Born: 1956, Glasgow, Scotland
Debut: 1982
Genre: Pop

Studio Albums and Hit Singles:

1982: Gowan

1985: Strange Animal (#5, 3x Platinum)
Hit Singles: “A Criminal Mind” (#5), “(You’re a) Strange Animal” (#15), “Guerrilla Soldier” (#40)

1987: Great Dirty World (#4)
Hit Singles: “Moonlight Desires” (#10), “Awake the Giant” (#36)

1990: Lost Brotherhood (#26)
Hit Singles: “All the Lovers in the World” (#6), “Out of a Deeper Hunger” (#36)

1993: …but you can call me Larry
Hit Singles: “When There’s Time (For Love)” (#6), “Dancing on My Own Ground” (#15), “Soul’s Road” (#13)

1995: The Good Catches Up
Hit Singles: “Guns and God” (#14), “The Good Catches Up” (#18), “Get It While You Can” (#21)

Montreal and Vancouver had produced heavyweights Corey Hart and Bryan Adams respectively. It was now Toronto’s turn. Scottish-born Canadian (Lawrence / Larry) Gowan achieved nowhere near the success of his male contemporaries Hart and Adams, nevertheless he managed 13 Top 40 hits, 4 of which made the Top 10, as well as a multi-platinum and two platinum albums. His signature song and biggest hit was “A Criminal Mind” which peaked at #5 on the national RPM Singles Chart.

Larry was a classically trained pianist from the Royal Conservatory of Music, but, a fan of progressive rock, he decided to become a pop star. In 1976 he formed and fronted the band Rhinegold with his classmate and brother and included dancing, acrobatics, and story-telling with costumes and elaborate lighting effects in his concerts. They performed their own progressive rock songs as well as covers of Genesis and Supertramp songs. Audiences responded well to Gowan’s charisma as a performer. Stories told in their songs touched on such themes as exploration, folklore, superstition, witch hunts, and outer space. Despite the band’s strong reputation and packed houses, they were unsuccessful in attracting the attention of record companies to sign a deal. With his likeable persona, Gowan was able to jam with members of Klaatu and tour with Ronnie Hawkins. He eventually saved enough money to record a demo tape which led to a deal with CBS Canada.

Kim Mitchell helped him record songs for his debut, self-titled release. Two minor charting singles resulted from the album which sold poorly. CBS was less discouraged than he was, believing in his abilities, and that all was needed was an appropriate producer. British producer David Tickle, who was in Toronto working with Platinum Blonde, heard Gowan’s music and expressed interest. Larry forwarded him his new material and received no reply, but it turned out that Tickle had been waiting for rhythm section Levin & Marotta to finish work on Peter Gabriel’s latest release so they could work on Gowan’s.

Before he knew it Gowan found himself in Ringo Starr’s home on the French Riveria with a strong team of high-profile personnel. The result was the album Strange Animal. The comic-book style, theatrical, award-winning music video for the first single, “A Criminal Mind” was as popular as the song itself and helped push it into the Top 5. Many feel the song could have done better but it was up against hefty competition at that time with charity single “Tears Are Not Enough”, Madonna’s “Material Girl”, and Tears for Fears “Shout”. Gowan opened for the latter during their tour in the U.S.

David Tickle returned to produce Gowan’s follow up album Great Dirty World. “Moonlight Desires”, which featured Yes singer Jon Anderson, was a Top 10 hit.

CBS was intent on getting Gowan’s success to spread to the more populated (i.e. more lucrative) United States and knew that Americans tended to shun anything progressive, arty, or Anglo-oriented. They shuffled Gowan over to Rush’s record label—Anthem—and, under the watchful eye of Bob Roper, the progressiveness was dropped in favour of an edgier rock sound. Red Rider and Rush guitarists were recruited to play on the album. Eddie Schwartz-produced Lost Brotherhood was released, “All the Lovers in the World” ploughed through to #6 on the singles chart, and everything was ignored south of the border where the album was released through Atlantic Records.

CBS asked Gowan to re-invent himself a third time. Although he was trained primarily as a pianist, CBS insisted that Americans preferred squeaky acoustic guitars, and Gowan had to rise to the challenge of creating guitar-oriented material. J.D. Souther of the Eagles was brought onboard to ensure a more twangy sound that appealed to the Yanks. The result was the acoustic-laden …but you can call me Larry. The song-writing was highly praised and three singles made the Top 20, including “When There’s Time (For Love)” (#6). Once again, despite all their efforts, no headway was made in the U.S. The big single and album sales in Canada were bringing in lots of money but Gowan was receiving little profit. Tired of being manipulated by his record company, he left and took Vice President Bob Roper with him. The two decided to take destiny into their own hands and make a record done their way without trying to make it big in the United States. In 1995, Good Catches Up was released. Remarkably, although the album was released independently, it spawned three hit singles.

In 1997, Gowan released “Healing Waters”, a tribute to Princess Diana. In 1999 he was asked to fill in for the ill Dennis DeYoung on Styx’s comeback tour. This led to his becoming a permanent member of the band as keyboardist and vocalist.

Mid-80s’ Semi-Major Acts

The Box

The Box was a new wave band formed in Montreal in 1981 by Jean-Marc Pisapia, an early member of Men Without Hats. They scored seven Top 40 singles, the biggest being “Carry On” in March 1990 which peaked at #12. Like Men Without Hats they were able to incorporate some French into their songs and still get airplay on highly discriminatory English radio stations outside Quebec. After four albums they called it quits in 1992.

Paul Janz

Janz was born in Alberta and grew up in Switzerland before settling in North Vancouver. He was raised in a Mennonite family and became a theologian. Seven of his driving melodic rhythms became Top 40 hit singles, the most notable of which was “Every Little Tear” which peaked at #5 in 1990.


Luba was perhaps the most successful female singer in the male-dominated 80s, at least in terms of hit singles. While most successful Anglophone women had been in folk, country, and adult contemporary (Anne Murray, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Joni Mitchell, etc.), Luba deserves credit as the first successful woman in pop. This success helped open the door to the appearance of the first female superstar (Alannah Myles) in 1989 and the many women who followed. It is no surprise, given the success of female artists from Quebec, that Luba arose from Montreal.

Luba landed nine Top 40 hits, her biggest (#6) being a cover of Percy Sledge’s “When a Man Loves a Woman”. Her most successful original song was 1990’s “Giving Away a Miracle” which peaked at #9. That year she went on hiatus from the music industry to dedicate more time to family. She returned 10 years later with “Is She a Lot Like Me”, a Top 30 hit.


A rock band from Prince Edward Island? You gotta be kidding! No, we’re not! Debuting in 1985, these rockers chalked up a hat trick of platinum albums and five Top 40 hits despite ill treatment from their record company, Attic Records, who constantly made unrealistic demands and did little to promote the band. Haywire’s biggest hit was “Dance Desire” which peaked at #10 and made the year-end Top 100. It also won the Best Song Award at the World Popular Song Festival in Japan.

Honeymoon Suite

A more progressive and sophisticated sound animated the work of Honeymoon Suite unlike their more poppy contemporaries Glass Tiger and Platinum Blonde. Like the latter, they managed five Top 40 singles, the most successful of which was 1988’s “Love Changes Everything” (#9). Their albums sold well, attaining Platinum Status and they won the Juno Award for Group of the Year in 1986. The band named itself after their hometown of Niagara Falls, the honeymoon capital of the world.

Kim Mitchell

The Sarnia native departed from the album-oriented band Max Webster in 1981 to pursue a solo career. His Shakin’ Like a Human Being won the Album of the Year Juno in 1987 and he won the Best Male Artist Juno in 1990. Mitchell’s 1985 song “Go for Soda” was featured in an episode of TV Series “Miami Vice”. Three of his songs made the year-end Top 100 RPM charts, the most successful being 1989’s “Rock and Roll Duty“, 43rd of the year.

