Essential Canadian Songs of the Seventies

One song per artist only

  • “American Woman”, The Guess Who (1970) ▲ ♪
  • “As The Years Go By”, Mashmakhan (1970) ▲
  • “Le Petit Roi”, Jean-Pierre Ferland (1970) ♪
  • “Put Your Hand in the Hand”, Ocean (1971) ▲ ♪
  • “Sweet City Woman”, The Stampeders (1971) ▲ ♪
  • “Signs”, The Five-Man Electrical Band (1971) ♪
  • “Stay Awhile”, The Bells (1971)
  • “Love Me Love Me Love”, Frank Mills (1971)
  • “Heart of Gold”, Neil Young (1972) ▲
  • “J’ai rencontré l’homme de ma vie”, Diane Dufresne (1972)
  • “J’entends Frapper” Michel Pagliaro (1973) ♪
  • “Last Song”, Edward Bear (1973)
  • “Femme de Rêve”, Claude Dubois (1973) ♪
  • “Seasons in the Sun”, Terry Jacks (1974) ▲ ⌂
  • “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet”, Bachman-Turner Overdrive (1974) ⌂
  • “Pour Un Instant”, Harmonium (1974)
  • “Sundown”, Gordon Lightfoot (1974) ▲
  • “You’re Having My Baby”, Paul Anka (1974) ▲
  • “Rock Me Gently”, Andy Kim (1974)
  • “Help Me”, Joni Mitchell (1974) ♪
  • “Gens du Pays”, Gilles Vigneault (1975) ♪
  • “Tonight is a Wonderful Time to Fall in Love”, April Wine (1975)
  • “Un Incident à Bois-des-Filion” Beau Dommage (1975)
  • “Roxy Roller”, Sweeney Todd (1976) ⌂
  • “Le Tour de L’Île”, Félix Leclerc (1976) ♪
  • “Sugar Daddy”, Patsy Gallant (1977) ⌂
  • “Stand Tall”, Burton Cummings (1977)
  • “Fly At Night”, Chilliwack (1977)
  • “À qui appartient le beau temps”, Paul Piché (1977)
  • “Hot Child in the City”, Nick Gilder (1978) ▲ ⌂
  • “Closer to the Heart”, Rush (1978) ♪
  • “Sometimes When We Touch”, Dan Hill (1978)
  • “You Needed Me”, Anne Murray (1978)
  • “I Just Wanna Stop”, Gino Vannelli (1978)
  • “Raise a Little Hell”, Trooper (1978)
  • “Paquetville”, Édith Butler (1979) ♪
  • “Je ne suis qu’une chanson”, Ginette Reno (1979)
  • “Night to Remember”, Prism (1979)
  • “Hold On”, Triumph (1979)
  • “Wondering Where the Lions Are” Bruce Cockburn (1979)

▲ Finished in theYear-End Top 10 (Toronto’s CHUM Chart)
♪ Inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame
⌂ Juno Award for Song of the Year

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1979’s Biggest Canadian Hits, Both English and French

CMB medThe biggest Canadian Franco hit of 1979 was Daniel Lavoie’s “La danse du smatte” and the biggest Anglo hit Anne Murray’s “I Just Fall in Love Again” according to the CKOI and RPM year-end charts respectively. Supertramp’s “The Logical Song” was the #1 song of the year in Canada. Besides all songs by Canadians that made the RPM year-end Top 100 and year-end Top 50 CKOI chart, we have included below all that made the RPM weekly Top 40 throughout the year, listing their peak position. Bear in mind, that this is a picture of cross-Canada success. Songs may have charted much higher or lower in various cities as radio stations usually give local artists more support. Below the list, check out some cool trivia about the year’s hits.

YE= Year-End chart position.

WP = Weekly chart peak position.

1979 FRANCO HITS

TITLE ARTIST YE
La danse du smatte Daniel Lavoie 9
Strip Tease Diane Dufresne 22
Gilberto Diane Tell 32
Cash-moe Corbeau 38
Alys en cinemascope Diane Dufresne 50

1979 ANGLO HITS

TITLE ARTIST YE WP
I Just Fall in Love Again Anne Murray 16 1
(Boogie Woogie) Dancin’ Shoes Claudja Barry 59 7
Dancer Gino Soccio 71 6
I Just Wanna Stop Gino Vannelli 76  *
Shadows in the Moonlight Anne Murray 79 10
A Little Lovin’ The Raes 92 13
I Only Want to Get Up and Dance The Raes 96 12
Peter Piper Frank Mills   11
The Moment That It Takes Trooper   14
Come to Me France Joli   15
Broken Hearted Me Anne Murray   15
Nobody Doucette   18
I Will Play a Rhapsody Burton Cummings   20
Here Comes the Night Nick Gilder   21
Get Up & Boogie Freddie James   22
Armageddon Prism   23
3 Dressed Up As a 9 Trooper   24
Roller April Wine   24
Whispering Rain Murray McLauchlan   24
Please Come Back to Me Good Brothers   25
Boys in the Bright White Sports Car Trooper   25
Sweet Lui-Louise Ironhorse   26
The Dream Never Dies The Cooper Brothers   30
Wheels of Life Gino Vannelli   31
Heartaches BTO   32
Little People Rob Liddell   32
Hold On Triumph   33
We All Need Love Troiano   34
(You Really) Rock Me Nick Gilder   35
Wondering Where the Lions Are Bruce Cockburn   39
Let Go the Line Max Webster   39

* Reached #1 at the end of 1978.

1979 CHOICE TRIVIA

1979 Trivia

LINKS

More Charts…

Late 70s Overview…

1978’s Biggest Canadian Hits, Both English and French

CMB medFour tunes by Canadians topped the weekly RPM singles chart. Anne Murray’s classic “You Needed Me” finished as the third biggest song of 1978 overall, the Bee Gees’ “Night Fever” taking top honours. “Viens danser” by Fiori-Seguin was the biggest Franco hit according to the CKOI year-end chart. Besides all songs by Canadians that made the RPM year-end Top 100 and Canuck entries on the year-end Top 50 CKOI chart, we have included below all that made the RPM weekly Top 40 throughout the year, listing their peak position. Bear in mind, that this is a picture of cross-Canada success. Songs may have charted much higher or lower in various cities as radio stations usually give local artists more support. Below the list, check out some cool trivia about the year’s hits.

YE= Year-End chart position.

WP = Weekly chart peak position.

