Favourite/influential Canadian bands?

..anybody still read this blog?

So we’re getting ready for the show we’re recording in a few days (another?? so soon? ) , and we decided to make this one about Canadian music. AJ and I could easily talk Canadian music for hours, but we’d like your input…

So here are the questions for you :

  • Favourite Canadian Band ?
  • Their best album ?
  • Their most influential tune, and why ?

Simple enough eh?

You can get your answers to us by:

  • Commenting on this post
  • email to bob AT bobandaj.info
  • Sending an mp3 of your lovely voice telling us : bob AT bobandaj.info
  • phone it in (267) 220-3701

looking forward to your thoughts!


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8 Responses to “Favourite/influential Canadian bands?”

  1. John Meadows Says:

    It’s a credit to the Canadian music scene that is is such a tough question to answer; it’s almost unfair, as I might have one answer for each of the last 3 or 4 decades.

    But I’ll play by the rules, and my answer is the Guess Who, and their album Canned Wheat.

    Their most influential tune would have to be American Woman (although my favourite is These Eyes). It’s important to remember that in 1970 or so, they were a supergroup in terms of selling records, and they didn’t feel the need to hide their Canadian roots. Indeed, they described their music as Wheatfield Soul, and that description certainly works for me.

  2. Rob Says:

    The first thing that popped into my head when I saw Bob link to this in Facebook was “The Guess Who”, and it’s obvious that great minds think alike: I get here and John has already made an eloquent case for them. Consider the motion seconded.

    In addition to “American Woman”, I have to include amongst my favourite Guess Who songs the following:

    – “No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature”
    – “Share The Land”
    – “Undun”
    – “Bus Rider”
    – “These Eyes”
    – “Laughing”
    – “Hand Me Down World”
    – “Runnin’ Back to Saskatoon”
    – “Rain Dance”

    But wait, there’s more! The next reflex was to nominate Rush: a quick browse through their discography shows why they are also deserving of being named most influential (as well as being one of my favourite bands).

    – 1977’s eponymous Rush, their debut album – most influential song from that album would probably be “Working Man”.

    – 1975’s Fly By Night – the title song gets the nod here.

    – 1975’s Caress Of Steel – “Lakeside Park” is surely a Canadian rock anthem; “Bastille Day” is another memorable song from this one.

    – 1977’s A Farewell To Kings – “Closer To The Heart” is quintessential Rush, and “Xanadu” (er, *not* the ON-J song from the movie of the same name…) is a fine example of their more concepty work

    – 1980’s Permanent Waves – how to choose between “The Spirit Of Radio” and “Freewill”? They are both awesome songs, but having spent much of my music-taste forming years listening to CFNY “The Edge”, I have to confess a slight preference for the former, an ode by an influential band to an influential radio station.

    – 1981’s Moving Pictures – “Tom Sawyer”, “Red Barchetta” and the instrumental “YYZ”. Do I need to say anything more? 🙂

    – 1982’s Signals – “New World Man”, their highest charting single in the US; that has to count for something, right? And it’s an awesome song anyway…

    – 1987’s Hold Your Fire – “Time Stand Still”, a memorable, more mature piece from the band.

    – 1991’s Roll The Bones – the title song’s the pick of the litter from this one.

    Phew… quite a catalogue, eh? Not sure I could single out one album as their best, but if pressed maybe I’d say… um, nope, can’t pick one. Maybe I could narrow it down (for now, ask again later and it might change…) to a coin toss between “Caress Of Steel” and “A Farewell To Kings”.

    Most influential tune? Hard to pick just one for this too, but “Closer To The Heart” is probably as good an example as any.

    Hope that helps! Although maybe with all those choices it just makes it harder for you…

  3. aj Says:

    Fxxkin eh man…Good start Bob!!


  4. katherine Says:

    Okay, this falls into the “favourite band” side of things rather than “most influential”. But I have to add in Kim Mitchell/Max Webster.

    If I had to pick a single album, it’d be “A Million Vacations” from 1979, with three classic MW songs: “Paradise Skies”, “Let Go the Line”, and “A Million Vacations”.

    But I also love songs like “High Class in Borrowed Shoes” and “Diamonds, Diamonds”. I still remember when “Diamonds, Diamonds” came out — one of my cousins won a copy of the single in a radio phone-in — and yes, it was one of those little 45s that you had to play on a Real Record Player. And we did. Over and over and over again.

    I still love that song when it comes on the radio, it just makes me so happy.

    And I’m lucky, because Kim Mitchell is the afternoon guy on Q107 out of Toronto, so I can still get my Kim fix when I’m out in the car. Oh, you know, provided the wind is blowing the right way, otherwise my car radio won’t catch Q107 🙂

  5. Dan Gentry Says:

    I guess I don’t think very much about where bands are from, so I’m probably missing some good groups.

    Aside from those already mentioned (Rush, Neil Young, Guess Who) in High School I was all over BTO. Also, in the early 80s, I remember listening to Saga.

  6. Darren King Says:

    Probably too late for your show, but being in the US for the past 13 years and not getting tired of them, I have to say The Tragically Hip hands down. There is something truely Canadian about them and the content of their songs. Just saw them in a very small club down here filled with Canadians, it was a great experience.

    Going with Fully Completely as the album. Road Apples seems to be the popular choice as their best album, but find a weak song on Fully Completely.

    Wheat Kings, and 50 Mission Cap as a tie for the song. Can’t get anymore Canadian than those two songs. Enough said.

    Okay, I’ve geeked out enough.

    All the best guys, glad a new show is coming soon.


  7. Phil Bowman Says:

    Allison Crowe
    Bruce Cockburn

    Probably a lot of others I don’t know are Canadian 🙂

    Quickly looking through Wikipedia, it has Nelly Furtado down as Canadian/Portugese, which I certainly didn’t know.

    Maybe you should do a show on famous artists who noone knows are Canadian?

    Looking forward to the new show..

  8. Lollipop Says:

    I know im waaaay late to this party, but…

    Bachman-Turner Overdrive

    Takin’ care of business


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