Patrick Norman

Patrick had been active since the 60s. His bilingual disco song “Let’s Try Once Again” in 1977 sold 100,000 units. But his switch from RCA to the Star label in 1984 proved to be a good move. His Quand on est en amour album sold a quarter million copies thanks mostly to its title-track, a huge hit in Quebec. Norman won the Felix Award for Male as well as Album Artist of the Year in 1987. Patrick has continued releasing albums to the present, most recently 2014 country rock LP Apres la tombee du rideau.

Platinum Blonde

Platinum Blonde scored a #1 hit in 1985 which became the 5th biggest song of the year: “Crying Over You“. “Situation Critical” (#8) ensured they were not a one-hit wonder group and that their album Alien Shores went multi-platinum. They managed three further Top 40 hits. These guys were a British-Canadian hybrid band based in Toronto, known for their glam-like appearance, big blonde hairdos, and pastel outfits. Later on they renamed themselves The Blondes and had a minor hit in 1990 before calling it quits.

“Tears Are Not Enough” by Northern Lights

Notable Canadian band manager Bruce Allen organized a project to record a charity single for African famine relief in response to Britain’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” Jim Vallance in an interview told the story of how things came together in writing and recording the song “Tears Are Not Enough” sung by a supergroup of Canadian artists called Northern Lights.

…in 1985, David [Foster] returned to Vancouver for a year. He and his wife Rebecca bought a house in the same neighbourhood where Bryan Adams and I lived, but we didn’t see much of them. One day I ran into David in the lobby of Little Mountain Sound Studio, where he was producing an album for Paul Hyde and Bob Rock’s group, The Payolas. He approached me in a panic and said, “You have a home studio, right?” I replied that I did.

Visibly excited, David told me he’d just got off the phone with Quincy Jones, who’d just finished recording a Michael Jackson / Lionel Ritchie song for African famine relief called “We Are The World”. Quincy played the song for David over the phone, and said he wanted David to record a Canadian song for Africa — and it had to be finished in the next week or two so it could be included on the U.S. album release!

“We Are The World” was written in response to Bob Geldoff’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas”, recorded and released the year before (1984). Geldoff’s song raised millions of dollars for Africa, and had already made a significant difference to those suffering from drought and famine. Quincy hoped that a Canadian song might help make a difference too.

David already had a melody, borrowed from a song he’d been working on, and he had a title, “Tears Are Not Enough”, which had been provided by Paul Hyde and Bob Rock. It was nearly twenty years later (2004) when I finally heard the story behind the “title”:

Paul and Bob had been in the studio with Foster on the day that Quincy Jones called. Several weeks earlier they’d written a song called “Tears Are Not Enough”, and after the call from Quincy they played their song for David, thinking it might be suitable for the Famine Relief recording. “So, what do you think?” they asked, when they’d finished presenting the song. “Nice title”, David replied.

The next morning (Friday, February 1, 1985) David arrived at my home studio. He played me his melody on the piano. It was a pretty ballad with an interesting, circular chord progression. He also mentioned Paul and Bob’s title, “Tears Are Not Enough”, which I thought was excellent.

With the melody and the title we had enough to get started, so began recording the track right away. Using his Emulator synthesizer David laid down a piano, followed by a Moog bass, then a bell sound. I added drums and percussion. An hour or two later we had a “basic track” (it was only intended to be a quick “demo” recording, but it worked so well we ended up using it for the final recording).

Then we started working on the lyrics:
We can close the distance
Only we can make the difference
Don’t you know that tears are not enough

It was a good start, but David had to rush away for a session with The Payolas, promising to return the following day. I continued work on the lyrics while my wife Rachel [Paiement] wrote a few lines in French — after all, it was a Canadian song for Africa!

The next day Bryan Adams arrived from Los Angeles and hurried over to help. He looked at the lyrics I’d written so far and immediately suggested an improvement. “How about ‘we can BRIDGE the distance’?”, he said. It was perfect, and with that we were off and running.

We finished the lyric later that evening, then Bryan and Rachel recorded the vocals. The demo was completed at 4:00 a.m. the next morning.

Meanwhile, David enlisted Bryan’s manager Bruce Allen to help assemble a roster of performers. Bruce was well-connected in the music industry, and in quick succession Joni Mitchell and Neil Young agreed to participate. Then Kim Mitchell and Gordon Lightfoot. Burton Cummings came on board, and so did Geddy Lee and Corey Hart.

Comedians John Candy and Catherine O’Hara offered their services, along with legendary jazz pianist Oscar Peterson and David Letterman sidekick Paul Shaffer. Dan Hill, Jane Sibbery, Sylvia Tyson, Robert Charlebois … the list of participants grew by the hour.

I suggested we record the vocals at Manta Studios [in Toronto], where I’d recorded Bryan Adams’ first album (and also Barney Bentall, Lisa Dal Bello and Cano). The room was big enough to accommodate a large group, and I also knew that veteran engineer Hayward Parrott could handle the complex task of recording 30 soloists … plus a chorus of 50!

Michael Godin (A&M Records) contacted Manta owner Andy Hermant, who generously donated the studio. On Saturday (February 9, 1985) we flew to Toronto to prepare for the mammoth recording session planned for the following day.

During the flight we reviewed the lyric sheet and the list of artists and determined who would sing which line. We decided the song should begin with Canadian legend Gordon Lightfoot (“As everyday goes by …”), then move to Burton Cummings (“How can we close our eyes …”), then to Anne Murray, Joni Mitchell, and so on.

The session took place on Sunday, February 10, 1985. It was a bitter cold day, but hundreds of fans gathered outside Manta to watch the “stars” arrive. Gordon Lightfoot drove himself to the studio in a pick-up truck. Neil Young and Joni Mitchell arrived by taxi. Platinum Blonde arrived in a white stretch limo.

Just as Quincy Jones had done in Los Angeles, Foster taped a poster in the studio lobby that said, “Leave your egos at the door”. Everyone gave 200 percent, and at the end of the day we had the makings of a magical record.

One of the funniest moments happened during Neil Young’s performance. He’d sung his line once or twice already, but Foster still wasn’t happy and asked Neil to try again. When Neil asked why, David told him he was out of tune. “That’s my style, man”, Neil shot back.

For me, one of the highlights was sitting on the studio floor a few feet from Joni Mitchell while she carved graceful lines in the air with her hands as she sang. Another special moment was meeting Richard Manuel, singer and pianist for “The Band”. In fact, Joni Mitchell and “The Band” are two of my biggest musical influences. I was in “fan heaven”, meeting them and hearing them sing lyrics I’d written!

After completing the vocal session in Toronto, David and I returned to Vancouver and booked time at Pinewood Studios and Little Mountain Sound where more instruments were added to the track, including Loverboy’s Doug Johnson and Paul Dean, who contributed keyboards and guitar. Steven Denroche, a member of the Vancouver Symphony, was called in to play French Horn…

One important Canadian artist unable to attend the Toronto recording session was Bruce Cockburn, who was performing in Germany at the time. Cockburn ‘s manager, Bernie Finkelstein, wondered if there wasn’t a way Bruce could record his vocal at a studio in Germany and have it edited into the finished product at a later date. It was a nice idea, but to meet our deadline Bruce’s contribution would have to be filmed and recorded sometime in the next 48 hours. In a moment of weakness I volunteered to fly to Germany!

The good news is, Air Canada provided a free ticket. The bad news is, there were no direct fights — so I had to fly from Vancouver to Toronto, Toronto to London, London to Frankfurt, and Frankfurt to Hamburg … a 44-hour round-trip. I arrived in Hamburg just in time to catch Bruce’s performance at a club on Tuesday evening. I met him backstage, for the first time, after the show.

I’d brought a cassette tape of the song, which Bruce hadn’t heard yet. But before I could even play the tape, Bruce dropped a bomb. He said he hadn’t yet decided if he wanted to participate in the project!

Bernie had neglected to tell me that Bruce hadn’t made up his mind yet — and I’d just spent 22 hours on a #$&@ airplane! In my sleep-deprived, jet-lagged stupor my first reaction was to reach across the table and grab Bruce by the throat with both hands. Instead, I used every ounce of diplomacy I could muster. I told Bruce how magical the session in Toronto had been … how it was truly a special project, and that everyone was looking forward to his involvement, which was true!