1978 FRANCO HITS

TITLE ARTIST YE
Viens danser Fiori-Seguin 5
Le blues du businessman Claude Dubois 8
Aimer d’amour Boule Noire 15
La complainte du marechal biron Garolou 27
200 nuits a l’heure Fiori-Seguin 32
Mes blues passent pu dans porte Offenbach 35
Blanc apres noir Gilles Valiquette 45
Je chante comme un coyote Offenbach 50

1978 ANGLO HITS

TITLE ARTIST YE WP
You Needed Me Anne Murray 3 1
Sometimes When We Touch Dan Hill 4 1
Hot Child in the City Nick Gilder 7 1
I Just Wanna Stop Gino Vannelli 37 1
The Circle Is Small Gordon Lightfoot 40 6
Break It to Them Gently Burton Cummings 76 9
Love Is In the Air Martin Stevens   19
I Will Still Love You Stonebolt   19
Round and Round We Go Trooper   22
Raise a Little Hell Trooper   27
Walk Right Back Anne Murray   32
All I See Is Your Face Dan Hill   35
Coming Home Ian Thomas Band   40

1978 CHOICE TRIVIA

1978 Trivia

LINKS

More Charts…

Late 70s Overview…

1977′s Biggest Canadian Hits, Both English and French

CMB medThis was not as successful a year for Canadian music as the year before and after. Because Dan Hill’s huge hit “Sometimes When We Touch” was launched towards the end of the year, its chart performance was split between 1977 and 1978. It was the biggest Anglo song by a Canadian in 1977 appearing on the RPM year-end chart at #72, while it was #4 on the 1978 year-end chart. Paul Piché’s “Heureux d’un printemps” was the biggest Franco hit by a Canuck according to the year-end CKOI chart. The top song of 1977 in Canada was “You Light Up My Life” by the United States’ Debby Boone. We have also included below all songs by Canadians that made RPM’s weekly Top 40 throughout the year, listing their peak position on the charts. Bear in mind, that this is a picture of cross-Canada success. Songs may have charted much higher or lower in various cities as radio stations tend to give local artists more support. Below the list, check out some cool trivia about the year’s hits.

YE= Year-End chart position.

WP = Weekly chart peak position.

1977 FRANCO HITS

TITLE ARTIST YE
Heureux d’un printemps Paul Piché 12
Loin d’ici Boule Noire 29
Méfiez-vous du grand amour Michel Rivard 35
Hollywood Freak Diane Dufresne 37
Essaye donc pas Paul Piché 43
1254 Rue stanley Boule Noire 48

1977 ANGLO HITS

TITLE ARTIST YE WP
Sometimes When We Touch Dan Hill 72‡ 6‡
You Won’t Dance with Me April Wine  74 6
Fly at Night Chilliwack 76 7
Que Sera Sera The Raes 92 9
Sugar Daddy Patsy Gallant 94 9
Fightin’ on the Side of Love THP Orchestra   14
Heaven on the Seventh Floor Mighty Pope   14
Are You Ready For Love Patsy Gallant   16
Dazz John Ellison*   23
Mr. Love Vehicle   25
Race Among the Ruins Gordon Lightfoot   30
Make It Up to Me in Love Paul Anka & Odia Coates   34
Santa Maria Trooper   35
My Own Way to Rock Burton Cummings   38
Once in a Long Time Christopher Ward   38
It Always Happens This Way Toulouse   39
Your Love Gets Me Around Ronney Abramson   39

‡ Peaked at a higher position on the weekly charts in 1978 and was the 4th biggest song of 1978.

* Part Canadian.

1977 CHOICE TRIVIA

1977 Trivia

LINKS

More Charts…

Late 70s Overview…

1976′s Biggest Canadian Hits, Both English and French

CMB medNine Anglo and nine Franco hits made the year-end RPM and CKOI charts respectively. Sweeney Todd’s “Roxy Roller” and Robert Charlebois’ “Cartier” took top Canadian honours. The most successful international hit of the year was “Tonight’s the Night” by the UK’s Rod Stewart. We have also included below all songs by Canadians that made RPM’s weekly Top 40 throughout the year listing their peak position on the charts. Bear in mind, that this is a picture of cross-Canada success. Songs may have charted much higher or lower in various cities as radio stations tend to give local artists more support. Below the list, check out some cool trivia about the year’s hits.

YE= Year-End chart position.

WP = Weekly chart peak position.

1976 FRANCO HITS

TITLE ARTIST YE
Cartier Robert Charlebois 12
Le premier ciel Harmonium 16
Artistes Claude Dubois 19
Le temps presse Michel Pagliaro 24
Aimes-tu la vie Boule Noire 28
Ah, toi belle hirondelle Garolou 32
The Frog Song Robert Charlebois 35
16 ans en 76 Beau Dommage 40
Loin loin de la ville Boule Noire 50

1976 ANGLO HITS

TITLE ARTIST YE WP
Roxy Roller Sweeney Todd 5 1
The Wreck of Edmund Fitzgerald Gordon Lightfoot 12 1
Theme from SWAT THP Orchestra 29 1
Stand Tall Burton Cummings 59 4
Wow Andre Gagnon 65 4
The Whole World’s Goin’ Crazy April Wine 68 5
New York to L.A. Patsy Gallant 72 6
Anyway You Want It Charity Brown 73 6
Loving You Baby Wednesday 78 6
So Glad You’re a Woman Neon Philharmonic   11
General Hand Grenade Trooper   14
In France They Kiss On Main St. Joni Mitchell   19
Anna Marie Susan Jacks   20
Give a Little Love Ken Tobias   21
(Love Theme From) Missouri Breaks Hagood Hardy   21
I’m Easy Ron Nigrini   22
Playing in the Band Stampeders   23
Take It Like a Man Bachman-Turner Overdrive   24
Dolly Liverpool   24
Late Night Lovin’ Man Hammersmith   25
Liars Ian Thomas   25
Linda Write Me a Letter Choya   26
Lazy Love New City Jam Band   30
Y’ Don’t Fight the Sea Terry Jacks   31
Times of Your Life Paul Anka 31
Two for the Show Trooper   32
Gimme Love April Wine   33
Say You Love Me Shirley Eikhard   34
One Night Lovers Tom Middleton   35
Santa Jaws Homemade Theatre   36
Sweeney Todd Folder Sweeney Todd   36
Roll You Over Marty Simon   37
You Can’t Dance Jackson Hawke   37
Sweet Love Bandit Stampeders   39
Lookin’ Out For #1 Bachman-Turner Overdrive   40
Tell Me Airlift   40

1976 CHOICE TRIVIA

1976 Trivia

LINKS

More Charts…

Late 70s Overview…

Biggest Hits 1976-79, Both English and French

Below, are big hits by Canadian artists that made the year-end charts. We have included songs performed in both official languages. The English hits are taken from RPM Magazine, Canada. The French hits are taken from Montreal radio station CKOI. On the next few blog entries, we’ll do a year-by-year chart summary listing all songs by Canadians that made the RPM weekly Top 40.

