In 1996, the 4-CD box set Oh What a Feeling (named after a song by Crowbar) was released to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Juno Awards. To mark the 30th anniversary, a second set was released as well as a third for the 35th anniversary. Here we’ll simply review the first set, as it was certified Diamond in Canada. We’ll provide a track listing with some info on each song and its artist. In Part 1, we cover the first two discs. Part 2 will look at discs 3 and 4.
1. The Guess Who, “American Woman”
This was the biggest hit from the Winnipeg rock band which topped the weekly charts in Canada and the U.S. and was the 5th biggest song of 1970. Randy Bachman left the band to form Bachman-Turner Overdrive (see Track #14 below) and lead vocalist Burton Cummings enjoyed a successful solo career in the late-70s (see Track #13 below). The Guess Who were named best group by the Junos in 1970 and 1971.
2. Lighthouse, “One Fine Morning”
This was a Toronto band that formed in 1968 distinguishing themselves with a strong horn section. They won the best group Juno in 1973 and 1974. The song peaked at #2 on the charts in November 1971 and was the 30th biggest song of the year.
3. Crowbar, “Oh, What a Feeling”
This Hamilton outfit formed after its members were fired by Ronnie Hawkins as his backing band. Apparently their name came from Hawkins’ statement, “You guys are so crazy that you could f@#$ up a crowbar”. The song peaked at #10 on the charts in May 1971.
4. Steppenwolf, “Born to Be Wild”
Steppenwolf was a Canadian-American hybrid band fronted by John Kay, a naturalized Canadian born in East Prussia. The song topped the charts in September 1968 and finished as the 14th biggest song of the year. The song is famous for coining the term “heavy metal” which appears in its lyrics and later came to refer to the genre of hard rock.
5. Sweeney Todd, “Roxy Roller”
Lead vocalist Nick Gilder of this short-lived Vancouver band departed for a successful solo career. The song topped the charts in June 1976, finished as the year’s 5th biggest song, and won the Juno for Song of the Year.
6. Downchild Blues Band, “(I Got Everything I Need) Almost”
This was a popular Toronto blues band in the 70s, though they didn’t score too many hits on the pop charts. This song came out in 1974.
7. Powder Blues Band, “Doin’ it Right”
This was Vancouver’s answer to the aforementioned blues band. The song was popular, especially locally, in 1980.
8. Trooper, “Raise a Little Hell”
For a while, this Vancouver rock band had the best-selling Canadian album in history. They won the Group of the Year Juno in 1980. This song was popular in September 1978.
9. Chilliwack, “Fly at Night”
Named after the city in BC and fronted by Bill Henderson, Chilliwack scored this #7 hit in July 1977 which made the year-end Top 100. The song isn’t to be confused with Rush’s “Fly by Night”.
10. Triumph, “Magic Power”
Rik Emmett’s Mississauga trio scored this #14 hit in November, 1981.
11. Saga, “On the Loose”
This was a progressive rock band from Oakville, ON. “On the Loose” was a Top 30 hit south of the border in March 1983. Their biggest hit in Canada was “Wind Him Up”.
12. A Foot in Coldwater, “(Make Me Do) Anything You Want”
This was a Toronto group some of whose members were with Lords of London previously. They had a couple of hits in the 70s. This song peaked at #33 in March 1975.
13. Burton Cummings, “Stand Tall”
This was his biggest hit as a soloist, peaking at #4 on the charts in December 1976. It made the year-end chart (#59). Burton won 3 major Junos: one for album of the year and 2 for male artist of the year.
14. Bachman–Turner Overdrive, “Takin’ Care of Business”
BTO’s biggest hit was “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” but this song continues to be a popular anthem played at various sports matches. It peaked at #3 in August 1974 and was the 46th biggest song of the year. Bachman-Turner Overdrive was formed in Winnipeg but based in Vancouver at the suggestion of manager Bruce Allen. They won 2 group of the year, 3 album of the year, and 1 song of the year awards at the Junos.
15. Rough Trade, “High School Confidential”
This was a new wave band from Toronto fronted by provocative Carole Pope. The song peaked at #12 in June 1981.
16. The Pursuit of Happiness, “I’m An Adult Now”
This was a so-called indie band from Toronto. They didn’t have any huge hits. This song peaked at #35 in September 1986 and made the Top 40 in Australia.
17. Martha and the Muffins, “Echo Beach”
This was a Toronto band which later came to be known as M+M. The song was a #5 new wave hit in August 1980, finishing the year as the 16th biggest song. It was also a Top 10 hit in both Australia and the U.K. “Echo Beach” tied Anne Murray’s “Could I Have This Dance” as Song of the Year at the Junos.
18. Cowboy Junkies, “Misguided Angel”
Led by Margo Timmins, this was a Toronto outfit that scored nine Top 40 hits, this being their first. It peaked at #24 in July, 1989.