Bruce eventually came around, and he agreed to meet me at a Hamburg recording studio the following morning. It took less than an hour to complete Bruce’s audio and video recording, then it was back to the airport for the 22-hour return flight to Vancouver (via Frankfurt, London and Toronto).

I met one of the film people at the airport in Toronto during my two-hour lay-over, and I handed him the Cockburn footage to edit into the video. After spending a much-needed night in my own bed in Vancouver, I flew to Los Angeles the next morning to deliver Bruce’s audio track. Foster and his assistant Chris Earthy met me at the airport, and we rushed over to Kenny Roger’s “Lion’s Share” studio where Cockburn’s vocal was edited into the audio mix that engineer Humberto Gatica had nearly completed.

“Tears Are Not Enough” reached #1 on the Canadian charts and helped raise more than $3-million for African Famine Relief.

Lyrics and Vocalists

As every day goes by, how can we close our eyes (Gordon Lightfoot)
Until we open up our hearts (Burton Cummings)

We can learn to share and show how much we care (Anne Murray)
Right from the moment that we start (Joni Mitchell)

Seems like overnight, we see the world in a different light (Dan Hill)
Somehow our innocence is lost (Neil Young)

How can we look away, ’cause every single day (Bryan Adams)
We’ve got to help at any cost (Liberty Silver and Loverboy’s Mike Reno)

Chorus (sung by the nine singers above):

We can bridge the distance
Only we can make the difference
Don’t ya know that tears are not enough

If we can pull together
We could change the world forever
Heaven knows that tears are not enough

It’s up to me and you to make the dream come true (Carroll Baker, Ronnie Hawkins, and Murray McLauchlan)
It’s time to take our message everywhere (Corey Hart)

C’est l’amour qui nous rassemble
d’ici a l’autre bout du monde (Véronique Béliveau, Robert Charlebois, and Claude Dubois)

Let’s show them Canada still cares (Bruce Cockburn)
You know that we’ll be there (Rush’s Geddy Lee)

(Chorus – all 18 singers above)

And if we could try (Bryan Adams and Don Gerrard)
Together you and I (All 44 Singers)
Maybe we could understand the reasons why (Zappacosta and Dalbello)
If we take a stand (Rough Trade’s Carole Pope and The Payola$ Paul Hyde)
Every woman, child and man (Salome Bey, Platinum Blonde’s Mark Holmes, and The Parachute Club’s Lorraine Segato)
We can make it work for God’s sake lend a hand (Loverboy’s Mike Reno)

(Chorus – all the above singers plus Paul Anka, Liona Boyd, actor John Candy, Tom Cochrane, Tommy Hunter, Martha Johnson (M+M), actor Eugene Levy, pop pianist Frank Mills, Kim Mitchell, jazz pianist Oscar Peterson, David Letterman sidekick Paul Shaffer, Jane Siberry, Sylvia Tyson (Ian & Sylvia), dj Barry Harris, actress Catherine O’Hara, and Wayne St. John)

The “Tears Are Not Enough” project was one of the finest moments in Canadian music history.

Les Yeux de la Faim

It didn’t receive much attention outside of Quebec but Francophone artists banded together to record an additional charity single for African famine relief. Celine Dion, Rene & Nathalie Simard and others lent their voices to the beautiful “Les Yeux de la Faim“.

1986’s Biggest Canadian Hits, Both English and French

CMB med1986’s biggest hit in Canada was Jennifer Rush’s “The Power of Love”, later to be covered by Céline Dion. Glass Tiger had the biggest Anglo Canadian hit with “Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone), 4th of the year on RPM. Nuance had the year’s biggest Franco Canadian hit with “Vivre dans la nuit”, 5th of the year on the CKOI chart. Below is a list of all Canadian Franco hits that finished in CKOI’s year-end Top 50. All Canadian hits that made the RPM Top 100 of the year are listed as well as all that peaked in the Top 40 of the weekly 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 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.


Vivre dans la nuit Nuance 5
Heureuse sans etre amoureuse Martine St-Clair 45
Arrete de boire Rock & Belles Oreilles 49


Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone) Glass Tiger 4 1
Everything in my Heart Corey Hart 55* 1
How Many (Rivers to Cross) Luba 81 14
Patio Lanterns Kim Mitchell 83 12
Now and Forever (You and Me) Anne Murray 85 12
I Am By Your Side Corey Hart 89 12
Someday Glass Tiger 90 14
April Fool Chalk Circle 100 21
There Was a Time One to One   14
Flippin’ to the ‘A’ Side Cats Can Fly   16
The Best of Me David Foster   17
Thin Red Line Glass Tiger   19
Feel It Again Honeymoon Suite   20
L’affaire Dumoutier The Box   21
Bad Bad Boy Haywire   21
What Does It Take Honeymoon Suite   21
Somebody Somewhere Platinum Blonde   23
Love Is Fire Parachute Club   23
Angel In My Pocket One to One   24
Heaven In Your Eyes Loverboy   24
Boy Inside the Man Red Rider/Tom Cochrane   25
Soul City Partland Brothers   25
Eurasian Eyes Corey Hart   29
Song In My Head M+M   30
Alana Loves Me Kim Mitchell   31
People See Through You Bruce Cockburn   32
Anything For Love Gordon Lightfoot   39

* Also made the year-end chart of 1985 at #68.


1986 Trivia


More Charts…

Mid 80s Overview…

1985’s Biggest Canadian Hits, Both English and French

CMB med1985 was a massive year for Canadian music. The #1 song on the year-end RPM chart was “Never Surrender” by Canada’s own Corey Hart. Bryan Adams scored five Top 40 hits. Both Hart’s and Adams’ albums became the first by Canadian artists to be certified diamond (10x platinum) domestically. Speaking of platinum, Canadian band Platinum Blonde enjoyed #1 hit, “Crying Over You” (5th biggest of the year). Charity single “Tears Are Not Enough” by Northern Lights, a supergroup of Canadian recording artists, also reached #1 on the weekly charts and was 15th of the year. Only three Canuck Franco hits made CKOI’s year-end Top 50, the highest one being “Aimer pour aimer” by Marie-Michele Desrosiers (14th of the year in Québec). The most successful hit in Canada by an international artist was “Careless Whisper” by Wham (#2 of the year).

Below is a list of all Canadian Franco hits that finished in CKOI’s year-end Top 50. All Canadian hits that made the RPM Top 100 of the year are listed as well as all that peaked in the Top 40 of the weekly 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 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.


Aimer pour aimer Marie-Michele Desrosiers 14
On va s’aimer Martine St-Clair 26
Manhattan monotone Diane Tell 42


Never Surrender Corey Hart 1 1
Crying Over You  Platinum Blonde 5 1
Tears Are Not Enough Northern Lights 15 1
Run to You Bryan Adams 44 4
Black Cars Gino Vannelli 48 4
A Criminal Mind Gowan 50 5
Everything in my Heart Corey Hart 68 1*
Boy in the Box Corey Hart 77 7
Love Theme from St. Elmo’s Fire David Foster 83 7
Situation Critical Platinum Blonde 93 8
At the Feet of the Moon Parachute Club 96 11
(You’re a) Strange Animal Gowan 98 15
Summer of ’69 Bryan Adams 99 11
Hurts to Be in Love Gino Vannelli 100 19
Heaven Bryan Adams   11
Somebody Bryan Adams   13
It’s Only Love Bryan Adams   14
Tokyo Rose Idle Eyes   16
Lovin’ Every Minute of It Loverboy   17
One Night Love Affair Bryan Adams   19
Guerilla Soldier Gowan   24
You’re the Only Love Paul Hyde & The Payolas   26
One More Colour Jane Siberry   27
We Run Strange Advance   28
Stay in the Light Honeymoon Suite   28
Go to Pieces Paul Janz   29
Mona with the Children Doug Cameron   36
Storm Before the Calm Luba   37
Just Like You FM   38
Anything You Want Helix   40

* Reached #1 in January 1986 and was the 55th biggest song of 1986.