1976

ENGLISH
Song Artist Pos
Roxy Roller Sweeney Todd 5
Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald Gordon Lightfoot 12
Theme from SWAT THP Orchestra 29
Stand Tall Burton Cummings 59
Wow Andre Gagnon 65
The Whole World’s Going Crazy April Wine 68
From New York to L.A. Patsy Gallant 72
Any Way You Want Charity Brown 73
Loving You Baby Wednesday 78
FRENCH
Cartier Robert Charlebois 12
Le premier ciel Harmonium 16
Artiste Claude Dubois 19
Le temps presse Michel Pagliaro 24
Aimes-tu la vie Boule Noire 28
Ah, toi belle hirondelle Garolou 32
The Frog Song Robert Charlebois 35
16 ans en 76 Beau Dommage 40
Loin loin de la ville Boule Noire 50

1977

ENGLISH
Song Artist Pos
Sometimes When We Touch Dan Hill 72
Fly at Night Chilliwack 76
Sugar Daddy Patsy Gallant 94
FRENCH
Heureux d’un printemps Paul Piché 12
Loin   d’ici Boule Noire 29
Méfiez-vous du grand amour Michel Rivard 35
Hollywood freak Diane Dufresne 37
Essaye donc pas Paul Piché 43
1254 Rue stanley Boule Noire 48

1978

ENGLISH
Song Artist Pos
You Needed Me Anne Murray 3
Sometimes When We Touch Dan Hill 4
Hot Child in the City Nick Gilder 7
I Just Wanna Stop Gino Vannelli 37
The Circle Is Small Gordon Lightfoot 40
Break It to Them Gently Burton Cummings 76
FRENCH
Viens   danser Fiori-Seguin 5
Le blues du businessman Claude Dubois 8
Aimer d’amour Boule Noire 15
La complainte du marechal biron Garolou 27
200 nuits a l’heure Fiori-Seguin 32
Mes   blues passent pu dans porte Offenbach 35
Blanc apres noir Gilles Valiquette 45
Je chante comme un coyote Offenbach 50

1979

ENGLISH
Song Artist Pos
I Just Fall in Love Again Anne Murray 16
Dancer Gino Soccio 71
I Just Wanna Stop Gino Vannelli 76
Shadows in the Moonlight Anne Murray 79
A Little Lovin’ The Raes 92
Get Up and Dance The Raes 96
FRENCH
La danse du smatte Daniel Lavoie 9
Strip Tease Diane Dufresne 22
Gilberto Diane Tell 32
Cash-Moe Corbeau 38
Alys en cinemascope Diane Dufresne 50

Bruce Cockburn

Born: 1945, Ottawa
Debut: 1970
Breakthrough: 1979
Genre: Folk

Studio Albums:

1970 Bruce Cockburn
1971 High Winds White Sky
1971 Sunwheel Dance
1973 Night Vision
1974 Salt, Sun and Time
1975 Joy Will Find a Way
1976 In the Falling Dark
1978 Further Adventures Of Bruce Cockburn
1979 Dancing In the Dragon’s Jaws
1980 Humans
1981 Inner City Front
1983 The Trouble With Normal
1984 Stealing Fire
1986 World of Wonders
1988 Big Circumstance
1991 Nothing But a Burning Light
1993 Christmas
1994 Dart to the Heart
1997 Charity of Night
1999 Breakfast In New Orleans … Dinner In Timbuktu
2003 You’ve Never Seen Everything
2005 Speechless
2006 Life Short Call Now

(Bolded items above were certified Platinum in Canada)

Breakthrough Single:

Wondering Where the Lions Are“, 1979

– Peaked at #39 in the Canadian RPM Charts
– Peaked at #21 in the U.S. Hot 100

Most Successful Single:

If a Tree Falls“, 1989

– Peaked at #8 in the Canadian RPM Charts

Some Other Well-Known Songs:

– “Tokyo“, 1980
– “Coldest Night of the Year“, 1981
– “Lovers in a Dangerous Time“, 1984
– “If I Had a Rocket Launcher“, 1984
– “People See Through You”, 1986
– “Don’t Feel Your Touch”, 1989
– “A Dream Like Mine”, 1991
– “Great Big Love”, 1992
– “Somebody Touched Me”, 1992
– “Listen For the Laugh”, 1994
– “Scanning These Crowds”, 1994
– “Night Train”, 1997

Achievements:

– Canadian Music Hall of Fame (2001)
– 3 Platinum Albums in Canada
– 7 Juno Awards including Male Artist of the Year in both 1981 and 1982
– Released over 20 original studio albums
– Honorary Chair of Friends of the Earth

Bruce Cockburn, a jack-of-all-trades in the folk music industry, is a composer, arranger, poet, guitarist, pianist, humanitarian activist, and singer. His rise to stardom was slow and steady, and he now has a large volume of material—over 20 studio albums of original songs—under his name. He has also been one of the few English-Canadian singer-songwriters to enjoy success in Quebec and has recorded French versions of a number of his songs.

Born in the nation’s capital, and spending part of his childhood on a farm outside of Pembroke, Cockburn entered the period of his junior youth enamoured with Elvis Presley, inspiring him to take up music. He had learned the clarinet and the trumpet but realized that the piano and guitar were the vehicles that made someone a rock star. He found a guitar in his grandmother’s attic and began strumming along to hits on the radio. He attended Nepean High School and played in some bands. After doing some buskin in Paris, he proceeded to Boston, U.S.A. to study at the Berklee School of Music. Around this time he fell in love with folk music and also got into jazz. He ended up dropping out of the music school after three semesters, feeling it wasn’t a good fit for him, and returned to Ottawa, joining some local rock bands.

By the end of the decade, perhaps encouraged by his appearances at the Mariposa Folk Festival in 1967 and as the headliner in 1969 when Neil Young cancelled to participate in Woodstock, Cockburn felt a solo career was the better way to go. In Toronto, a musician friend introduced Bruce to manager Bernie Finkelstein who had formed True North Records. Cockburn released his debut (self-titled) album on this label in 1970. It won a Juno Award.

Not only was his music praised but his gift for penning thoughtful lyrics which, over the years, have presented a mish-mash of rural imagery, human rights, environmentalism, and subtle theology. Poet Charles Williams and theologian Harvey Cox are cited as primary influences.

Cockburn quickly gained a large following enabling him to tour the country in 1972. After several albums, he decided to spice up his music by adding some jazz, pop, and rock flavours. The result was his first significant radio hit in 1979: “Wondering Where the Lions Are” which earned him an appearance on Saturday Night Live in the United States. This new folk-rock direction eventually became Cockburn’s most popular.

After touring Japan with Murray McLauchlan, Bruce released his politically-drenched Humans in 1980 which spawned the minor hit “Tokyo”.

This stronger political direction became most evident with the release of “If I Had a Rocket Launcher” which he had composed after visiting Guatemalan refugee camps in Mexico that were being attacked by Guatemalan military helicopters. Cockburn had, by now, broadened his outlook from rural settings in the Ottawa valley to encompass the whole planet, as he became increasingly aware of political issues and human rights violations around the globe. He traveled to such places as Mali, Mozambique, and Nepal. With a new, strong and clear international vision, Cockburn sang out (and spoke out in a series of lecture tours) against land mines, deforestation, and corrupt financial institutions while internationalizing his music with the inclusion of reggae, Latin, Afrobeat, and other styles. Success peaked in 1989 thanks to Big Circumstance and its hit single, “If a Tree Falls”, which broke into the Top 10 at home and into the Top 30 in Australia.

