Friday, 24 June 2011

Top 100 Canadian Songs Of All Time: Part 1 (#100-76)

Well here it is: the first official major list here at Voiddrops. Being a proud Canuck I thought with Canada Day a mere week away i'd count down the best 100 songs done by a Canadian group since life began. The other lists I do aren't in any particular order, this one is. Hopefully i'll be able to time getting to #1 with all the July 1st celebrations. This has been tricky, there's many songs i've left out, but hopefully you'll forgive those sins for the joyous anthems i've included. Let's get started shall we?

100. "Surrender" - Billy Talent

It took me some time to warm up to Billy Talent. It was this song in fact that opened a deaf ear and i've since been enjoying their entire catalog. "Surrender" has got an infectious groove throughout it's 4 minute lifespan and I love the sheer brilliance of the line "She wonders why i'm always in a good mood" Think about it.

99. "Try Telling That To My Baby" - The Heavy Blinkers

From Canada's lovely East coast The Heavy Blinkers incorporate many orchestral instruments in their songs to get that unique sound. I first heard this song on Pictoplasma 2, a DVD which featured animated music videos.

98. "Carsick" - Made

This takes me back to my highschool days. I'm not sure Made existed outside my little circle of music appreciators in the late 90's. They did have one stellar album in Bedazzler however. I couldn't find the video on Youtube, so I made it myself! JZ baby!

97. "Fuckin' Up" - Neil Young

Neil will appear many more times on this list...fret not Canadian music fans. This has been one of my favourite Neil Young songs for many years now...though it's easy to see why it didn't get much exposure. Not sure which version I like better plugged in or acoustic....or even Pearl Jam's.

96. "Ilfracombe" - Hawksley Workman

Lover/Fighter is a solid record, possibly even Hawksley's best. This is an unlisted track, I believe the second of 2. It's a pure Canadian tune though, named after a small northern Ontario village near Hawksley's home town of Huntsville. Workman is in a class of his own.

95. "Pretty Life" - Jakalope

Is Jakalope the name of the band or the lady singing the song? I've never known, but what I do know is that a great vocalist mixed with ex-Skinny Puppy founder Dave "Rave" Ogilvie, equals some excellent electronic music.

94. "Rave & Drool" - The Killjoys

All great bands have a great story about how they came up with their name. These Hamilton, ON boys were sitting around in a bar racking their brains about a band name. The Killjoys is the best they could come up with. Guess it's not so great. Sadly their other great songs had to be bumped from this list, see also "Soaked" and "Today I Hate Everyone"

93. "Heartbreaker" - MSTRKRFT feat. John Legend

From the ashes of Death From Above 1979 (see no. 82) came MSTRKRFT, an electro-dance act stationed in Toronto. They've remixed many act's songs like Kylie Minogue, Bloc Party and of course DFA1979. "Heartbreaker" is their highest charting single to date.

92. "Road Regrets" - Dan Mangan

Nobody does the acoustic guitar like Canadians. Ladies and Gentlemen meet Dan Mangan, singer/songwriter from Vancouver, BC. "Road Regrets" is not only a great driving song, but a solid track in general. Great lyrics, great pace and just puts you in a good mood. Check out his website

91. "Leader" - Bif Naked

Bif made a huge splash in 2001 with her album Purge. Bif's success has stemmed from her reluctance to be held to one style of music. Her records are as colourful as her inked skin. "Leader" is a quasi-punk, quasi-electronic tune that scratches an itch i've had for years.

90. "Share The Land" - The Guess Who

One of the most successful Canadian groups of the 60's-70's was The Guess Who. The twin writing and musical abilities of Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman help them become a household name worldwide. "Share The Land" was even well known as an anthem of peace during the final years of the free-love era. To this day most critics and listers name "American Woman" as the best Canadian song ever. Will I agree? We shall see....

89. "Andromeda" - Zuckerbaby

Barely edging out one of The Guess Who's songs is Alberta's Zuckerbaby. These guys had so much potential with "Andromeda" being a shining beacon of music to come, unfortunately their subsequent releases were not nearly as interesting and Zuckerbaby faded to the deep background. It should be noted however, that all the members of the band performed their own stunts in this video, by really jumping off the rooftop on to an inflatable safety mat below.

88. "When The Night Feels My Song" - Bedouin Soundclash

Bedouin Soundclash burst on the scene in 2005 with this contagious reggae-influenced track. It's impossible to remain in a bad mood when the first few chords are played. Bedouin continue to tour worldwide and release successful albums to this day, their latest being 2010's Light The Horizon.

