-the-ass fuzzheads? No. They were rock-loving kids just like anybody else; they knew how to have a good time. The difference was that, unlike Bryan Adams, they weren't ultimately most concerned with making a buck off of ex-hippies who were sad that they'd cleaned up and gotten jobs.
posted by koeselitz at 3:44 PM on October 3, 2010 [6 favorites]


While we're at it, where the fuck are Ritchie Hawtin and Hank Snow?

Don't know about Ritchie, but
66. Hank Snow — I'm Moving On
Oh, also,
70. Celine Dion — My Heart Will Go On
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:48 PM on October 3, 2010


No Weakerthans? Some great song-writing and performing by Cannucks there.

They did declare "I hate Winnipeg" in a song though.
posted by Rarebit Fiend at 4:17 PM on October 3, 2010


Good grief. "American Woman"* isn't even the best song on that album.

* which sucks
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:38 PM on October 3, 2010


Good grief. "American Woman"* isn't even the best song on that album.

* which sucks

Or as the far better songwriter John K. Samson of the Weakerthans put it:
The Guess Who sucked, the Jets were lousy anyway
The same route everyday
And in the turning lane
Someone’s stalled again
He’s talking to himself
And hears the price of gas repeat his phrase

I hate Winnipeg
And Rarebit, if you think that last line works against Samson's rep as Winnipeg's pop poet laureate, I'd say you aren't as familiar with the Weakerthans - or Winnipeg - as you think. Samson's genius was to recognize that the only way to declare his love in all complicated sincerity, in a way that Winnipeggers would accept on some shitty sleety day when there's some idiot stalled in the turn lane again, was to phrase it that way.
posted by gompa at 4:58 PM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


what koes said.

The SUCK that was the 80s mainstream culture has to be considered in all rational discussions of the era, and everything that has followed. Because heinous as the 80s were as a mainstream experience, it was precisely that heinousness that forced so-called independent culture to get its shit together; and it did, a veritable tectonic shift of cool stuff percolating underground and out of sight such that when it did finally kick into visible/audible/tactile presence -- well, it was f***ing unstoppable. The paradigm shifted (keeps shifting).

No the awful stuff hasn't gone away. But who cares, really, now that we've got a million cool alternatives readily available? Just type a few words into a browser and voila!

So thanks, Bryan Adams (and your team) for that. Thanks for running decoy while what really mattered had time to grow, mature, find its unique and beautiful weirdness -- all very much out of sight. Ah yes, the Summer of 89. I remember it fondly.

And American Woman is not a bad song, or album.
posted by philip-random at 5:03 PM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


If Richie Hawtin is Canadian, then I nominate Spastik.
posted by empath at 5:21 PM on October 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


The first and foremost thing about "Summer of 69" is that it's a betrayal of history. It's a commonplace at this point that Adams was 10 years old in 1969

i don't suppose that it's occurred to anyone in this thread that 69 might have another meaning altogether
posted by pyramid termite at 5:22 PM on October 3, 2010


i don't suppose that it's occurred to anyone in this thread that 69 might have another meaning altogether

It's been alluded to at least twice, I think, and I know that Bryan Adams himself has been coy on the topic, but if the rock-vid is any indication, that's pure bullshit.
posted by philip-random at 5:27 PM on October 3, 2010


Bryan Adams was working in the long magical tradition of poems connecting the holy number 69 with paeans to oral sex, going at least as far back as Aleister Crowley.


THE WAY TO SUCCEED-AND THE WAY TO
SUCK EGGS!

This is the Holy Hexagram.
Plunge from the height, O God, and interlock with
Man!
Plunge from the height, O Man, and interlock with
Beast!
The Red Triangle is the descending tongue of grace;
the Blue Triangle is the ascending tongue of
prayer
This Interchange, the Double Gift of Tongues, the
Word of Double Power-ABRAHADABRA!-is
the sign of the GREAT WORK, for the GREAT
WORK is accomplished in Silence. And behold is
not that Word equal to Cheth, that is Cancer.
whose Sigil is {Cancer}?
This Work also eats up itself, accomplishes its own
end, nourishes the worker, leaves no seed, is per-
fect in itself.
Little children, love one another!