Cockburn’s activism kept him busy throughout the 1990′s after the release of a tribute album by various artists. Most notable was perhaps the Barenaked Ladies’ cover of “Lovers in a Dangerous Time” which helped launch their career. He teamed up with friend T-Bone Burnett in Los Angeles to record some of his albums during this decade.

In 2001, Bruce Cockburn was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. The telecast featured testimonials from U2′s Bono, Jackson Browne, Cowboy Junkies’ Margo Timmins, and Midnight Oil’s Peter Garrett.

Triumph

 
Debut: 1976, Mississauga, ON
Breakthrough: 1979
Years Most Active: 1976-1993
Genre: Rock
 
Primary Members:
 
– Rik Emmett (lead vocals, guitars)
– Mike Levine (bass guitar, keyboards)
– Gil Moore (drums, vocals)
 
Notable Songs:
 
1979 – “Hold On”
1979 – “Lay It on the Line”
1980 – “I Can Survive”
1981 – “Fight the Good Fight”
1981 – “Magic Power
1982 – “Say Goodbye”
1983 – “All the Way”
1983 – “Never Surrender”
1983 – “A World of Fantasy”
1984 – “Spellbound”
1985 – “Follow Your Heart”
1986 – “Somebody’s Out There”
1986 – “Tears in the Rain”
1987 – “Long Time Gone”
1993 – “Child of the City”
 
Studio Albums:
 
Triumph, 1976
Rock and Roll Machine, 1977 (P)
Just a Game, 1979 (P)
Progressions of Power, 1980 (G)
Allied Forces, 1981 (G)
Never Surrender, 1983 (G)
Thunder Seven, 1984 (P)
The Sport of Kings, 1986 (G)
Surveillance, 1987 (G)
Edge of Excess, 1993
 
(G=Gold; P=Platinum)
 
 
Triumph has often been compared to Rush: both bands are trios from the Toronto area, both play progressive hard rock, and both have been successful outside of the country. Although Rush has been far more successful and enduring, Triumph has managed several hits and three Platinum albums. They were inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2008.
 
A chance encounter in 1975 among the three musicians in the Toronto area led to repeated jam sessions. They decided to form a band and began performing in local high schools and bars. Their renown as a live act spread and they were soon able to sell out concert halls. They released their first (self-titled) album in 1976 which failed to create a stir. Undaunted, they released Rock and Roll Machine the following year which, incidentally, became a hit in San Antonio, Texas, USA whose citizens were big fans of hard rock. The band decided to tour the area. The result was a separate record deal in the U.S..
 
The band’s big breakthrough came with their third album, Just a Game, with its hits “Hold On” and “Lay It On the Line”. Progressions of Power followed in 1980 and saw the band become successful in Britain with the single “I Live for the Weekend”. The peak of Triumph’s success came with their fifth album, Allied Forces, and the big hits “Magic Power” and “Fight the Good Fight”. After releasing Never Surrender in ’83, Triumph took part in The US Rock Festival’s “Heavy Metal Sunday” on 29 May which drew a crowd of half a million as they performed with the likes of Van Halen, The Scorpions, Ozzy, and Quiet Riot.
 
After this, Triumph jumped ship from RCA to MCA Records and recorded their seventh studio album, produced by Eddie Kramer, famous for his work with The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Kiss, Hendrix, and others. Triumph gained a reputation for its awe-inspiring pyrotechnic lighting and laser show that easily rivaled anything else on the road in those days.
 
The Sport of Kings was produced by Mike Clink, who was asked, due in part to this project, to work on Guns ‘N Roses’ Appetite for Destruction. Triumph cracked the Top 30 in the U.S. with “Somebody’s Out There” and their appealing music video for “Just One Night” propelled it to the MTV video chart’s Top 10.
 
After Surveillance in 1987, Emmett, who has come to be regarded as one of the premier guitarists in rock, left Triumph to pursue a solo career. A new lineup was assembled in the early ’90s and recorded an offering for the soundtrack of the film Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth: “Troublemaker”. Edge of Excess was released in 1993 which featured the song plus the hit “Child of the City”.
 
Triumph had built their own recording studio called Metalworks. It has, since, become highly revered by other artists and has received nine recording studio of the year awards at the Canadian Music Industry Awards. It has become an educational facility for recording engineers and technicians.

Rush

 
Debut: 1974, Toronto
 
Members:
 
– Geddy Lee (vocals, keyboards, bass)
– Alex Lifeson (guitars)
– Neil Peart (drums)
 
Genre: Progressive Rock
 
Biggest Album:
 
Moving Pictures, 1981
– Peaked at #1 in Canada and #3 in both the U.S. and U.K.
– 4x Platinum in both Canada and the U.S.
  
Studio Albums:
 
Rush, 1974, G
Fly by Night, 1975, P
2112, 1976, MP
Hemispheres, 1978, P
Moving Pictures, 1981, MP
Signals, 1982, P
Power Windows, 1985, P
Presto, 1989, P
Counterparts, 1993, P
Test for Echo, 1996, G
Vapour Trails, 2002, G
Clockwork Angels, 2012
 
(G=Gold, P=Platinum, MP=Multi-Platinum)
 
Most Successful Single:
 
New World Man“, 1982
– Peaked at #21 in Billboard’s Hot 100
– #1 Hit in Canada (RPM)
– 9th biggest song of the year 1982 in Toronto.
 
Some Other Well-Known Songs:
 
– “Finding My Way”, 1974
– “Working Man”, 1974
– “Fly by Night”, 1975
– “Lakeside Park”, 1976
– “The Twilight Zone”, 1977
– “A Passage to Bangkok”, 1977
– “Closer to the Heart“, 1978 *
– “Spirit of Radio“, 1980 *
– “Limelight“, 1981 *
– “Tom Sawyer“, 1981 *
– “Subdivisions“, 1983 *
– “Distant Early Warning“, 1984
– “The Big Money“, 1985
– “Manhattan Project”, 1986
– “Time Stand Still”, 1987
– “Force Ten”, 1987
– “Show Don’t Tell”, 1989
– “Dreamline”, 1991
– “Roll the Bones”, 1992
– “Stick It Out”, 1993
– “Test for Echo”, 1996
 
* Song Inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame
 
Achievements:
 
– 7 Number One Studio Albums.
– 13 Platinum Studio Albums (out of 18 released)
– 2 Major Juno Awards (Best Band 1978 and 1979)
– Star on Canada’s Walk of Fame
– Canadian Music Hall of Fame (1994)
– Inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (2010)
 
 
In terms of record sales, Rush, with over 40 million worldwide, are the fifth biggest rock band in history. One of the most important things to point out about the trio is that they were never an act of hit singles. Only one single in the group’s 35+ year history made the Top 40 in Billboard’s Hot 100. Their singles were even snubbed by western Canadian AM radio stations. As a singles act, they were more successful in Toronto and in Britain where their “Spirit of Radio” made it to #13.
 
Rush is predominantly an album-oriented rock band, so successful that 72% (13 out of 18) of their studio albums have attained Platinum status (all but one have gone Gold). Unlike most other rock bands who see constant lineup changes, experience infighting resulting in departures, the trio have stuck together for over 35 years. Their drummer Neil Peart is considered one of the greatest rock drummers in history.
 