1985 Trivia


More Charts…

Mid 80s Overview…

Biggest Hits 1985-86, 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.


Song Artist Pos
Never Surrender Corey Hart 1
Crying Over You  Platinum Blonde 5
Tears Are Not Enough Northern Lights 15
Run to You Bryan Adams 44
Black Cars Gino Vannelli 48
A Criminal Mind Gowan 50
Everything in my Heart Corey Hart         68
Boy in the Box Corey Hart 77
Love Theme from St. Elmo’s   Fire David Foster 83
Situation Critical Platinum Blonde 93
At the Feet of the Moon Parachute Club 96
(You’re a) Strange Animal Gowan 98
Summer of ’69 Bryan Adams 99
Hurts to Be in Love Gino Vannelli 100
Aimer pour aimer Marie-Michele Desrosiers 14
On va s’aimer Martine St-Clair 26
Manhattan monotone Diane Tell 42


Don’t Forget Me (When I’m   Gone) Glass Tiger 4
Everything in my Heart Corey Hart 55
How Many (Rivers to Cross) Luba 81
Patio Lanterns Kim Mitchell 83
Now and Forever (You and Me) Anne Murray 85
I Am By Your Side Corey Hart 89
Someday Glass Tiger 90
April Fool Chalk Circle 100
Vivre dans la nuit Nuance 5
Heureuse sans etre amoureuse Martine St-Clair 45
Arrete de boire Rock & Belles Oreilles 49


More Charts…

Mid 80s Overview…

Mid-80s Hit Singles and Albums


Run to You Bryan Adams 4 44
At the Feet of the Moon Parachute Club 11 96
Somebody Bryan Adams 13
A Criminal Mind Gowan 5 50
We Run Strange Advance 28
Tears Are Not Enough Northern Lights 1 15
Stay in the Light Honeymoon Suite 29
Tokyo Rose Idle Eyes 16
Black Cars Gino Vannelli 4 48
You’re the Only Love Paul Hyde & The Payolas 26
(You’re a) Strange Animal Gowan 15 98
Heaven Bryan Adams 11
Never Surrender Corey Hart 1 1
Go to Pieces Paul Janz 29
Crying Over You  Platinum Blonde 1 5
Summer of ’69 Bryan Adams 11 99
Boy in the Box Corey Hart 7 77
Hurts to Be in Love Gino Vannelli 19 100
Lovin’ Every Minute of It Loverboy 17
One Night Love Affair Bryan Adams 19
Love Theme from St. Elmo’s Fire David Foster 7 83
One More Colour Jane Siberry 27
Situation Critical Platinum Blonde 8 93
Everything in my Heart* Corey Hart 1* 68/55
It’s Only Love Bryan Adams (w/ Tina Turner) 14

* Peaked in January 1986. Finished as the 68th biggest song of the year in 1985 and 55th in 1986.


Reckless Bryan Adams 4
Boy in the Box Corey Hart 5
Alien Shores Platinum Blonde 11
Strange Animal Gowan 19
Power Windows Rush 35
First Offense Corey Hart 37
Black Cars Gino Vannelli 47
At the Feet of the Moon Parachute Club 54
The Speckless Sky Jane Siberry 60
Lovin’ Every Minute of It Loverboy 61
Here’s the World For Ya Paul Hyde and the Payola$ 98


L’Affaire Dumoutier The Box 21
There Was a Time One to One 14
Somebody Somewhere Platinum Blonde 23
Now and Forever (You and Me) Anne Murray 12 85
Don’t Forget Me (When I’m
Glass Tiger 1 4
Flippin’ to the ‘A’ Side Cats Can Fly 16
Eurasian Eyes Corey Hart 29
Feel It Again Honeymoon Suite 20
April Fool Chalk Circle 21 100
Angel in My Pocket One to One 24
How Many (Rivers to Cross) Luba 14 81
Bad Bad Boy Haywire 21
Thin Red Line Glass Tiger 19
Song in my Head M+M 30
The Best of Me David Foster (w/ Olivia Newton-John 17
Patio Lanterns Kim Mitchell 12 83
What Does It Take Honeymoon Suite 21
Boy Inside the Man Tom Cochrane 25
Someday Glass Tiger 14 90
I Am By Your Side Corey Hart 12 89
Heaven in your Eyes Loverboy 24
Love Is Fire Parachute Club 23
Soul City The Partland Bros. 25
Can’t Help Falling In Love Corey Hart 1*
You’re What I Look For Glass Tiger 11*

* Peaked in 1987.


The Thin Red Line Glass Tiger 16
Shakin’ Like a Human Being Kim Mitchell 23
Boy in the Box Corey Hart 24
The Big Prize Honeymoon Suite 35
Reckless Bryan Adams 39
World of Wonders Bruce Cockburn 45
Between the Earth & Sky Luba 55
Fields of Fire Corey Hart 60
Alien Shores Platinum Blonde 68
Something to Talk About Anne Murray 81
Tom Cochrane & Red Rider Tom Cochrane & Red Rider 95
Power Windows Rush 97

Canadian Pride (1985-86)

In the two years following 1984’s dry spell, a total of 50 songs from Canadian artists made the weekly Top 30 National RPM Singles Chart. 1985 was the year that changed everything. Fifteen Canadian artists had Top 30 hits through the year. There were 14 Canadian songs in the year-end Top 100, and the biggest song of the year was Canadian. The year saw three Canadian songs top the charts. And it was the year that witnessed the very first Canadian album certified Diamond. Perhaps the highlight was the coming together of all major Canadian artists to record a charity single for African famine relief. Although the whirlwind that created a swelling of Canadian pride eased up a bit in 1986, it was still a strong year for Canadian music. The RPM Top 100 Year-End Album Charts saw 11 from Canadian artists in 1985 and a dozen in 1986.


At the end of October, 1984, Bryan Adams released his album Reckless and its first single “Run to You”. For some reason, it took some time for the song to climb up the charts, finally cracking the Top 10 on January 12th, 1985. From there, everything snowballed. The album which spawned several additional hits became certified Diamond (1 million copies sold in a country of nearly 26 million at the time) on December 17th. But that wasn’t the only big album that year. Corey Hart released Boy in the Box in mid-June. “Never Surrender” topped the charts and became the biggest song of the year. “Everything in My Heart” was a #1 hit as well (in 1986). And the album became the second in history to attain Diamond sales. Canadian pride soared and the Junos the following year drew a huge audience to see “Never Surrender” win Song of the Year and Reckless win Best Album. Adams and Hart had become national treasures and were the musical heroes that captivated the hearts of the nation.

Canadian artists responded to Bob Geldof’s work with uniting British artists to record “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” to help relieve drought-ridden famine in Ethiopia. They came together as Northern Lights and recorded “Tears Are Not Enough”, another number one single in Canada. We’ll do a special feature on the song in a bit.

Bryan Adams and Corey Hart were not the only names in male singers that year. Scottish-born Torontonian (Lawrence) Gowan scored a #5 hit with “Criminal Mind” from his Strange Animal album (which matched the peak chart position on the album charts). Claude Dubois had a big hit with “Un Chanteur Chant“. Gino Vannelli’s “Black Cars” landed in the Top 5 and his “Huts to Be in Love” the Top 20. Composer and producer David Foster worked heavily on the St. Elmo’s Fire film and his instrumental Love Theme was a Top 10 hit. Paul Janz had his first hit, “Go to Pieces” (#29).

Outside of La Belle Province, the women were nowhere to be heard in ’85, aside from more alternative artists like the creative Jane Siberry (“One More Colour”). Luba made some headways but became a bigger name the following year. The most successful female was Martine St. Clair with her mega-hit “Ce soir l’amour est dans tes yeux”, song of the year winner at the Felix Awards and so irresistible that it was even nominated for a Juno, despite their reputation for snubbing French language music. Nicole Martin’s “Il est en nous l’amour” was nominated for a Felix.