Chapter 69 of the Book of Lies.
posted by empath at 5:32 PM on October 3, 2010


22. Maestro Fresh Wes — Let Your Backbone Slide

What, no Informer? I need your boom boom now!
posted by acheekymonkey at 5:35 PM on October 3, 2010


Bud the Spud by Stompin' Tom Connors is the best Canadian song ever.

kids these days
posted by lukemeister at 5:40 PM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


What you need to understand about the 1980s is that there wasn't room for well-thought rock music; it wasn't allowed to exist in the mainstream.

prince, r e m, u2, steely dan, the kinks, michael jackson, madonna, talking heads - sure there was a lot of crap during the 80s but there always is - mainstream music was not as bad as it was in the early 50s or the late 00s - if there's any such thing as mainstream music any more
posted by pyramid termite at 5:50 PM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


e-man: Stan Rogers isn't included. There should have been room for either "Northwest Passage" or "Barrett's Privateers", at the very least.

God damn them all.
P.S. Bonus Stan interview excerpt!
posted by hangashore at 6:15 PM on October 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


pyramid termite: “i don't suppose that it's occurred to anyone in this thread that 69 might have another meaning altogether”

Yeah, I get that. And Bryan Adams spent some years insisting that that's what it's about – no doubt mostly to try to imply that he was being 'subversive' and talking about sex in a sappy top-40 tune. But that's always been a lame excuse (because he knows very well how old he was in 1969) and the guy who wrote the song with him, Jim Vallance, agrees with me; he always said the song was supposed to be about 1969. Lately it seems like even Bryan Adams admits this; I remember seeing an interview where he hemmed and hawed and basically confessed that it was trading on nostalgia.

It should go without saying that nothing in that damned song has anything to do with oral sex. I sat down once in high school and tried to find sex in it, and I couldn't; and believe me, if high school koeselitz couldn't find sex in something, it ain't fucking there.
posted by koeselitz at 8:45 PM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


1969 was the beginning of the end for a generation that was convinced it was driving hell-bent into revolution; it was the moment when that revolution ended not with a bang but a whimper. After Kent State and Chicago '68 and the Weathermen and everything else,

koeselitz, your comment is laughably ridiculous. Disregarding the fact that you're talking about events that took place in another country to the songwriter, your suggestion that we all have a shared experience which is innately agreed upon is wrong.

2004 - 2006: I met the love of my life and came out of an almost 10 year depression--a decade in which I considered suicide more times than I had warm meals. Standing on a subway platform without thinking of jumping was a difficult task and in 2003 I stood on a bridge ready to jump. Meeting this woman in 2004... it was without doubt the start of the best years of my life. Am I able to write triumphantly about that time even though simultaneously the Abu Ghraib atrocities were happening, hundreds of US soldiers died in Iraq, Bush was re-elected by a bunch of fraidy-cat Americans, White House officials outed Valerie Plame to Robert Novak, a suicide bomber killed 41 in Moscow, Hurricane Katrina.... yadda yadda yadda? Or would that be a "betrayal of history"? Are you actually positing that it's not possible that the Summer of 1969 could have been the best days of anyone's life? Or that everyone has some duty to history to never reflect on something positive in their own life if they have the knowledge that someone else somewhere else is suffering?

Bryan Adams has no context on what 1969 meant, other than some bland, nameless, faceless commercial 'fun.'

It's not supposed to be the 80s equivelant of Blowin' in the Wind. It's a friggin' pop song about youth and memory. Coincidentally, Bob Dylan himself sang a song about youth and memory IN 1969. Flowers in rifle ends aren't mentioned once.

And if you honestly think the summer of '69 was about nothing but strife and evil, I think the throngs who attended Woodstock might disagree with you.

Dislike Bryan Adams all you want (I know I do!), but your rationalizations are preposterous, naive, and childish.
posted by dobbs at 8:50 PM on October 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


pyramid termite: “prince, r e m, u2, steely dan, the kinks, michael jackson, madonna, talking heads - sure there was a lot of crap during the 80s but there always is - mainstream music was not as bad as it was in the early 50s or the late 00s - if there's any such thing as mainstream music any more”

prince, u2, steely dan, madonna, michael jackson – take 'em, you can keep 'em, 'cuz I sure as hell don't want 'em. Collaborators with the enemy and weak and limpid souls, every one of 'em. They all made lukewarm music that only passed for great because it happened to be on the radio.

The Talking Heads don't count. They're a 70s band. I'm not all that excited about anything they did after 1980.

But REM and the Kinks? That's precisely what I'm talking about. Are you sincerely under the impression you could've heard that shit on the radio at any time during the 1980s? And Give The People What They Want is one of the best records I've ever heard – and yet it got no airplay, people weren't even aware the Kinks still existed. The powers that be still held the mainstream tightly in their grip.
posted by koeselitz at 8:51 PM on October 3, 2010


dobbs: “And if you honestly think the summer of '69 was about nothing but strife and evil, I think the throngs who attended Woodstock might disagree with you.”