The band formed in Toronto in 1968 and performed a number of rock cover tunes. Heavily influenced by Led Zeppelin, they began composing their own material by the end of the decade. They performed in high school auditoriums and nightclubs in the Province before finally recording their first single in 1973 – “Not Fade Away”, a Buddy Holly cover with one of their own compositions on the B-Side – “You Can’t Fight It”. The single went unnoticed. So, Rush decided to start their own record label, which they named Moon Records (later renamed Anthem Records) and released a full-length album in late 1973. DJ and musical director Donna Halper, at WMMS in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A., picked up the single “Working Man” for regular rotation. The popularity of the single prompted Mercury Records to re-release the entire album in the U.S..
 
In the mid-’70s, Rush opened for the likes of Kiss and Aerosmith but by the end of the decade, they were headlining concerts in both Canada and the U.S.. In 1977, they toured Europe. Their 2112 album had topped the charts in Canada and attained multi-platinum sales domestically and south of the border. Their follow-up release, A Farewell to Kings, broke the Top 30 on the British album charts.
 
The most successful and arguably best album was 1981′s Moving Pictures housing such classics as “Tom Sawyer” (co-written with fellow Canadian Pye Dubois of Max Webster) and “Limelight”. At least four tribute albums have appeared featuring covers of Rush tunes by musicians from a wide range of genres. In fact, the trio has been hailed by countless rock bands, including Metallica, The Smashing Pumpkins, Dream Theatre, and Primus, as their foremost musical influence.
 
In 1989 Rush switched record labels from Mercury to Atlantic and, in an unexpected move, shed the use of synthesizers, moving towards a less progressive, guitar-oriented, style throughout the ’90s. In 1997, Rush took a time out when Peart’s daughter was killed in a car accident and his wife died of cancer less than a year later. Peart mourned by riding his motorcycle across Canada and penned a memoir on his travels, entitled Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road. Rush returned to the studio in 2002 to record Vapour Trails. Snakes & Arrows followed five years later.  In 2012, they released Clockwork Angels.

Paul Piché

 
Born: 1953, Montreal
Debut: 1977
Genre: Singer-Songwriter Folk Rock
 
Some Hits:
 
– “À qui appartient le beau temps”
– “Les Pleins”
– “Tous les vents”
– “J’appelle
 
Albums:
 
1977 – À qui appartient l’beau temps?
1980 – L’escalier
1982 – Paul Piché (Moé j’raconte des Histoires)
1984 – Nouvelles d’Europe
1986 – Intégral
1988 – Sur le chemin des incendies
1993 – L’instant
1996 – L’un et l’autre
1999 – Le voyage
2004 – Paluche 3:14
2009 – Sur ce côté de la Terre
 
Not much information in English is available on Paul Piché which is not to say that he is only a minor musical force; indeed, three of his albums have attained Platinum status in Canada. As we have already stated, for any francophone album to sell a hundred thousand copies in Canada is a remarkable feat. Piché has been called the missing link between Bruce Springsteen and Jacques Brel, creating an original blend of French song, American rock, and Quebec folklore. A large portion of his career was spent in collaboration with various members of the rock band Beau Dommage.
 
Able to play both piano and guitar, he composes most of his songs on the acoustic version of the latter and, though primarily embracing a folk and blues style, he has dabbled in electronics and the use of synthesizers. Many of his songs have been absorbed into the zeitgeist of Quebec culture, being sung around campfires, played at house parties, and featured in cabarets, not to mention la Fête nationale du Québec celebrations.
 
Paul began singing at the University of Montreal while studying archaeology there in the early ’70s. He became somewhat of a celebrity among university students around the province, and began performing on various campuses. His talent was recognized in 1977 by Robert Léger, keyboardist of Beau Dommage, who encouraged him to record an album. Piché acted on this advice, and his debut, À qui appartient le beau temps, went Platinum.
 
After this big breakthrough, he began collaborating with Michel Hinton, another Beau Dommage keyboardist, and released the single “Tous les vent” in 1984 which peaked at #2 on the charts. Its album Nouvelles d’Europe won the Félix Award for best rock album of the year. In 1986, Paul performed with Beau Dommager Michel Rivard and toured both the province and Europe. Two years later, with the release of the Platinum-selling Sur le chemin des incendies, Piché scored a number one hit with its single “J’appelle”.
 
In 1990, Montreal’s La Presse proclaimed Piché “Personality of the Year” in the song category. Paul Piché has been active as an ecologist, environmentalist, poet, and author.

Prism

 
Origin: Vancouver
Years Most Active: 1977-1982
Genre: Progressive Rock
 
Achievements:
 
– 6 Platinum albums, including 1 multi-Platinum
– Juno Award for Group of the Year (1981)
 
Primary Members:
 
Ron Tabak, lead vocals
Lindsay Mitchell, guitar, vocals
John Hall, keyboards
Rocket Norton, drums
Allen Harlow, bass
 
Other Members and Associates:
 
Rodney Higgs [aka Jim Vallance], drums 1977-78
– later formed a successful songwriting duo with Bryan Adams
– as a soloist wrote hits for Aerosmith and others
 
Ab Bryant, bass 1977 only
– later joined Chilliwack and the Headpins)
 
Tom Lavin, guitars, vocals 1977 only
– later formed the Powder Blues Band
 
Henry Small (keyboards, vocals) 1981-82
– Took over after Tabak’s departure
 
Jimmy Phillips (keyboards) 1981-82
 
Bruce Fairbairn, Horns and the band’s Producer
– later one the industry’s premier producers, working with the likes of AC/DC, Kiss, Yes, Loverboy, Bon Jovi, and Aerosmith.
 
Bruce Allen, Band Manager
 
Tom Keenlyside, Horns
– later to the Powder Blues and solo career
 
Biggest Hits:
 
1979 Night To Remember
 
Some Other Hits:
 
1977 Spaceship Superstar
1977 Take Me To The Kaptin
1977 Open Soul Surgery
1977 It’s Over
1978 Flyin’
1978 Take Me Away
1978 See Forever Eyes
1979 Armageddon
1979 Virginia
1979 You Walked Away Again
1980 Cover Girl
1981 Don’t Let Him Know
1981 Turn On Your Radar
1981 Rain
1988 Good to be Back
 
Studio Albums:
 
1. Prism, 1977
2. See Forever Eyes, 1978
3. Armageddon, 1979
4. Young and Restless, 1980
 
 
 
Pseudo-Prism Studio Albums:
 
5. Small Change, 1981
6. Beat Street, 1983
7. Jericho, 1993
8. Big, Black Sky 2007
  
Logo:
 
 
 
Prism was formed from members of the older rock groups Seeds of Time and Sunshyne. On the strength of their song “Open Soul Surgery”, Prism landed a deal with the now-defunct GRT Records during a gig at Vancouver’s nightclub The Body Shop. They chose the name Prism to reflect their various musical influences. Jim Vallance enrolled at the University of British Columbia did not want his classmates to learn he was involved in a rock band, so he adopted the alias “Rodney Higgs”. He helped write radio charting anthems from their debut album: the classic “Spaceship Superstar”, “Take Me to the Kaptin”, and “It’s Over”. But Vallance did not find concert tours his cup of tea, so he was replaced on drums by Rocket Norton.
 