1985 saw the emergence of some huge rock bands, the most notable of which was Platinum Blonde. “Crying over You” was a #1 hit as was their album Alien Shores. Their “Situation Critical” made the Top 10. Vancouver new wave outfit “Strange Advance” scored a minor hit as did Paul Hyde and the Payola$ and newcomers Honeymoon Suite. The latter did better with album sales than hit singles, but nevertheless, scored a Top 10 hit in 1988 with “Love Changes Everything”. Loverboy had a Top 20 hit with “Lovin’ Every Minute of It” and one-hit wonders Idle Eyes with “Tokyo Rose”, but the Parachute Club’s “At the Feet of the Moon” was the most successful, coming just shy of the Top 10. Offenbach and Madame had hits in Québec.


Corey Hart was quick to follow up his Diamond album with Fields of Fire in 1986. The first single “I Am by Your Side” peaked at #12 on the RPM charts, while his cover of “Can’t Help Falling in Love” topped the charts in early ’87. The year, however, belonged to Glass Tiger. Their “Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone)” was a number one hit, the 4th biggest of the year and nabbed the Juno Award for Song of the Year. Their 4x Platinum album The Thin Red Line churned out three more hits, all of which broke into the Top 20. A third release came off of Platinum Blonde’s Alien Shores album which was a good thing because it became their only hit south of the border. The song was “Somebody Somewhere”. Honeymoon Suite released a new album—The Big Prize—which spawned two hits that did equally well. The Parachute Club and M+M scored minor hits with “Love Is Fire” and “Song in my Head” respectively. Loverboy’s song “Heaven in your Eyes”, from the Top Gun soundtrack, did moderately well.

There were some newcomers in 1986. Ottawa duo One to One scored a pair of hits from their Forward Your Emotions album. Springing from Talent Quest, Cats Can Fly’s synth-pop “Flippin’ to the ‘A’ Side” peaked at #16. Another synth ensemble—Chalk Circle—came out with “April Fool” that just squeaked into the Top 100 songs of the year. PEI’s Haywire scored with “Bad Bad Boy” and The Partland Brothers (Chris and G.P.) with “Soul City”. Nuance’s “Vivre dans la nuit” sold 70,000 copies and was nominated for Song of the Year at the Junos. Perhaps the most significant addition to 80s bands was Men Without Hats’ new wave spinoff band The Box (“L’affaire Dumoutier”).

Anne Murray crossed over into pop/rock with a comeback hit – “Now and Forever (You and Me)” and Luba became a household name with “How Many (Rivers to Cross)”. Jano Bergeron’s “Recherche” was nominated for a Felix Award. Having departed the band Corbeau, lead singer Marjo embarked on a very successful solo career and won the Félix Song of the Year with “Chats sauvages”. David Foster teamed up with English-Australian diva Olivia Newton-John in “The Best of Me”.

Je voudrais voir New York” was a hit for Daniel Lavoie. Patrick Norman had a stellar year thanks to “Quand on est en amour”. Max Webster’s lead singer Kim Mitchell scored a hit as a soloist called “Patio Lanterns”. And Red Rider’s front man began veering away from the group to lead an even more successful solo career; Tom Cochrane scored a minor hit with “Boy Inside the Man”.

Forthcoming will be a list of Canadian hit singles and albums on the RPM charts in 1985-86; an entry with mini-profiles on semi-major acts The Box, Paul Janz, Haywire, Honeymoon Suite, Luba, Kim Mitchell, Patrick Norman, and Platinum Blonde; a special feature on the making of the “Tears Are Not Enough” charity single; and separate feature profiles on major artists David Foster, Glass Tiger, Gowan, and Marjo.

Véronique Béliveau

Born: Montréal, 1955
Debut: 1972
Breakthrough: 1980
Genre: Pop

Some Hits

“Aimer” 1980
“Je suis fidèle” 1983
“C’est un rêveur” 1983
“That Boy” 1983
“Please (Dis-moi c’que tu as)” 1983
“Le Rock” 1983
“(Cache ton coeur) Cover Girl” 1984
Je suis comme je suis” 1984
“Toute la nuit” 1984
Make a Move on Me” 1986
“Jérusalem” (with Marc Gabriel) 1988
“House of Love” 1989

Veronique Beliveau, who was born Nicole Monique, wanted to become a ballerina but rheumatic fever weakened her ability to endure the rigorous exercises. She turned to singing the soft-chanteuse lounge approach and was discovered by Francois Bernard who helped her record the single “Rêve d’amour” in 1972. She toured Quebec with René Simard the following year. She began voice lessons with Laurette Bailly and, in-between her releases of a few more singles, hosted TV shows and took up acting. In 1977, she released her first album Prends-moi come je suis. But her first real hit, “Aimer” appeared on her second, self-titled album in 1980 after she switched to RCA and crossed over from adult contemporary to pop / rock. In 1983, having signed onto A&M, Beliveau released a huge hit album called Transit. Her French cover of Sheena Easton’s “She’s in Love (with her Radio)”, “Je suis fidèle”, topped the charts in Quebec. “C’est un rêveur” was also popular. The album received the Félix Award for pop album of the year and spawned a number of further hits. “Please (Dis-moi c’que tu as)” was written by the Bee Gees as “Heart (Stop Beating in Time)”. Veronique was nominated for the Most Promising Female Artist of the Year at the English-dominated Juno Awards.

In 1984, she released the album Cover Girl, responsible for three hit singles. And her fame began to spread to France. She was invited to participate as one of only three French Canadian artists on the “Tears Are Not Enough” charity single for African famine relief. She performed for Prince Charles and Lady Diana at Expo ’86 in Vancouver and decided to release her first English album, Borderline. English cross-over albums for francophone artists were rarely successful, but she managed a minor hit with “Make a Move on Me”. She was nominated for Female Artist of the Year at the Junos in 1987 and recorded a duet with Marc Gabriel the following year. In 1989, Beliveau released her second English album, Véronique, her last.

Veronique Beliveau retired from the music scene at the close of the ’80s but resurfaced in support of new singer Isabelle Boulay, singing backing vocals. Her boyfriend Josélito Michaud managed Boulay’s career.

Bryan Adams

Born: 1959, Kingston, ON
Debut: 1979
Genre: Pop, Rock

Some Achievements

– 2 Diamond Albums (1 million copies sold in Canada)
– 1st Canadian artist to score a Diamond album (1985): Reckless
– 18 Juno Awards including Male Artist of the Year 7 times and Album of the Year twice
– Star on Canada’s Walk of Fame (1998)
– Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (2011)
– Inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame (2006)
– 37 Top 40 Singles, including 18 Top 10, 9 of which were #1
– 2nd Canadian artist in history to have a #1 album in Britain

Biggest Hit

(Everything I Do) I Do It for You (1991)

– #1 Hit in 30 countries including Canada, the U.S., and the U.K.
– #1 Song of the Year in the U.S. Billboard Chart, Canadian RPM chart, and UK Singles chart
– Spent 16 weeks at #1 on the UK Singles Chart – a British chart record
– Became the 2nd best-selling single of all-time in the U.S.
– Written for the film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
– Best Song Written for a Motion Picture Grammy Award winner

Studio Albums and Hit Singles

1980: Bryan Adams

1981: You Want It You Got It

– Certified Gold
– Hit Singles: “Fits Ya Good” (#30)

1983: Cuts Like a Knife

– #8 in both Canada and the U.S.
– Certified 3x Platinum
– Hit Singles: “Straight from the Heart” (#20 CAN; #10 U.S.), “Cuts Like a Knife” (#12 CAN; #15 U.S.), “This Time” (#32 CAN; #24 U.S.)

1984: Reckless

– #1 in both Canada and the U.S.
– Certified Diamond
– Hit Singles: “Run to You” (#4 CAN; #6 U.S.), “Summer of ’69” (#11 CAN; #4 Netherlands), “Heaven” (#11 CAN; #1 U.S.), “Somebody” (#13 CAN; #11 U.S.), “One Night Love Affair” (#19 CAN; #13 U.S.), “It’s Only Love” (-with Tina Turner- #14 CAN; #15 U.S.)

1987: Into the Fire

– #2 in Canada; #3 in Sweden
– Certified 3x Platinum
– Hit Singles: “Heat of the Night” (#7 CAN; #5 Norway), “Hearts on Fire” (#25 CAN; #26 U.S.), “Victim of Love” (#32 U.S.)