Look, I'm not saying it was nothing but strife and evil. I'm only saying that there are better ways to confront the past – the good and the bad – than with shitty cash-for-nostalgia consumerism. Which is what Bryan Adams' songs are.
posted by koeselitz at 8:53 PM on October 3, 2010


– I mean – look, dobbs, I totally take your point. And some Hegelian assertion about history as dialectic, about history as some grand shared narrative through with the human work is accomplished, would be bullshit. I guess my phrasing was totally off if I've come off as saying that there was this thing that was 'life in the 60s,' and that Bryan Adams doesn't get that thing.

What I'm trying to do is explain just why this whole nostalgia-driven epoch in pop culture – an epoch which, in my mind, begins with "Summer of 69" and ends with Forrest Gump – is so offensive and wrong to me. It's not so much that they violate some concrete thing that is history; it's more that they try to set up a concrete reading of history as a series of shared events for which we all ought to feel a particular nostalgia, and in particular that they set up this reading of shared nostalgia in order to make money. I think that's a betrayal, in that that reading of history, that relating of the past and constant reinterpretation of it, is one of the more important works that we do as a society. It's more than a little sleazy when somebody comes in and tries to turn that into grist for the cash-mill.
posted by koeselitz at 9:00 PM on October 3, 2010


prince, u2, steely dan, madonna, michael jackson – take 'em, you can keep 'em, 'cuz I sure as hell don't want 'em. Collaborators with the enemy and weak and limpid souls, every one of 'em. They all made lukewarm music that only passed for great because it happened to be on the radio.

My advice to you: listen to more Prince.
posted by John Cohen at 9:05 PM on October 3, 2010


But REM and the Kinks? That's precisely what I'm talking about. Are you sincerely under the impression you could've heard that shit on the radio at any time during the 1980s?

i'm seriously under the impression that i DID hear them on the radio

And Give The People What They Want is one of the best records I've ever heard – and yet it got no airplay

"destroyer" was all over the fm radio dial in 81

i was 24 - please don't try to tell me what i couldn't have heard on the radio in the 80s
posted by pyramid termite at 9:07 PM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, I am saddened that no one has mentioned Avril yet.

I'm not a particular fan of hers, but if somehow "Girlfriend" came on the radio while I was driving, I would have to fight an instinctual reaction to gun it, drive in oncoming traffic to get boost, and look for a ramp to do a barrel roll or big jump off of.
posted by kmz at 9:08 PM on October 3, 2010


You cast aspersions on well-thought rock music by acting as though it can't be fun. I find this offensive.

Seriously? Your grasp on logic is this flawed? Just because I said that rock and roll doesn't have to be deep, it just has to move people, doesn't mean that I believe rock and roll music can't be deep, or "well-thought", and fun.

It seems like your whole diatribe hangs on this lack of understanding that while A not necessarily belong to B to be C, that A can perfectly well belong to B and still be C if it wants to. So I'm ignoring it.

Plus, you were 10 when the 80s ended. I actually lived it as a teenager. So pretty much everything you say about Bryan Adams not understanding the 60s pretty much goes for you not understanding the 80s.
posted by benzo8 at 9:08 PM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


You know, he could have sung "Back in the summer of '79!" or "Back in the autumn of '45!" and it would have almost no effect on how I hear the song except that those phrases wouldn't have sounded as good. Lyrics are there to sound good with the music; they do not need to have literal content of autobiographical or historical significance.
posted by John Cohen at 9:15 PM on October 3, 2010


benzo8: “Plus, you were 10 when the 80s ended. I actually lived it as a teenager.”

So I guess I can blame you for all the utter shit that my generation now seems to have latched onto as 'nostalgia music'.

I never said that history couldn't be understood – that's antithetical to my own deepest beliefs. I said that Bryan Adams didn't understand history, and that, while I might forgive a ten-year-old for that, I wouldn't forgive him as a grownup.

I'm sorry that I took you to be saying that well-thought rock music was boring, though; that clearly wasn't what you said; you said that it didn't have to be well-thought to be fun, which is very, very different.

All that aside, my whole point was that "Summer of 69" is a crass, commercialist suckfest. And nobody's said anything here that can convince me otherwise.
posted by koeselitz at 9:16 PM on October 3, 2010


pyramid termite: “i was 24 - please don't try to tell me what i couldn't have heard on the radio in the 80s”

Yeah, looks like I was completely wrong there. #15 on the charts here, apparently.
posted by koeselitz at 9:18 PM on October 3, 2010


That list is really bad. Seriously.
posted by mazola at 9:21 PM on October 3, 2010


And it's not just bad. It's wrong.
posted by mazola at 9:23 PM on October 3, 2010


But REM and the Kinks? That's precisely what I'm talking about. Are you sincerely under the impression you could've heard that shit on the radio at any time during the 1980s?