Their sophomore release, See Forever Eyes went Platinum, spawning three big hits. The title-track for the band’s third album was conceived during a concert in the American city of Memphis. City police were on strike so the National Guard was handling the commotion surrounding the first anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death. The band looked down on the visually apocalyptic scene below them from a helicopter: frenzied mobs were swarming around Elvis’ shrine in Graceland. The album was to be called Armageddon. Bryan Adams, who was 19 at the time contributed to a couple of tracks. Impressed by his work, Prism’s manager Bruce Allen signed him. Smart move!
 
Armageddon attained double-platinum status while the record company they shared with Dan Hill, facing executive problems fell into receivership in 1980. In one of the biggest worldwide contracts of the time, Capitol Records signed the band boosting sales of the album to over a million copies worldwide. Single “Night to Remember” received the SOCAN (Society of Composers, Authors, and Music Publishers Of Canada) Song of the Year award. Subsequent concert tours broke sales records in many of the major Canadian venues and the band developed a reputation for being one of the best at live performances. South of the border, Prism opened for such acts as Meat Loaf, The Beach Boys, and Cheap Trick.
 
Young and Restless was to be the title of the band’s fourth studio album. Its title track, one of the band’s most successful songs, was nominated for Song of the Year at the Junos and the band took home the Group of the Year award. Bruce Fairbairn was given Producer of the Year honours.
 
The band decided to release a “Greatest Hits” album entitled “All the Best from Prism” and grace it with a new song—“Cover Girl”—to honour the memory of Vancouver starlet Dorothy Stratten, murdered by her estranged husband.
 
The same fate that greeted many rock bands came Prism’s way. At the pinnacle of the band’s success, conflict broke out. Differences flared up between Tabak and Mitchell leading to the firing of the group’s lead vocalist at the end of 1980, followed by the departure of Hall and a switch of producers from Fairbairn to Los Angeles-based John Carter who had worked with Sammy Hagar and Tina Turner.
 
Tabak and Hall were replaced with Henry Small and Jimmy Phillips respectively. Although the band’s next album, Small Change, received critical praise and housed a couple of noteworthy singles, including the Japan-honoured “Don’t Let Him Know”, composed by Adams and Vallance, Prism fans, accustomed to the unique, boyish singing of Tabak, which gave the group its signature sound, did not warm to the band’s new vocalist, a singer who admitted that his joining Prism was simply a means by which he could realize his aspirations of becoming a soloist.
 
It had become clear to the band’s members that a dead-end had been reached and they disbanded in 1982. Henry Small with Prism’s management recorded what was, in essence, a solo album, but under the band’s name, called Beat Street. The fans weren’t fooled by this and the album didn’t sell.
 
Two years later, Tabak and the original members of the band cleared up all their issues and resolved to reunite. But tragedy on Christmas eve 1984 dashed all plans of a reunion. Tabak was cycling across Vancouver, at night without a helmet, to spend Christmas with bandmate Harlow at the latter’s Kitsilano apartment. A passing vehicle knocked him off the snow-covered, icy road and he fell, striking his head on the pavement. Hospital doctors told him there was no sign of injury, when, in fact, he was suffering a brain aneurism, which was causing him to behave violently. He had a history of running into trouble with the law. So police showed no hesitation in escorting him from the hospital to spend the night a jail cell, assuming he was drunk. He fell unconscious in jail and was returned to the hospital. Doctors, in a more thorough examination, discovered the blood clot in his brain and prepared him for emergency surgery. But it was too late. He never regained consciousness and passed away on Boxing Day.
 
One can only imagine the regretful anguish of the other band members; that they remained silent for the next four years is understandable. In 1988, having come to terms with their grief, Norton, Harlow, and Mitchell entered the studio with singer Darcy Deutsch and keyboardist Andy Lorimer to record “Good to Be Back” a new single composed by Harlow, Vallance, and Bryan Adams lyrically reviewing the band’s history and paying tribute to Tabak. The song was included in a compilation album called Over 60 Minutes with Prism.
 
The single’s success gave the team enough confidence to record a new album in 1993 called Jericho. The likes of Randy Bachman and Rick Springfield lent a hand in the composing. But tracks from the album received negligible airplay at home, doing better in parts of Europe.
 
Prism was notable for launching the careers of both Jim Vallance, one of the foremost composers in the international music industry, as well as Bruce Fairbairn, one of the foremost producers. Alas, Fairbairn died in 1999. Band members worked on various projects while Harlow kept the torch of Prism burning and took over as the band’s vocalist for the 2007 album Big, Black Sky.

Burton Cummings

 
Born: 1947, Winnipeg
Solo Career Debut: 1976
Genre: Pop
 
Some Achievements:
 
– 3 major Juno Awards (Album of the Year in 1979 for Dream of a Child and Male Vocalist of the Year in 1977 and 1980)
– 4 songs in the Year-End Top 100 (CHUM FM)
– 6 Platinum albums, including 4 multi-Platinum
– Star on the Walk of Fame (2011)
– Inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (2005)
 
Biggest Hit:
 
Stand Tall” (1976/7)
– 24th biggest song of 1977 in Canada; Top 10 hit in the U.S.
 
Some Other Hits:
 
– “I’m Scared” (1977)
– “My Own Way to Rock” (1977)
– “Break it to Them Gently” (1978)
– “I Will Play a Rhapsody” (1979)
– “Fine State of Affairs” (1980)
– “One and Only” (1980)
– “Heavenly Blue” (1981)
– “You Saved My Soul” (1981)
– “Take One Away” (1990)
 
 
Cummings learned the piano as a boy and sang in Gilbert and Sullivan productions at high school. He played in a local band called the Deverons for three years (sax and keys), and then was invited to join what would become, in the views of many, the greatest Canadian rock band of all-time. Burton Cummings was the most important member of The Guess Who: their lead singer, keyboardist, and primary composer. Randy Bachman who co-wrote many songs with Cummings left the band to form Bachman-Turner Overdrive, and The Guess Who continued on but saw a steady decline in popularity through the 70s. In 1976, Cummings decided to leave the band, and he embarked on a very successful solo career.
 
Just prior to going solo, Cummings provided backing vocals for Eric Carmen’s second album, Boats Against the Current.
 
His first single, showcasing his well-known rich, sculpted rock voice, was his crowning achievement: “Stand Tall” a million-seller that became the biggest Canadian song of the year in 1977. This song, along with “I’m Scared”, have been played more than a million times each on radio making them two of the most air-played songs in history. He toured the U.S., opening for such acts as Seals & Crofts, America, and Alice Cooper.
 
A slew of hits followed, including “Break it to Them Gently” and the gorgeous “I Will Play a Rhapsody”, both featured in the 1978 album Dream of a Child that went 3x Platinum in Canada, the biggest-selling of all-time up to that point.
 
