Monday, 27 June 2011

Top 100 Canadian Songs Of All Time: Part 2 (#75-51)

75. "Hope" - Our Lady Peace

Raine Maida and the boys have definitely left their mark on the landscape of Canadian musicians. They didn't really catch their big break until 1997's Clumsy, but I find some of their best work is on their first album Naveed. "Hope" is an intense song about a mentally unstable woman and it really exemplifies the raw and unique style OLP began with.

74. "Comin' Home" - City and Colour

Alexisonfire's front man Dallas Green takes on this alter-ego when he gets in a mellow mood. I think Dallas has one of the best singing voices i've ever heard. "Comin' Home" is a real sweet and heartfelt song about being in love and all alone. Many artists have done similar songs, but theres something about the way Dallas delivers this one that makes it stand out. Oh and fuck you Lincoln, Nebraska.

73. "YYZ" - Rush

The first instrumental track on the list comes from Canadian rock legends Rush. "YYZ" just shows what these guys do best, harmonized guitar and bass and just wild drumming from the great Neil Peart. "YYZ" is also the code for Toronto's international airport by the way.

72. "In September" - Hayden

Hayden has so many great tracks to choose from. This will definitely not be his only appearance on this list. "In September" was actually one of Hayden's first songs written and recorded, he initially released it in 1994. Thankfully he also re-released it on his major label debut Everything I Long For, because his early demos are damn near impossible to track down these days.

71. "Lady Venom" - Swollen Members

Prevail, Mad Child and Rob the Viking make up Vancouver's Swollen Members. Adding some hip hop flavour to this list which Canada isn't widely known for. When you know where to look however, songs like this featuring heavy beats and quick, clever lyrics are a welcome treasure.

70. "Striptease" - Hawksley Workman

No surprise that Hawksley would be found again on this list, "Striptease" here is possibly his most well-known song. From the initial guitar sounds to his distinct fast-paced vocal style this song burrows into your head with tenacity. It's almost a guaranteed mood changer this one isn't it?

69. "Bad Time To Be Poor" - Rheostatics

To this day Etobicoke's Rheostatics are mentioned among Canada's most iconic groups. Though they never received much fame or fortune they left their musical mark with remarkably poignant and social songs like "Bad Time To Be Poor". In true Canadian style they had songs of all different styles which can be attributed to the varying musical tastes of their band members.

68. "Born Losers" - Matthew Good

Matthew Good is one of Canada's shining exports. His music is honest, habit forming and unapologetic. This one comes from the post-Matthew Good Band era, but we'll get to that don't worry. "Born Losers" is brought alive by Matt's lyrical proficiency and excellent blend of acoustic and electric instruments. "She could never say flat out she don't want me/ 'Cause I could never say that halfway ain't enough"

67. "Hard Sun" - Indio

Indio, also known as Gordon Peterson, wasn't really a household name until Eddie Vedder covered this song in 2007. Sadly, he didn't give permission, but also didn't receive much compensation due to record label turmoil. "Hard Sun" remains a classic Canadian dirge regardless, a perfect companion for a road trip across the country's vast prairies.

66. "Any Sense Of Time" - The Inbreds

The Inbreds were a duo from Halifax, Nova Scotia. They gained a reputation on college radio and some friendly airplay on Much Music which garnered them a modest following (Including Foo Fighter's Dave Grohl). "Any Sense of Time" is a nice, laid back tune that goes well with warm summer days and long weekends. A perfect Canadian tune in my view.

65. "Brackish" - Kittie

I love Kittie; One of Canada's finest metal acts. "Brackish" found on 1999's Spit was the first song by them I heard and it kicked my ass. Morgan's ever versatile voice over top of raging power chords and chugging bass. Throw in some quick spitting from Fallon and you've got something worth noticing.

64. "Making Sunshine" - The Trews

Love the intro to this song, go outside on a warm, summer night and Canada and you can listen to the crickets chirping. I find that relaxing. It's a great lead in to a great song from one of Canada's best modern rock groups. Most people prefer their first album, but I found Den of Theives to be more enjoyable. I think this track had quite a bit to do with that.

63. "Choke" - T.O.E

Eventually changing their name to Cauterize, T.O.E had a short lifespan as far as bands go. They had a high intensity to their songs which made "Choke" a perfect inclusion to one of Nintendo's high energy video game soundtracks, which is how they gained a wider audience. Some great lyrics in this song too, maybe i'll include it on the Great Break-up Songs list...hmmm.