No, I'm not "under that impression" that I could have heard them. I did hear them on the radio. Pretty sure REM charted in 1986. For chrissakes, Husker Du was on the Joan Rivers show in the 80s.

On preview...
posted by dobbs at 9:25 PM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, I guess it's funny. Because I was a child in the 1980s, insulated from all of this, and had no idea whatsoever. So my experience of that time is limited mainly to two things: (a) what my heroes say about it (and that isn't very good) and (b) the absolute shitty shit that people my age take a weird childish delight in listening to over and over and imitating.

So I guess – I don't say I can't talk about what happened then, but it would take a good deal more care and research, at the least. This is just my feeling, my sense. And feelings and senses aren't really good enough for history.

Maybe I'd be better off hearing a bit more from people who actually lived through it.
posted by koeselitz at 9:31 PM on October 3, 2010


And yeah – I still hate Prince. I've heard all of his albums a bunch of times, I have friends that are absolutely nuts about him, but I guess I don't get it. I can't stand that stuff. Nor the songs he wrote for the Bangles. Ugh. It's just pop music.
posted by koeselitz at 9:32 PM on October 3, 2010


Here's the part I really liked about koeselitz's now notorious comment (with a few edits for brevity):

"Summer Of 69" is [...] sleazy trash, clearly and distinctly calculated to sell product. [...] a song that is so clearly engineered to be a radio-friendly unit-shifter, a song that callously plays to the bored, desexed, pacified, sold-out nostalgic whims of a generation of sad hippies who hadn't glimpsed anything genuine or honest or heartfelt for two decades. It's the re-contextualization of rock music – the subversive, life-rearranging force of rock music – as something cute and quaint that the clean-cut kids can dig on a Saturday night without getting too wild or doing anything too worrisome or smoking or drinking or anything like that.

pyramid termite: - sure there was a lot of crap during the 80s but there always is - mainstream music was not as bad as it was in the early 50s or the late 00s - if there's any such thing as mainstream music any more

The 50s, I missed. The late 00s, big deal. We had the internet.

What makes the 80s historically unique was that there was SO MUCH good stuff that simply did not get heard. Radio, the record labels, Satan -- they had it all worked out. One big closed shop. Very, very little of any consequence got through. You did not even hear an REM song on commercial radio until about 1987 (their 5th album). You did not hear a Prince song until Purple Rain hit (1984 - his fourth album) and even then, it was only two songs from an album of wall-to-wall killers. The Clash had maybe five songs that ever got heard.

As I suggested earlier though, this actually had a positive effect in that when the earthquake hit and the lava started to flow (mixing my geological metaphors, I know) there was no stopping it and now with the good ole internets, there still isn't.
posted by philip-random at 9:41 PM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


... and to bring all this back to the topic at hand (Canadian Hit Music), the 80s were particularly toxic up here because, due to the Can-Con regulations (mandatory airplay of at least 25-30% Canadian music), you had the perfect subsidized industry. That is, the Big Labels could crank out exactly 25-30% soundalike crap that would fit nicely (invisibly) between the imported hits (I won't mention any names here because I've seen some of those artists favorably mentioned and look where taking on Bryan A got me).

Meanwhile the independent artists who were doing truly cool and beautiful (and pop and tuneful) stuff were just getting shrugged off, ignored. Because radio didn't need them ... unlike in the 1970s when there just wasn't that much music being produced period in Canada, so every weird single got at least a chance at airplay. But by say 1981, coincidentally right around the time Bryan Adams put out his first album, you truly needed the kind of special push that only the Big Labels could guarantee.

A little cocaine was useful, too.
posted by philip-random at 9:55 PM on October 3, 2010


I said that Bryan Adams didn't understand history, and that, while I might forgive a ten-year-old for that, I wouldn't forgive him as a grownup.

hmm, do you mean to tell me that there aren't people who don't regard 1969 as a great year for them? - this may surprise you, but a lot of people had good, memorable times they're nostalgic about, even if the world is going to hell around them - and in 69, it wasn't really there yet

also, and god knows i've been guilty on this, people my age and brian adams' age tended to romanticize the 60s a lot - they seemed a lot more fun, exciting and radical than the 70s and 80s we were adults in - they had jfk, we had nixon, carter and reagan - they had garage bands and clubs to play in - we had discos and god help me, country bars - (you would not believe how many rock musicians and rock fans ended up in country bars in the 80's) - they had conga lines, we had gas lines - they had the great society and we had the broke society - they had drugs and we had too many drugs

we can't be nostalgic about our times because they sucked too much - so we got nostalgic about their times instead

it wasn't old hippies bryan adams was singing that song for

All that aside, my whole point was that "Summer of 69" is a crass, commercialist suckfest.