In the 90s, Cummings was pianist for Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band, touring Europe. In 2005 he was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame and in 2009 was named an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Trooper

 
Debut: 1975, Vancouver
Years Most Active: 1975-1991
 
Primary Members:
 
Ramon McGuire (lead vocals)
– Brian Smith (guitars)
– Doni Underhill (bass)
– Tommy Stewart (drums)
– Frank Ludwig (keyboards to 1980)
– Rob Deans (keyboards 1980 on)
 
(Unbolded were replaced in 1987 with new members)
 
Genre: Rock
 
Top 40 Hits:
 
– “General Hand Grenade“, 1976
– “Two For the Show“, 1976
– “Santa Maria“, 1976
– “The Boys in the Bright White Sports Car”, 1976
– “We’re Here for a Good Time“, 1977
– “Oh Pretty Lady“, 1978
– “Raise a Little Hell“, 1978
– “Round Round We Go“, 1978
– “The Moment That It Takes”, 1979
– “Janine”, 1980
– “Boy with a Beat”, 1989
– “American Dream”, 1991
 
Achievements:
 
– 13 Top 40 Singles.
– 5 Platinum albums.
– Juno Award for Best Group in 1980.
– First Canadian album to go 4x Platinum in Canada (Hot Shots, 1979)
 
 
With a sound described as “cheerfully boisterous”, Vancouver-based Trooper enjoyed a string of hit singles in the 70s and 80s. It’s hard to pick the most successful of their 13 Top 40 hits, as some were more successful in Toronto, some in Vancouver, and some in the U.S. Their success remained almost exclusively in their home country.
 
In the late 60s, McGuire and Smith, under the name Winters Green, were specialists in Doors’ cover tunes and released one single called “Are You A Monkey?”. With new members, they evolved into Applejack in 1972. But it was Randy Bachman who, impressed with the group’s talents, produced their debut self-titled album in 1975, which spawned their first radio single, “Baby Woncha Please Come Home”.
 
The band’s big breakthrough came with their sophomore album, 1976′s Two for the Show which spawned four singles. Their third, fourth, and fifth studio albums, generated two hits apiece. The fourth album, Thick as Thieves went 2x Platinum and gave them their first and only U.S. hit: “Raise a Little Hell”. Prior to their fifth album, Flying Colours (also 2x Platinum), Trooper had released a Greatest Hits album, called Hot Shots which become the best-selling Canuck album of all-time in Canada: certified 4x Platinum. The band received the Group of the Year Juno Award in 1980.
 
In the early 80s, having severed working relations with Randy Bachman, the band released two albums and several singles, but all failed to chart. They took a hiatus concentrating on writing and released two albums in 1989 and 1991 respectively which managed a Top 40 hit each.
 
One would think that, with all their achievements, the band would have been inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame by now but they have not.

Crossroads and Consolidation (1976-79)

While the early to mid 70s were bustling with popular Canadian acts, things had slowed down by the late-70s. There were perhaps three reasons for this. The first was that, while the rest of the world became swept up in disco fever, Canadian artists remained aloof from this genre of music with the odd exception like Patsy Gallant or the T.H.P. Orchestra. Coinciding with this was the decline in popularity of folk music, the style that had been Canada’s specialty. Furthermore, the big names in music were sliding into retirement. Things were to pick up and surpass previous prominence of Canuck music, however, in the 1980s, which saw the first Canadian album to be certified diamond.

The late-70s were in fact a crossroads of artists retiring and new ones emerging who didn’t skyrocket to prominence until the following decade. One of these was the rock band Rush. Though their debut came in 1974, they didn’t score a major hit until 1978′s “Closer to the Heart” and steadily rose to notoriety in the early 80s. Rush is one of the longest-lived and most popular Canadian rock bands. Though never scoring a lot of radio-played hit singles, they have remained a highly successful album-oriented act, as 13 of their studio albums have gone platinum. They are considered the fifth best-selling rock band in history internationally after The Beatles, Rolling Stones, KISS, and Aeorsmith respectively.

A band that often worked and co-wrote songs with Rush was Max Webster. They managed a Platinum album in 1979. In the 80s, member Kim Mitchell embarked on a solo career and did much better.

In terms of bands that scored hits, Vancouver’s Trooper was king in this period with ten Top 40 hits (3 more after 1979). Their album Hot Shots was the first Canadian album to go 4x Platinum in Canada. Toronto’s Triumph didn’t do as well, as their popularity remained mostly in eastern Canada where they scored the 1979 hit “Hold On” and “Magic Power” in 1981. But, unlike Trooper, they have managed to become inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. Prism arguably faired better than Triumph with six platinum albums, two major hits (“Night to Remember” and “Young & Restless”), and Juno Award for Group of the Year in 1981. Regina’s Streetheart rose to fame with their cover of The Rolling Stones’ “Under My Thumb”. Randy Bachman, after his departure from B.T.O., formed a new band, Ironhorse. They released only two albums and scored one Top 30 hit: “Sweet Lui Louise”.

Other bands in this period were Harlequin and the new wave outfit Saga who managed several minor radio hits. Canada was heading into more progressive electronic rock thanks to Nash the Slash and FM.

Because they started out in Canada, it is worth mentioning the American band Heart. Sweeney Todd released the huge hit “Roxy Roller” but disbanded quickly, two of their members going solo. The first, Nick Gilder, scored a couple of huge hits, one being the biggest of the late-70s, but faded into obscurity after. The second, Bryan Adams, did not see success come as easily, but once he found his signature formula, he became the biggest Canadian solo artist of all-time. We will profile him in the 80s.

The biggest solo artist of the late-70s was former Guess Who front man Burton Cummings. His first hit was “Stand Tall” in 1976. Success came for Angèle Arsenault in 1977 with the multi-platinum album, Libre.

Though he debuted in 1970, folk-pop singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn‘s big breakthrough came in 1979 thanks to “Wondering Where the Lions Are”. Paul Piché‘s solo album went platinum the same year. Martin Stevens’ single “Love is in the Air” went gold while Claudja Barry‘s “Boogie Woogie Dancing Shoes” went Platinum. Respected guitarist Pat Travers churned out some his best material during the late 70s. (Jerry) Doucette‘s debut release, Mama Let Him Play, earned platinum status. Bells’ former pianist Frank Mills released his “Music Box Dancer” instrumental, the sheet music of which has sold in excess of 3 million copies. Diane Tell and Véronique Béliveau both released debut albums in 1977. They became highly successful in the 80s, and we will take a look at them later.

Number One singles in the late 70s were Gordon Lightfoot’s “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”, Burton Cummings’ “Stand Tall”, Dan Hill’s “Sometimes When We Touch”, Anne Murray’s “You Needed Me” and “I Just Fall in Love Again”, and Gino Vannelli’s “I Just Wanna Stop”. Nick Gilder departed from Sweeny Todd after their Number One smash “Roxy Roller”, and came out with the biggest Canadian song of the late-70s: “Hot Child in the City”, 7th biggest song of the year 1978 according to CHUM FM. “The Theme from S.W.A.T.” by the T.H.P. Orchestra, which earned them the Most Promising Group of the Year Juno in 1977, was also a number one single. Patsy Gallant’s “Sugar Daddy” won the Song of the Year Juno in 1978. Pianist André Gagnon took home the Album of the Year Juno in 1978 for his Neiges, breaking B.T.O.’s three-year streak in the category.