1991: Waking Up the Neighbours

– #1 in many countries around the world including Canada, the U.K., and Germany
– Certified Diamond
– 2nd album from a Canadian artist to top the British charts
– 16 million copies sold worldwide
– Hit Singles: “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You” (#1 in 30 countries around the world), “Can’t Stop This Thing We Started” (#1 CAN; #2 U.S.), “There Will Never Be Another Tonight” (#2 CAN; #11 Ireland), “Thought I’d Died and Gone to Heaven” (#1 CAN; #8 U.K.), “All I Want Is You” (#20 Ireland; #22 U.K.), “Do I Have to Say the Words?” (#2 CAN; #11 U.S.), “Touch the Hand” (#37 CAN)

1996: 18 til I Die

– #4 in Canada; #1 in the U.K.
– Certified 3x Platinum
– Hit Singles: “The Only Thing That Looks Good on Me Is You” (#4 CAN; #5 U.K.), “Let’s Make a Night to Remember” (#1 CAN; #9 U.K.), “I’ll Always Be Right There” (#14 CAN), “Star” (#12 U.K.), “18 til I Die” (#21 CAN and U.K.), “Do To You” (#6 CAN)

1998: On a Day Like Today

– #3 in Canada; #2 in Switzerland
– Certified 2x Platinum
– Hit Singles: “On a Day Like Today” (#1 CAN; #11 U.K.), When You’re Gone”(-with Melanie C- #13 CAN; #2 U.K.), “Cloud Number Nine” (#7 CAN; #5 U.K.)

2004: Room Service

– #2 in Canada; #1 in Germany
– Certified Platinum
– Hit Singles: “Open Road” (#17 SWI; #21 U.K.), “Flying” (#9 BEL), “Room Service” (#13 BEL)

2008: 11

– #1 in Canada and Switzerland
– Hit Singles: “I Thought I’d Seen Everything” (#40 BEL)

2014: Tracks of My Years

Bryan Adams - Tracks of My Years

– #1 in Canada; #5 in Germany

2015: Get Up

bryan adams - get up

Other Hit Singles

“Let Me Take You Dancing” (1979)

– First Hit Single
– #18 in Canada

“Please Forgive Me” (1993)

– From Greatest Hits Compilation So Far So Good
– #1 in Canada, Ireland, and Norway

“All for Love” (-with Rod Stewart and Sting- 1993)

– From the movie The Three Musketeers
– #1 in several countries including Canada and the U.S.

“Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?” (1995)

– From the movie Don Juan DeMarco
– #1 in several countries including Canada and the U.S.

“Rock Steady” (- with Bonnie Raitt- 1995)

– From Bonnie Raitt’s live album Road Tested
– #17 in Canada

“I Finally Found Someone” (-with Barbra Streisand- 1997)

– From the film The Mirror Has Two Faces
– #18 in Canada and #1 in Ireland

“Back to You” (1997)

– From live MTV Unplugged album
– #1 in Canada and #17 in the U.K.

“I’m Ready” (1997 version)

– From live MTV Unplugged album
– #11 in Canada and #19 in the U.K.

“The Best of Me” (1999)

– From Greatest Hits album The Best of Me
– #10 in Canada and #31 in Switzerland

“Don’t Give Up” (-Chicane featuring Bryan Adams- 2000)

– From Chicane’s album Behind the Sun
– #9 in Canada and #1 in the U.K.

“Here I Am” (2002)

– From the Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron soundtrack
– #5 in the U.K. and #12 in Austria

Bryan Adams’ blue-collar image—typically, a [white] T-shirt and jeans—mirrored the hard-working values of his music, a straightforward style of rock and roll. His writing with Jim Vallance reflected superior craftmanship; the sentimental themes of Adams’ songs to the mid-1980s – love, love lost, loneliness – were unsentimentally sung in a voice characterized by a raspy urgency.
                                                                                       — Encyclopedia of Music in Canada

From every standpoint, Bryan Adams is the most successful male pop star in Canadian history.

Childhood and Youth

Bryan Adams was born in Kingston, Ontario in 1959 but spent most of his childhood travelling, as his father was a diplomat. This brought him to his parents’ native England, Israel, Portugal, and Austria. When he was 14, his parents split up and his mother took him and his little brother to settle in North Vancouver. Adams recalls becoming attracted to rock and roll when hearing the Beatles on the ferry while crossing the English Channel. He worked as a dishwasher saving up enough money to buy a Fender guitar and began auditioning as a band guitarist. After several rejections, he put together his own band who practised in his mother’s rented basement. They performed around the Vancouver nightclub circuit.

Bryan quit school to give him more time to pursue his musical career and spent the money his parents had saved for his university tuition to buy a piano. In the summer of 1976, just after the success of Sweeney Todd’s “Roxy Roller”, lead singer Nick Gilder departed for a solo career. Bryan Adams approached the band and convinced them, in a single audition, that he was fit to be Gilder’s replacement. He went into the studio and the band recorded their second album If Wishes Were Horses, Adams co-writing three songs for the album. Constant touring in confined vehicles strained the relationship Adams had with the band, and he quit at the end of 1977.

In January 1978, Adams was in a music store and a mutual friend introduced him to Prism’s drummer Jim Vallance. Vallance had used the pseudonym “Rodney Higgs” with the band for fear that, if the band had been unsuccessful, he would never be able to secure his own recording contract, something he was trying to do on the side by writing his own songs. Bryan and Jim hit it off immediately and began writing songs together. The first song they wrote was “Don’t Turn Me Away”. Their collaboration bore fruit in securing a one-dollar recording contract for Adams with A&M Records via a demo tape.


Bryan’s first hit was “Let Me Take You Dancing” which made the Top 20 and received extensive airplay in Vancouver. Adams used this success to go after the most prestigious local manager in the business—Bruce Allen. Adams and Vallance wrote songs for Allen’s clients Prism (“Jealousy”, “You Walked Away Again”, “Take It or Leave It”) and Loverboy (“Jump”) and Allen finally accepted managing Adams.

In 1980, Adams released his first (self-titled) album which sold respectfully though not as well as they had hoped. Adams began touring with Remote Control—the embryonic Strange Advance. His sophomore effort, You Want It You Got It, did better (going Gold), spawning the Top 30 hit “Fits Ya Good”. Adams and Vallance were asked, as a result of their burgeoning success, to assist Kiss with their song-writing for the band’s 1982 album Creatures of the Night. They co-wrote “Rock and Roll Hell” and “War Machine” with Gene Simmons.

At some point along the way, Adams decided to change his singing from a higher-pitched, smooth style to a more gravelly, gruff voice.


Adams and Vallance were encouraged by their growing success but really yearned for a big breakthrough. They knew they needed to write very catchy songs. One day, they sat down together to write a new song. One of the pair threw out the line “Cuts like a knife” and the other returned “And it feels so right”. Adams has stated in interviews that this was the defining moment in his career, the master key that unlocked the doors to superstardom.

Release of his third album Cuts Like a Knife resulted in Adams long sought-after breakthrough in 1983. Three Top 30 singles followed, one of which, “Straight from the Heart”, made the Top 10 on the American Billboard charts. He also got his foot in the door in Europe, as “This Time” made the Top 30 in Ireland. The album was certified Platinum in the U.S. and 3x Platinum in Canada. Adams opened for Journey in the U.S.


Anticipation was high for Bryan Adams’ next album. A&M made the decision to release simultaneously a video package with the album, something that had never been done before in the music industry. Tina Turner was brought on for a duet on one of the tracks. Reckless was released around Halloween in 1984 and the first single “Run to You” scaled up the charts, breaking into the Top 10 in Canada, the U.S., and Ireland. It was nominated for the Song of the Year Juno Award. Power-ballad “Heaven” did better outside of Canada where it peaked at #11, going all the way to #1 on the Billboard Charts, #2 in Norway, and cracking the Top 10 in Ireland and Sweden. Heartland rocker “Summer of ’69” made the Top 5 in the U.S. and Netherlands. Three more singles made the Top 20. The result of all this was that, on December 17th, 1985, Reckless became the first album from a Canadian artist to attain Diamond status in Canada, meaning that it had sold 1 million copies domestically. The population of Canada at the time was close to 26 million, meaning that 1 in 26 babies, children, youth, adults, and seniors bought the album. Reckless went 5x Platinum south of the border (sales in excess of 5 million), sold 13 million copies worldwide, and nabbed the Juno Award for Album of the Year.