it's pop music - not especially good, not especially bad - as a kid in the 60s, pop music was pretty much what we had until the heavy stuff came around, so i'm a lot more tolerant of it

cuts like a knife was far superior - it was all downhill from there

---

What makes the 80s historically unique was that there was SO MUCH good stuff that simply did not get heard.

that's half right - there was a lot of good stuff in the 70s that didn't get heard - somewhere around 1975, radio stations really started tightening up

You did not even hear an REM song on commercial radio until about 1987 (their 5th album).

"fall on me", "begin the begin" and even "superman" got some aor airplay - really, although it wasn't a lot - and i live in a pretty backwards area

You did not hear a Prince song until Purple Rain hit

"little red corvette" and "1999" were huge hits - as in, you couldn't possibly avoid them
posted by pyramid termite at 9:57 PM on October 3, 2010


And yeah – I still hate Prince. I've heard all of his albums a bunch of times, I have friends that are absolutely nuts about him, but I guess I don't get it. I can't stand that stuff. Nor the songs he wrote for the Bangles. Ugh. It's just pop music.

OK, your comment seemed like it was written by someone who had not heard his full albums a bunch of times.

I'm not saying you should enjoy his music. That's your personal taste. But he is not "lukewarm music that only passed for great because it happened to be on the radio."
posted by John Cohen at 9:59 PM on October 3, 2010


I hate Prince's music as well but not because it's "just pop music". Guided By Voices is just pop music. Bikeride is just pop music. The Beach Boys is just pop music. Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers is just pop music. Beat Happening is just pop music. Jens Lekman is just pop music. Belle and Sebastien is just pop music. The Magnetic Fields is just pop music. Herman Dune is just pop music...

There's really no time in history, imo, which was better than right now in music. And you could have said that in 1965, 1975, 1985... or now. You always have access to what came before if you don't like what today's offering. But I'd argue that if you don't like what today's offering, you're not looking hard enough--or in the right places. There's more music being made today than ever before. To suggest that it's all shit is preposterous. Sturgeon's law says 20 percent of it is good. 20 percent has always been good and always will be good. You just have to work harder to find it. Believe it or not, that's not Bryan Adams' fault.

You yourself pointed out that while some were listening to Bryan Adams, others were listening to Minutemen. Same goes for today and the equivalents. Some have Nickelback and some have Liars. Some have Broken Social Scene and some have The National. Some have Avril Lavigne and some have Nina Nastasia... But if all you have is the Eagles, the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, or whatever was hot in your youth because you can't find anything by today's musicians that thrills you, you do yourself a disservice.

Meanwhile the independent artists who were doing truly cool and beautiful (and pop and tuneful) stuff were just getting shrugged off, ignored. Because radio didn't need them

This argument doesn't hold water. You're suggesting that without CanCon less people would be making music and that, therefore, radio would need to play other things besides the tunes being made to feed that factory. What makes you think it'd be the indie artists doing truly cool and beautiful stuff that would have filled that gap? It wasn't--that's why CanCon was created in the first place--because the airwaves were filled with American music.
posted by dobbs at 10:04 PM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Dudes! DUDES!

This bickering is making my head hurt!
Might as well go for a soda...Nobody hurts and nobody cries
Might as well go for a soda...Nobody drowns and nobody dies
So we're in one of our blue moods
You wanna have it your way and I want it mine
All this debating going 'round in our blue mood
Makes me thirst for love
Might as well go for a soda...Nobody hurts and nobody cries
Might as well go for a soda...Nobody drowns and nobody dies
Life seems to be a bomb inside your head
Well the bomb in my head is love
All this debating going 'round in our blue mood
Makes me thirsty for love
Might as well go for a soda...Nobody hurts and nobody cries
Might as well go for a soda...Nobody drowns and nobody dies
Might as well go for a soda...It's better than slander
It's better than lies
Might as well go for a soda...Nobody hurts and nobody cries
posted by mazola at 10:07 PM on October 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


"little red corvette" and "1999" were huge hits - as in, you couldn't possibly avoid them

I should have clarified that I was in Vancouver, Canada where Prince videos got seen on TV but no Prince songs made the radio until When Doves Cry. First time I even heard 1999 (the album) was a New Years Party (1983/84) that happened to have a bunch of people from Seattle in attendance.