62. "500 Up" - Sloan

Canada's fab four, Sloan are a must have on any Canadian compilation. "500 Up" comes from the days before they were a household name and is one of the only singles that features drummer Andrew Scott on secondary vocals. Maybe thats why it always stood out in my mind, but it's always been one of the best Sloan tracks to me.

61. "Both Sides,  Now" - Joni Mitchell

Ah Joni, the first lady of folk-music. Joni's music has inspired and touched people on both sides of the border and all over the world. "Both Sides, Now" was a sleeper hit for Joni, as she did not expect it be as popular as it did. Since it's release in 1969 it's been covered over 20 times and was even played during the opening ceremonies at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

60. "Sweet Mary" - Equalizer

I'm pretty sure I punched someone out when I found out these guys were from Montreal. In a good way. Such a great song, and like I said before it gets an immediate plus one for being Canadian. "Sweet Mary" is an introspective look at life, even if that life seems to revolve around the inclusion of one single person. I think we've all been at that point at some period of our lives.

59. "Absolutely Anytime" - The Watchmen

This song will always remind me of my time in radio. It came right at the end of The Watchmen's run, but it's got this unique vibe to it, unlike most other Watchmen tracks. And it's very refreshing when a band is able to present great songs without rehashing a winning formula over and over again.

58. "Believe Me" - Moist

At one point Moist were my all time favourite Canadian group, I had a Phoenix Coyotes hat signed by the entire band, if only they had lasted longer. I'm glad, however that we have great songs like "Believe Me" to remind us of a better time when Moist existed. Yes, that's Bif Naked in the video, a darker video, from a time when artists weren't afraid to create art.

57. "Mushaboom" - Feist

Leslie Feist was present in the background of the Canadian music scene for quite some time, being involved with Chris Murphy from Sloan and singing in Montreal's Broken Social Scene. It wasn't until 2004 when her album Let It Die was released that Feist's popularity exploded. It featured a cover of The Bee Gees "Inside & Out" and this great track "Mushaboom". Of course the rest of the world knows her from that iPod commercial....

56. "Being Here" - The Stills

Such a simple, lovely, straight forward pop song, some Stills fans were disenchanted by this direction, but I feel it's impossible for me not to love it. Nothing much else to say about it, let the song do the speaking.

55. "Dear Sons & Daughters Of Hungry Ghosts" - Wolf Parade

Montreal seems to be the new New York. Every year a plethora of great music flows from it's indie scene and into the ears of music lovers all over Canada and the world. This song was impossible to forget after I heard it once, an infectious beat and very quotable lyrics, how could I?

54. "Lean On Your Peers" - Blackie & The Rodeo Kings

Tom Wilson is a name Canadian music appreciators know well, he's had many bands and groups associated with him: Junkhouse, Lee Harvey Osmond and even his solo work. I'd say it was within Blackie & The Rodeo Kings, however where we find his crowning jewel. "Lean On Your Peers" is a song that demands your attention, it's great storytelling vibe keeps you interested while the slow-paced strum takes you back to a time in your life that you just wish would never end. Sometimes I wish this song wouldn't.

53. "Into The Darkness" - Kittie

2004 saw the return of Kittie and this merciless metal track. "Into The Darkness" has it's detractors but theres not a lot out there that sounds like it. It took a while for me to appreciate the double vocals, but now I can't imagine this song without it. Metal at it's purest.

52. "Ming Tran" - Gob

From Canadian metal to punk, Gob has gone through a slight metamorphosis during their tenure. From short, sophomoric punk ditties to full blown out, methodical punk assaults, it's a welcome change. Especially when it comes to "Ming Tran", an instantly addictive track that continues playing in your head long after the cd stops. Give us more of this Gob. Thanks.

51. "Wake Up" - The Arcade Fire

Since their 2004 debut Funeral The Arcade Fire have gone from a Canadian hipster's secret garden to full-blown as-seen-on-tv household appliances. That's not necessarily a bad thing, I do think however their best work is behind them or yet to be seen. Nothing that they've done since has matched the sheer brilliance of Funeral. Take one listen to "Wake Up" and I think you'll agree with me. But i'm sure there is more to come.


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