87. "Satisfied" - The Odds

The Odds were a unique band from Vancouver who flourished in the 90's. "Satisfied" exemplifies their quirky lyrical style, also an impressive and proficient musical talent. They split in the 2000's and scattered to various seperate projects only to reform in 2007.

86. "Painted Ladies" - Ian Thomas

It's a sad trend of Canadian musicians everywhere, international artists re-recording their songs only to have more success with them than we ever did. Ian Thomas had some of his songs covered by Santana, Manfred Mann Earth Band and even Barbra Streisand. "Painted Ladies" remains his biggest hit though, which it should be as it stand head and shoulders over the majority of American tunes of it's time.

85. "Yeti" - Caribou

Caribou is the stage name of Daniel Viktor Snaith, and i'll pause here to allow you time to think about a more Canadian stage name then Caribou.....right? "Yeti" may take a few listens to grow on you, but it's swelling synthisizers and hypnotic lyrics will find a home in your subconscious. And yes, this song does get a few extra points for being named "Yeti"

84. "Another Sunday" - I Mother Earth

Whenever I hear a song like this I get a little mad, though not as much as how awesome I feel. Mad because it reminds of those sweet years in the mid-90's when radio and Much Music (Canada's MTV) played wicked music. I Mother Earth's Scenery And Fish spawned so many great tracks it was tough to pick the winners. "Another Sunday" was the forgotten single, but I think most of you should guess which other one is coming up later...

83. "Cocaine Cowgirl" - Matt Mays & El Torpedo

Great guitar riffs, great band harmony. Matt Mays & El Torpedo constantly release solid albums. "Cocaine Cowgirl" almost feels like it's from your past, even if it's your first listen. Check out some of Mays' solo material as well.

82. "Romantic Rights" - Death From Above 1979

This duo of James Keeler on Bass and Sebastien Grainger on drums were not long for this world. They arrived in 2005 with You're A Woman, I'm A Machine to a whirlwind response and disolved just over a year later. They left us many pure Canadian rock triumphs however, like "Romantic Rights".

81. "Sons Of Hostage Life" - Hostage Life

Canadian punk is grossly mis-represented. And now that Hostage Life has left us it's worse than ever. 2007's Walking Papers is a great album. I recommend it to anyone who is in need of a fresh sound, or even anyone with ears for that matter. "Sons Of Hostage Life" is a great 'fuck you I quit' anthem and even includes the truly Torontonian chant "Train took forever at Union Station" Amen.

80. "Scared" - The Tragically Hip

The first of 3 inclusions from The Hip on this list, "Scared" is one of their least thought of tracks. It's easy to enjoy "50 Mission Cap" or "Blow At High Dough", great songs, but Gord Downie's sometimes frightening genius is at centre stage in this one. I think his brilliant mind and words is what makes him and the Hip such welcomed ambassadors of Canadian music.

79. "It Can't Rain All The Time" - Jane Sibbery

A truly rare talent, to say the least. Jane's powerful words and cadence were effective enough to be used in the closing scene of 1994's The Crow. It was also left over from my Sad Songs list. Maybe I wanted to save it's introduction for here, maybe I wasn't strong enough for it at that time. One listen and you'll agree, this song has powers.

78. "A Cross & A Girl Named Blessed" - Evan's Blue

I nearly jizzed when I found out these boys were from Burlington, Ontario. I love discovering great new bands, but to find out their Canadian gives them an immediate +1. I put this song on my Pump Up list and it's easy to comprehend why. God, I love that drumming at the end.

77. "Call and Answer" - Barenaked Ladies

This song was featured on some soundtrack to some movie that was forgotten years ago...I think Matthew McCaugnehay was it, however the fuck you spell that. Anyway, it marked a new direction for The Ladies. Yes, we all enjoyed their improvised lyrics and light music melodies, but "Call and Answer" proved they meant business and could connect with fans on multiple levels.

76. "Danananana" - Rainbow Butt Monkeys

Named for what I believe is supposed to be the song's opening riff, this song was off the incredible album Letters From Chutney. The Monkeys, though poorly named, had unmatched energy and limitless musical passion. These skills allowed them to win a battle of the bands for 101.9 The Edge to record this wonderful debut. Oh and they later changed their name to Finger Eleven or something.

Thats it for now! Come back in a few days for Part 2!!! Stay true, north, strong and FREE Canadians!!!
Please let me know what you think so far!! Cheers!

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