As for REM stuff from Life's Rich Pageant, if it did get played, it was only in passing. Their first hit up here was The One I Love, from Document.
posted by philip-random at 10:09 PM on October 3, 2010


See, I never denied that "Summer of 69" wasn't commercial or written to shift units. I argued it was a great little rock and roll song, but I never said it wasn't the product of cynical and calculated song-writing.

Because, to me that doesn't matter... And it shouldn't to you, either. If you (the general You) can unconditionally love Led Zepellin despite their plagisarism and blatant theft, then you believe the end justifies the means, and a good song, no matter how or why it's written is a good song.

It's trendy to dislike the popular. Strangely, the people who do this the most vocally also tend to be the people who decry hispters and hipsterism, despite pretty much being hipsters themselves. The irony is palpable.

To my mind, a song should be judged on one thing and one thing only - does it move you, emotionally and/or physically? Maybe "Summer of 69" doesn't do that for you, but it sure does it for thousands, nay, millions of others (assuming most of the people who bought "Reckless", or the countless "Best of" albums it's appeared on actually like it, which is a fair assumption, given they've parted with this hard-earned to own it).
posted by benzo8 at 10:16 PM on October 3, 2010


As for REM stuff from Life's Rich Pageant, if it did get played, it was only in passing. Their first hit up here was The One I Love, from Document.

Life's Rich Pageant definitely charted in Canada. So did Fables of the Reconstruction, if I remember correctly. I absolutely recall seeing the video for Can't Get There From Here on Much Music as well.
posted by dobbs at 10:18 PM on October 3, 2010


This argument doesn't hold water. You're suggesting that without CanCon less people would be making music and that, therefore, radio would need to play other things besides the tunes being made to feed that factory. What makes you think it'd be the indie artists doing truly cool and beautiful stuff that would have filled that gap? It wasn't--that's why CanCon was created in the first place--because the airwaves were filled with American music.

As I said, at first CanCon worked for artists. Pretty much any weird song would at least get listened to by your friendly local radio station music director. But eventually the big labels figured it out and effectively closed the shop.

As for why I think "indie artists doing truly cool and beautiful stuff" would have filled the gap, I don't. I just know that certain people will always be making music, not because there's an industry loophole that works for them, but because they MUST MAKE MUSIC. This is the music I need to hear. As such, when federal law is working against my hearing it, there's something very wrong.

This by the way is not just my notion. I heard recently that the organization of Canadian Campus + Community Radio Stations (whatever they're called) have actually been discussing reducing or outright removing all CanCon regulations for exactly the reason I've suggested. Because they don't guarantee good music; just stuff to fill some gap. And anyway, Canadian music is flourishing in spite of CanCon. Black Mountain, Arcade Fire, Great Lake Swimmers, Godspeed, New Pornographers (the list is long) -- none of these bands got any commercial radio support out of the box (some still haven't). They've just toured hard, networked hard, used the net and otherwise worked it. CBC-3 and any number of cool publications and campus/community radio stations have definitely helped.

And, on preview -- REM got video airplay before it got radio airplay just as Prince did (MuchMusic was usually quite ahead of the curve) ... and sorry, Mazola, that Go For Soda song just makes me want to get drunk.
posted by philip-random at 10:30 PM on October 3, 2010


Since the subject has been broached, I would just like to point out that Kim Mitchell is a radio deejay here in Toronto. He plays his own songs a lot. Go for a Soda, Patio Lanterns, and the pathetically erroneous This is a Rock Song get regular rotation.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:43 PM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


And anyway, Canadian music is flourishing in spite of CanCon. Black Mountain, Arcade Fire, Great Lake Swimmers, Godspeed, New Pornographers (the list is long) -- none of these bands got any commercial radio support out of the box (some still haven't).

That most certainly has not always been true. Even when artists are not getting direct commercial radio support, they usually have benefitted from an infrastructure that was developed around those acts you despise. So I'm not going to harsh too much on CanCon.

that Go For Soda song just makes me want to get drunk.

See? It's not all bad!
posted by mazola at 6:16 AM on October 4, 2010


Further dumb factoid: I've developed my Smart Playlists for my iPod to ensure I always have 20% Canadian Content, selected at random -- CanCon still rules!

And, no, I don't think I have any Kim Mitchell in my music library.
posted by mazola at 6:18 AM on October 4, 2010


So I know there's really no accounting for taste and all and everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I feel strongly that disliking certain musicians means that you are somehow fundamentally broken.

So far this week from Metafilter, I have Prince and Sigur Ros on that list.
posted by empath at 6:22 AM on October 4, 2010


Some time ago I was looking through a hometown high school yearbook from 1968 or '69 and was shocked by the preponderance of crewcuts and bobs, and by the number of graduates who listed "Hippies" under their Dislikes.