Adams went on a world tour headlining sold-out concerts in the U.S., Japan, Australia, Europe, and then a homecoming concert in Canada, finishing off in his city of Vancouver.

Bruce Allen asked Adams and Vallance to join Canadian producer / composer David Foster in writing a Canadian response to Britain’s Band-Aid charity single for famine-relief in drought-ridden Africa. Prominent Canadian artists formed the singing group Northern Lights and recorded the #1 hit “Tears Are Not Enough”. (More on that later). Bryan Adams was one of the performers at the historic Live Aid concert in Philadelphia (USA). Newly-formed Canadian band Glass Tiger asked Jim Vallance to produce their debut album and Adams to sing backing vocals on its lead single “Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone)”, a #1 hit in Canada and #2 in the U.S. Bryan Adams was now a very busy man.

Rounding Out the ’80s

Adams knew that duplicating the success of Reckless would be somewhat elusive and decided, instead, to add more depth, creativity, and maturity to his fifth studio album. Into the Fire was released in 1987. It was a commercial success (though a far cry from Reckless’), met with critical acclaim, but created an atmosphere of confusion and alienated a number of his fans; a number of his follow-up concerts had to be cancelled due to lack of response. Into the Fire was a darker, more reflective album whose songs dealt with more weighty subjects than lost love and teenage infatuation. Adams sung about war and Aboriginal rights. Only two hit singles resulted: “Heat of the Night” and “Heart’s on Fire”. (“Victim of Love” was a minor hit in the U.S.).

Adams handled the criticism of a failure to duplicate his previous success well, but ultimately it led to his falling out with Jim Vallance. They recorded an album’s worth of material with Canadian producer Daniel Lanois (U2), but Adams was unhappy with the results and scrapped everything to start from scratch.

Surpassing Previous Success

Bryan Adams searched for a new song-writing partner and found one in Britain’s Robert John “Mutt” Lange (Def Leppard, AC/DC, Shania Twain). Lange took his time perfecting the album which did not get released until 1991. But the long wait paid off; it surpassed Adams’ previous success with Reckless, matching Diamond status in Canada and peaking at #1 in Canada, the U.S., the U.K., Ireland, Germany, Austria, Australia, Switzerland, Norway, and Sweden. It went on to sell 16 million copies worldwide. In another unknown piece of trivia, Waking up the Neighbours became the first album since Neil Young’s 1972 Harvest to top the album charts in Britain. Ironically, however, the album was launched in Canada amidst a storm of controversy.

The Canadian Radio and Television Commission (CRTC) had introduced rules on Canadian content (often referred to as Cancon) designed to encourage Canadian artists to seek assistance at home rather than turning to foreign collaborators. The MAPL system required that two of the four in music, artists, production, and lyrics must be Canadian in order for a song or album to be considered Canadian. The rules meant that Adams’ new album Waking Up the Neighbours was not a Canadian album due to his collaboration with Lange. This infuriated the team working with Adams and was a big story in the press. The CRTC reconsidered and added a new provision to the rules: “The musical selection was performed live or recorded after September 1, 1991, and, in addition to meeting the criterion for either artist or production, a Canadian who has collaborated with a non-Canadian receives at least half of the credit for both music and lyrics.”

“(Everything I Do) I Do It for You”, written for the blockbuster movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, became one of the best-selling singles of all-time world-wide (the biggest for A&M) and broke a number of records; it became Adams’ biggest hit. With Adams’ switch to lighter arrangements from his previous rocking numbers, his popularity in Europe began to overtake the U.S. In fact, the United States was the only country in which Waking up the Neighbours sold less copies (4x Platinum) than Reckless. The album spawned six additional hit singles, two of which also topped the charts in Canada. Adams went on a world tour in support of the album. His concert at the Ritz Theatre in New York sold out in less than 20 minutes. At the end of the Canadian leg of the tour, he was welcomed home in Vancouver to a standing room only concert.


A Greatest Hits package was in order, and A&M Records released So Far So Good (6x Platinum). A new song appeared on the album: “Please Forgive Me”, an international Top 3 hit. In-between new album releases, Adams began appearing in hit singles for various motion pictures, most notably “All for Love” (with Rod Stewart and Sting) for The Three Musketeers and “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?” for the Johnny Depp production Don Juan DeMarco.

With the growing popularity of dance music, hip hop, and R&B, Adams saw sales of his subsequent studio albums decrease and took the opportunity to pursue other projects. He had always had a passion for photography and began publishing picture books. He also became more heavily involved in humanitarian projects, promoting breast cancer research and educational opportunities for children.

Bryan Adams appeared at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, singing with Victoria pop star Nelly Furtado. The following year he announced the birth of his first child.

Daniel Lavoie

Born: 1949, Dunrea, Manitoba
Debut: 1973
Years Most Active: 1975-2007
Genre: Pop

Daniel Lavoie, nicknamed “Man of the Plains”, is a Canadian singer-songwriter with unique characteristics. He is better known in the French-speaking world, though he is from Manitoba, not Quebec. He is one of the few Canadian singers to become famous internationally before a star at home. While many francophone Canadians struggled to get noticed in France, Lavoie had no trouble from the beginning; in fact, the third biggest-selling single of all-time in France was the song “Belle” which he sang along with Quebec’s Garou, and France’s own Patrick Fiori.

Lavoie, born to a musician mother and shop-keeping father, was the oldest of six children, two of whom were adopted. He began piano lessons, continuing his musical education in a Jesuit boarding school at St. Boniface. In 1967, Daniel represented Manitoba, winning a singer-songwriter CBC radio contest on the show Jeunesse Oblige.

He spent the remainder of the ’60s in a few groups. In 1969 he departed to discover Latin America. In 1970, he toured Quebec performing in bars after which he went off to explore Europe. In 1973, Lavoie began recording singles, but they attracted little attention. His first album came in 1975 A Court Terme, which spawned the single “J’ai quitté mon île”. While it made no impact in Canada, it won him fans in France. “Deixei Mihaterra”, a song he recorded in Portuguese, was a hit in both Portugal and Brazil. He toured Quebec a second time to try to crack the market. But it was not until his sophomore album, Berceuse Pour un Lion (1977) that he did so. Radio hits from the album included “Dans le temps des animaux”, “La Vérité sur la vérité”, and the title-track. The success resulted in his taking up residence in Quebec.

From here, fame escalated. Lavoie was one of the very few Canadian artists to make it big in France. In 1979, he released the successful Nirvana Bleu album enabling him to garner the Felix Male Artist of the Year award in 1980 and starred at the Théâtre Montparnasse in Paris. He won it again the following year thanks to the release of two albums: the English Cravings (a commercial failure) and French Aigre doux, How Are You?

After touring Quebec and France, he spent a year working on his next album, Tension Attention, collaborating with songwriter Daniel DeShaime. The album, produced by Briton John Eden (David Bowie), was released at the end of 1983. The title-track won the Song of the Year Felix Award and he again nabbed the Male Artist of the Year. It was a second single from the album, however, that became Lavoie’s signature song. “Ils s’aiment” sold over 2 million copies and has been translated into several languages. The album won France’s Victoire de la Musique Award. “Hôtel (des rêves)” was also popular.

In 1986, Lavoie released an album in two language versions, the French Vue Sur La Mer and English Tips. He performed at Montreal Olympic Stadium and five nights in a row at the prestigious Olympia Theatre, Paris. A live album was released and he continued receiving many awards. His fame had spread to the United States and Liza Minnelli invited him to make an appearance at her show in New York to sing two English songs from the Tips album. Daniel composed the theme song for the movie Les Longs Manteaux, and acted in the film Le Fabuleux Voyage.