19. Parachute Club, “Rise Up”
This Toronto band won the Juno for Group of the Year in 1985. The year before, “Rise Up” won the Song of the Year Award. It peaked at #9 in October 1983 and made the year-end Top 100.
1. Rush, “Closer to the Heart”
This well-known Toronto band won the Group of the Year Juno in 1978 and 1979. Their albums were more famous than their singles. This was one of their more famous songs, receiving airplay in late 1977–early 1978.
2. Loverboy, “Turn Me Loose”
This Vancouver-based band won the Group of the Year Juno three years in a row. Two of their albums were named Album of the Year. And this song won the Song of the Year Juno. It pretty much topped the charts in Vancouver while, in February 1981, broke into the Top 10 nationwide, in Australia, and in New Zealand.
3. Bryan Adams, “Cuts Like a Knife”
This was the third Top 30 hit from Canada’s emperor of pop. It peaked at #12 in April 1983 and was his first song to make the year-end Top 100. Adams won the Best Male Artist Juno seven times and two of his albums won the Album of the Year award.
4. Corey Hart, “Sunglasses at Night”
The Montrealer’s biggest hit was “Never Surrender” which won the Song of the Year Juno in 1985 (and was the biggest song of the year). This was his breakthrough hit. It peaked at #24 in March 1984, doing much better in the U.S. where it climbed up to #7.
5. The Payolas, “Eyes of a Stranger”
Led by Paul Hyde and Bob Rock, this song from the Vancouver band reached #4 on the RPM charts in August 1982 and appeared on the year-end chart at #34. In 1983, it won the Juno for Song of the Year.
6. The Jeff Healey Band, “See the Light”
Jeff was a blind blues-rock singer and guitarist from Toronto who died of cancer in 2008. This was the title-track of one of his best-known albums.
7. Colin James, “Just Came Back”
Regina’s blues-rocker was named male artist of the year twice. This ditty was named Song of the Year in 1991, peaked at #5 in August 1990 and appeared on the year-end chart at #52.
8. Kim Mitchell, “Patio Lanterns”
The Sarnia native departed from the album-oriented band Max Webster in 1981 to pursue a solo career. He has won Album of the Year and Male Artist of the Year Junos. The song peaked at #12 in August 1986 and made the year-end chart.
9. Honeymoon Suite, “New Girl Now”
From Niagara Falls, these guys were named Group of the Year in 1986. This was their first hit, peaking at #23 in September 1984 .
10. Glass Tiger, “Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone)”
This was a major group and a bit hit. Led by Alan Frew and emerging from Newmarket, ON, they never won a Group of the Year award but two of their singles were named Song of the Year, including this one. It topped the charts at the end of March, 1986 and was the 4th biggest song of the year.
11. Maestro Fresh Wes, “Let Your Backbone Slide”
This was the stage name of Torontonian Wesley Williams who did American rap music. The song managed to climb up to #10 on the charts in March 1990 but did not make the year-end chart.
12. Bruce Cockburn, “If I Had a Rocket Launcher”
The Ottawa folk artist won Male Artist of the Year awards in 1981 and ’82. This song wasn’t a notable hit but is very well-known due to its political message. He wrote the song after visiting Guatemalan refugee camps in Mexico following the campaign of dictator Efraín Ríos Montt.
13. Barenaked Ladies, “If I Had a Million Dollars”
The Scarborough natives scored this novelty hit, off their diamond-selling Gordon album, which peaked at #13 at the end of January in 1993. The Ladies won Group of the Year three times, Album of the Year once, and their “One Week” was named Song of the Year in 1999.
14. The Tragically Hip, “New Orleans is Sinking”
One of Canada’s most successful guitar-oriented rock bands, The Hip formed in Kingston, ON. Receiving some airplay at the end of 1989 through the beginning of 1990, the song was not a significant hit but has become known as one of their signature songs. New Orleans is a city in the United States that was founded by French colonists.
15. Tom Cochrane, “Life Is a Highway”
Tom from small town Manitoba was lead singer of the band Red Rider. He was much more successful as a soloist. This was a huge hit, topping the charts in November 1991, finishing as the 5th biggest song of the year, and nabbing the Song of the Year Juno.
16. Moist, “Push”
This was a hard rock band from Vancouver, led by David Usher. The song peaked at #32 in June 1994.
17. Alanis Morissette, “You Oughta Know”
You could pretty much pick any song from the Ottawan’s Jagged Little Pill album to include: half of them were huge hits. This song peaked at #6 in October 1995 and was #45 on the year-end chart. It won the Song of the Year Juno in 1996 and Alanis Female Artist of the Year. The following year, her “Ironic” won the award. Two of her albums have won Album of the Year Junos.