Not everyone in the '60s was storming the barricades. For lots and lots of people the summer of 69 was just another summer in just another year. They drank beer on the porch and worked at the drive-in and drove around having a good time and maybe were in a shitty band. Nothing wrong with a song that celebrates that. Would it have been more acceptable if it the tune had been called The Summer of '75?
posted by stargell at 7:25 AM on October 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow, what a sloppily tossed together list.
posted by Theta States at 7:27 AM on October 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Money City Maniacs should be the top-ranked Sloan song. No question.
posted by Kurichina at 8:30 AM on October 4, 2010


Any "Top 100 Canadian Songs" compilation needs to have a photo of Kim Mitchell on the cover, taken from his days fronting Max Webster in the 1970s. He is bald on top with long hair, wearing a garish shirt, skintight purple leggings and zebra-skinned platform cowboy boots.

But man, Max Webster was a band that deserved greater fame.

Maybe "The Hangover" should be on this list.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:30 AM on October 4, 2010


"little red corvette" and "1999" were huge hits - as in, you couldn't possibly avoid them

I should have clarified that I was in Vancouver, Canada where Prince videos got seen on TV but no Prince songs made the radio until When Doves Cry.


Not true. I definitely heard "little red corvette" and "1999" on AM radio in Vancouver in 1983. Either LG73 or CFUN. I was driving my mom's car a lot that summer, and the car radio only had an AM receiver.
posted by e-man at 10:29 AM on October 4, 2010


Wow, some serious Bryan Adams venom here. Might as well share my own Bry story...I have a dear friend (originally we were pen-pals) who lives in London, Ontario. Shortly after Cuts Like a Knife was released, she happened to be visiting me and we were in a record store where she spotted a large Bryan Adams promotional stand-up (in the Cuts Like a Knife album cover posture). Well, she was a Bryan Adams fan at the time and thought he was all hot and that, and she convinced the record store manager to let her have the stand-up. Of course, there was no way to transport that thing back home on the VIA train, so I agreed to keep it and bring it with me the next time I drove up to visit her. So there I am, months later, waiting in line on the Canadian side of the Windsor Tunnel to go through Customs. The Customs Guy started to ask me "Citizenship?" but stopped mid-question to ask "What the hell is that in your back seat?" "Um, it's a cut-out of Bryan Adams. I'm bringing it for..." "Bryan Adams?! He sucks!" Then he called over the Customs Guy from the next booth (holding up traffic in the process) "You won't believe this! She loves Bryan (bad word) Adams?!" "No, I don't like him, it's for a ...." I was drowned out by their mocking laughter and comments on my lack of musical taste. "Do me a favor while you're in Canada, eh, and buy some Gowan!" On the up side, I was waved through without answering so much one question about my country of birth or purpose for visiting Canada.
posted by Oriole Adams at 10:53 AM on October 4, 2010 [6 favorites]


Bryan Adams has no context on what 1969 meant, other than some bland, nameless, faceless commercial 'fun.'

It's not supposed to be the 80s equivelant of Blowin' in the Wind. It's a friggin' pop song about youth and memory. Coincidentally, Bob Dylan himself sang a song about youth and memory IN 1969. Flowers in rifle ends aren't mentioned once.


Achhhh!!! No you di-int!! You did NOT compare "Girl from the North Country" to "Summer of 69"!!! Get the acid bath for my brain! I've got to disinfect NOW!!!!
posted by Mental Wimp at 11:45 AM on October 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: a sloppily tossed together list.
posted by Mental Wimp at 11:46 AM on October 4, 2010


Oriole Adams: “On the up side, I was waved through without answering so much one question about my country of birth or purpose for visiting Canada.”

Which is more than a little disconcerting, because I am absolutely convinced that, the next time terrorists visit the US in order to scout for locations to attack, they will be carrying cardboard cutouts of Bryan Adams when they cross the Canadian border to make their clandestine flights back to Saudi Arabia. That's just how those people think.
posted by koeselitz at 12:00 PM on October 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Any "Top 100 Canadian Songs" compilation needs to have a photo of Kim Mitchell on the cover, taken from his days fronting Max Webster in the 1970s. He is bald on top with long hair, wearing a garish shirt, skintight purple leggings and zebra-skinned platform cowboy boots.