Outside the realm of pop, some big names at this time: celebrated jazz trombonist Rob McConnell, classical pianist and composer André Gagnon, Nova Scotian female country singer Carroll Baker, earthy folk singer Stan Rogers, and hugely successful children’s music trio Sharon, Lois & Bram.

In 1979, due to the Juno Awards’ lack of attention to fracophone artists, Quebec launched the Felix Awards. For more on this, click HERE.

Below are mini-profiles on Heart, Streetheart, Sweeney Todd, and Nick Gilder.

Heart

Sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson who have hitherto sold over 30 million albums worldwide, started out in Vancouver, Canada, so we will take a brief look at them here.

In 1967, Roger Fisher formed a Seattle-based band called The Army that went through a number of personnel and name changes. In late-1970, Ann Wilson joined. Roger’s brother, Mike, was set to be recruited, against his will, into the army to fight in Vietnam. When he failed to show up for duty, American authorities raided his home. He jumped out of a rear window and escaped to freedom in Canada. The Americans labeled him a “Vietnam War Draft Dodger”.

One day in 1971, Mike snuck across the border back to the U.S. to visit family. There he met Ann Wilson and the two fell in love. This prompted Ann to follow Mike back into Canada. This led other band members to follow suit. They reformed in Vancouver, and changed their name to Heart. Ann’s sister Nancy joined in 1974 and began a love affair with Roger.

The band, augmented by some Canadian studio musicians (one of whom permanently joined the band as their drummer) released Dreamboat Annie on Vancouver’s Mushroom Records label. Singles “Crazy on You” and “Magic Man” helped the album to eventually sell over a million copies.

In 1977, The American government returned to policies more in keeping with democracy and granted amnesty to Vietnam draft evaders. This led the band to break its contract with Mushroom and move back to Seattle.

Streetheart

This band from Regina, formed in 1977, is best known for their cover of The Rolling Stones’ “Under My Thumb” as well as “Action”, “What Kind of Love is This”, and “One More Time”. Four of their albums attained platinum status, one going multi-platinum. In 1980, they received the Juno Award for Most Promising Group of the Year. They disbanded in 1983.

Sweeney Todd / Nick Gilder

This glam rock band that formed in Vancouver in 1975, with Nick Gilder on vocals, scored the #1 hit “Roxy Roller” winning them a Juno Award for Best Single in 1977. Gilder quickly left the band after its success to pursue a solo career. He was replaced by Clark Perry, an arrangement that was short-lived, and Bryan Adams, then only 15 years old, took over on vocals. The band’s second album was finally released but was unsuccessful, resulting in Adams’ departure. Chris Booth took over on vocals but Sweeney Todd had, by then, run out of steam and disbanded before recording any further albums.

In the meantime, Nick Gilder, born in London, England in 1951, was enjoying a hugely successful solo career. His “Hot Child in the City” topped the charts for weeks and won the 1979 Juno for Single of the Year. It was the 7th biggest song of 1978 according to Toronto’s CHUM Radio. It performed equally well in the American Charts. Gilder’s “Here Comes the Night” made the Top 30 and “You Really Rock Me” the Top 40. In 1980, “Wild Ones (Feeling Electric)” and “Catch 22″ made the Top 30, but further success proved unattainable. He began composing for other artists, most notably Patty Smyth, Bette Midler, Joe Cocker, and Pat Benatar. In 1984, he co-wrote the song “The Warrior” for the band Scandal, which made the Top 10 in the U.S.

1975’s Biggest Canadian Hits

CMB medThe #1 song of 1975 was The Captain and Tennille’s “Love Will Keep Us Together”. In all, 48 singles by Canadian artists made the Top 40, 11 the Top 10, and three number ones. Below is a list of all songs by Canadians that peaked in the Top 40 of the weekly RPM charts during 1975 and all that made the year-end Top 100. Bear in mind, that this is a picture of cross-Canada success. Songs may have charted much higher or lower in various cities as radio stations usually give local artists more support. Below the lists, check out some cool trivia regarding the year’s hits.

YE= Year-End chart position.

WP = Weekly chart peak position.

1975 HITS

TITLE ARTIST YE WP
Hey You Bachman-Turner Overdrive 10 1
I Believe There’s Nothing Stronger Paul Anka 18 1
I Don’t Like to Sleep Alone Paul Anka 32 1
Roll on Down the Highway Bachman-Turner Overdrive 54 4
Take Me In Your Arms Charity Brown 65 5
Hit the Road Jack The Stampeders 76 6
You Beat Me to the Punch Charity Brown 90 9
Christina Terry Jacks 92 9
The Homecoming Hagood Hardy 95 14*
Rainy Day People Gordon Lightfoot 98 10
Crazy Talk Chilliwack 100 10
One Man Woman, One Woman Man Paul Anka   4
What an Animal Fludd   11
Oowatanite April Wine   11
Down By the Henry Moore Murray McLaughlan   12
Quick Change Artist Bachman-Turner Overdrive   13
Down to the Line Bachman-Turner Overdrive   13
Dancin’ Fool The Guess Who   14
Dancin’ on a Saturday Night Bond   15
Little Dreamer Murray McLaughlan   15*
Do You Dream of Being Somebody Murray McLaughlan   16
Cowboys to Girls Sweet Blindness   16
I Wouldn’t Want to Lose Your Love April Wine   17
Every Bit of Love Ken Tobias   17
Can You Give It All to Me Myles and Lenny   19
Keep Our Love Alive Patricia Dahlquist   20
Linda Put the Coffee On Ray Materick   21
Loves Me Like a Brother The Guess Who   21
Rock and Roll Terry Jacks   22
I Can Dance Shooter   22
Day Tripper Anne Murray   23
Renaissance Valdy   23
Make Me Your Baby Suzanne Stevens   23
Watching the World Go By Les Emmerson   26
The Essence of Joan Andy Kim   28
I’m Running After You Major Hoople’s Boarding House   28*
Cum Hear the Band April Wine   29
Backup (Against Your Persuasion) Black & Ward   30
In the Mood Rush   31
Lady Luck Ken Tobias   31
You Make Me Want to Be Dan Hill   31
Fly Away Wednesday   32
Make Me Do Anything You Want / Papa Dice A Foot In Coldwater   33
Powerful People Gino Vannelli   34
Round and Round Octavian   35
New Orleans The Stampeders   35
California Jam Klaatu   36
Lady Ellen James Leroy   40

* As there are no charts available for the month of November and first week of December, these songs may have charted higher during that period

1975 CHOICE TRIVIA

1975 Canadian Music Trivia

LINKS

More Charts…

Mid 70s Overview…