I guess that was before the trademark OPP trucker hat? (I don't care for his music, but Kim Mitchell has always held a special place in the Goofy Rock Personae section of my heart. That guy's look could take Diamond Dave or Angus Young or Dee Snyder any day of the week. Plus, he did teach senior citizens to play the electric guitar, after all.)
posted by Sys Rq at 1:04 PM on October 4, 2010


And, on preview -- REM got video airplay before it got radio airplay

I'm tired of arguing verifiable fact: Life's Rich Pageant reached #29 in Canada; Fables of the Reconstruction hit #30. Can't Get There From here broke the top 100.
posted by dobbs at 1:31 PM on October 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm tired of arguing verifiable fact: Life's Rich Pageant reached #29 in Canada; Fables of the Reconstruction hit #30. Can't Get There From here broke the top 100.

I believe those are record sales figures, not radio play. REM got by on campus + community support and word of mouth ... up until Document (maybe Rich Pageant).

Not true. I definitely heard "little red corvette" and "1999" on AM radio in Vancouver in 1983. Either LG73 or CFUN. I was driving my mom's car a lot that summer, and the car radio only had an AM receiver.

I stand corrected. Clearly I was too cool for AM radio back '83.
posted by philip-random at 2:05 PM on October 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


I guess that was before the trademark OPP trucker hat?

Yeah, I think the OPP hat was Kim Mitchell's way of rebranding himself. I did see Kim Mitchell front row at the Royal Theatre in Victoria for the Rockland (that cassette was the soundtrack to my first term as an undergrad that winter) tour in 1989. He was wearing a painter's cap and bicycle shorts with a tank top. I bought a t-shirt from that tour that shouted out on the back "I am a Wild Party". One of the regulars in the SUB Pub walked up to me one day and said "Man, you are the *antithesis of cool*." While I resented it at the time, it was a real wakeup call. Soon I was wearing Ministry t-shirts.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:14 PM on October 4, 2010


Soon I was wearing Ministry t-shirts.

Some people never learn!
posted by Sys Rq at 5:14 PM on October 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Kings "Beat Goes On/Switching to Glide"?!?!

I've been saying, "Nothing matters but the weekend/from the Tuesday point of view" every week since the early '80s.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 7:28 PM on October 4, 2010


All Points West had an interview with the author of the book this list is compiled from. Should be up on their website tomorrow.
posted by Mitheral at 8:41 PM on October 4, 2010


What??? No Le Feu Sauvage de L'Amour?
posted by bwg at 3:51 AM on October 5, 2010


Maestro Fresh Wes ranked in the top 25, and Summer of '69 in the top 5. This list gets my blessing. However, I *am* sad that there's no Gandharvas or The Odds.

Having said that, it seems that it's not just a random top 100 list, a quick Googling seems to indicate that he DID have some sort of methodology behind the madness of creating the list. Though I couldn't find an explanation anywhere of exactly what that methodology was.
posted by antifuse at 1:49 PM on October 5, 2010


The results are from a survey of ~800 people from across Canada with ties to the greater music industry. People like DJs, producers, musicians, grips, roadies, teachers, etc with special attention to make sure surveyees represented a broad range of several demographics including location and age (IE: respondants weren't just college kids from Toronto). I can't check the APW site at work but there is extensive discusion of the methodolgy in the interview.
posted by Mitheral at 2:20 PM on October 5, 2010


Since the subject has been broached, I would just like to point out that Kim Mitchell is a radio deejay here in Toronto. He plays his own songs a lot. Go for a Soda, Patio Lanterns, and the pathetically erroneous This is a Rock Song get regular rotation.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:43 AM on October 4


For the record (hah!), Q107 was playing Max Webster and Kim Mitchell tracks on the hour every hour long before Kim himself got hired as a deejay. If nothing else, it sorta gives them a little credibility to have Da Man Hisself cue up 'Paradise Skies' and 'Rockland Wonderland'. Anyway, carry on.
posted by spoobnooble at 6:54 PM on October 9, 2010


For the record (hah!), Q107 was playing Max Webster and Kim Mitchell tracks on the hour every hour long before Kim himself got hired as a deejay. If nothing else, it sorta gives them a little credibility to have Da Man Hisself cue up 'Paradise Skies' and 'Rockland Wonderland'.

So he's sticking with the same old playlist. Nice. Honestly, I think Q107 just needs to beef up its CanCon library. Their entire hoser rock playlist (aside from the tolerable trio of Guess Who/Neil Young/Rush) consists of nothing but Kim Mitchell, Colin James, and Jeff Healey. It's like a mandatory mediocrity marathon. It's almost enough to make me consider switching over to that pair of Metric and Billy Talent songs repeated ad nauseam on The Edge, or even the Michael Bublé all day airplay on CHFI.

CanCon laws: "We're helping!"
posted by Sys Rq at 10:17 PM on October 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


CanCon: It's like a mandatory mediocrity marathon.
posted by philip-random at 12:31 AM on October 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


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