In 1990 the “Man of the Plains” came out with the award-winning album Long Courrier and its singles “Jours de plaine” and “Qui sait”. His cool style was arguably getting more attention from the United States than from Anglophone Canada. The song “Weak for Love” from his 1992 English album Here in the Heart was used for an episode of the TV soap “General Hospital”. He reworked the album with a couple of song changes and released Woman to Man two years later.

Lavoie’s next French album was 1995’s Ici. From there he released a couple of children’s albums.

The icing on the cake of Daniel Lavoie’s renown came when he starred in the highly successful Luc Plamondon musical play, Notre-Dame de Paris, in which he played the part of Frollo. The play was a joint French-Quebec production and based on Victor Hugo’s novel. It was launched in France in September 1998 and in the spring of 1999 moved to Quebec. With Quebec’s Garou and France’s Patrick Fiori, the song “Belle” from the play was recorded. To say that it was a hit would be an understatement. The song became the third biggest-selling single of all-time in France (behind Tino Rossi’s 1946 “Petit Papa Noêl” and 2nd place “La Danse Des Canards” by J.J. Lionel). Check out the performance HERE. (Daniel is the second performer).

In the new millennium, Lavoie was invited to participate in the musical version of “Le Petit Prince” and he released the album Comédies Humaines in 2004. The following year he released a tribute album to Felix Leclerc and Docteur Tendresse in 2007. Album La Licorne Captive appeared in 2014 and Mes longs voyages in 2016.

Daniel Lavoie’s Official Website is HERE.

Corey Hart

Born: 1962, Montréal
Debut: 1983
Years Most Active: 1983-1998
Genre: Pop

Some Achievements

– Juno Award for Song of the Year: “Never Surrender” (1985)
– 3 singles nominated for Song of the Year Junos: “Sunglasses at Night” (1984), “Everything in My Heart” (1986), and “Can’t Help Falling in Love” (1987)
– Félix Award for Male Artist of the Year, 1985
– 1 Diamond, 2 Multi-Platinum, and 2 Platinum albums
– Biggest Song of the Year: “Never Surrender” (1985)
– 2nd Canadian artist to score a Diamond album: Boy in the Box (1985)
– 28 Top 40 singles, including 8 Top 10, 3 of which were #1
– Sold 10 million albums in six years

Biggest Hit

Never Surrender (1985)

– #1 Hit in Canada; #3 in the U.S.
– Juno Award for Song of the Year, 1985
– #1 in both the RPM and CHUM Year-End Charts, 1985

Studio Albums and Hit Singles

1983: First Offense

– #6 in Canada; #31 in U.S.
– 3x Platinum
– Hit Singles: “Sunglasses at Night” (#24 CAN; #7 U.S.), “It Ain’t Enough”, “She’s Got the Radio”, “Lamp at Midnite”

1985: Boy in the Box

– 2nd Canadian album in history to sell a million copies domestically (certified Diamond)
– Platinum in the U.S.
– #1 in Canada; #20 in the U.S.
– Hit Singles: “Never Surrender” (see above), “Everything in My Heart” (#1 CAN; #30 U.S.), “Boy in the Box” (#7 CAN; #26 U.S.), “Eurasian Eyes”

1986: Fields of Fire

– Peaked at #5
– 2x Platinum
– Hit Singles: “I Am By Your Side” (#6 CAN; #18 U.S.), “Can’t Help Falling in Love” (#1 CAN; #24 U.S.), “Angry Young Man”, “Dancin’ With My Mirror”, “Take My Heart”

1988: Young Man Running

– Peaked at #12
– Platinum
– Hit Singles: “In Your Soul” (#2 CAN; #38 U.S.), “Spot You in a Coalmine”, “Truth Will Set You Free”, “Still in Love”

1990: Bang!

– Peaked at #24
– Hit Singles: “A Little Love” (#9 CAN; #37 U.S.), “Bang! (Starting Over)”, “Rain on Me”

1992: Attitude & Virtue

– Hit Singles: “92 Days of Rain”, “Baby When I Call Your Name”, “Always”, “I Want (Cool Cool Love)”

1996: Corey Hart

– Peaked at #38
– Platinum
– Hit Singles: “Black Cloud Rain” (#2 CAN), “Tell Me”, “Third of June”, “Someone”

1998: Jade

– Hit Singles: “La Bas”, “So Visible (Easy to Miss)”, “Break the Chain”

2014: Ten Thousand Horses

Corey Hart - Ten Thousand Horses

Corey Hart, the youngest child in a family of five, spent much of his childhood travelling with his parents, as his father was in the real estate business. This brought him to places like the Bahamas, Mexico, the United States (Florida), and Spain. His parents divorced when he was 10. In his teens, he returned to his birthplace of Montréal and decided that he wanted to be a singer / songwriter. He began writing songs, sang for Tom Jones, and recorded with Paul Anka, Billy Joel, and Eric Clapton. After a stint in New York, he was offered a recording contract with Aquarius upon his return to Canada.

It was easy to promote Hart given his cool, clean boyish good looks and his brooding intensity. The new medium of music videos was taken advantage of resulting in Hart’s meteoric rise to fame. Comparisons were made to Paul Anka, James Dean, and young Marlon Brando.

Aquarius sent Hart to Manchester, England to write over a three-month period with studio musicians, including a special contribution by Eric Clapton, under the guidance of Phil Chapman and Jon Astley. The resulting album, First Offence, was released in late 1983 and became a sleeper hit in Canada. Eventually, hit singles “Sunglasses at Night” and “It Ain’t Enough” helped the album sell 3x Platinum. The following year, he was given a U.S. Grammy nomination for best new artist. “Sunglasses at Night” was nominated for Song of the Year at the Junos and won the award for Best Music Video.

Corey had never performed live and asked to open for Culture Club at the Montréal Forum in order to promote his new album. Rave reviews of his live performance landed him a spot in tours with April Wine, Thomas Dolby, Hall & Oates, and Rick Springfield.

Due to the great success of his debut album, Hart was under tremendous pressure for his follow-up release. In an interview he disclosed that he reacted well to pressure. In 1985, Corey Hart released Boy in the Box. To say that it sold exceptionally well would be an understatement. The album became the second Canadian album in history to attain diamond status domestically (1 million copies sold in Canada). Its song “Never Surrender” not only topped the charts but became the biggest song of the year in Canada and won the Juno, beating out Bryan Adams’ “Run to You”. South of the border, the song peaked at #3 and was nominated for a Grammy. Boy in the Box‘s title-track broke into the Top 10, and the single “Everything in My Heart” topped the charts and was nominated for a Juno the following year.

Due to his gigantic success, Corey was offered a number of deals. But he remained selective about the projects he pursued. He turned down the role of Marty McFly in Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster Back to the Future trilogy. He also refused an offer to perform the hit song “Danger Zone” for the Tom Cruise-led film Top Gun. He went on tour through North America, Europe, Japan, and Australia. A concert documentary attracted over a million television viewers in Canada and won the Golden Gate Award in 1989 for best fine arts or musical variety show at the San Francisco International Film Festival. He also participated with many other fellow Canadian artists in the charity single “Tears Are Not Enough” for African famine-relief.

Hart had developed a reputation for coming up with the best song on the album after all the recording had finished. This happened again during the sessions for album #3. In one night, he tracked, recorded, and mixed a cover of Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love”. Originally it was to be a throwaway B-side. But Aquarius loved it so much that they decided to include it on the album and release it as the first single. The decision proved wise, as it topped the charts in Canada. The second single “I Am by Your Side” peaked at #6 on the charts and Corey Hart’s third album, Fields of Fire attained double-platinum status.

Corey Hart’s fourth album, Young Man Running, reached platinum sales thanks to the #2 hit “In Your Soul”, but States-side, his fortunes began to wane. This was somewhat echoed in Canada with his fifth release, Bang! Although its lead single “A Little Love” was a Top 10 hit, the album sold poorly and Hart left Aquarius Records. In 1990 around the Bang! releases, Hart married his high school sweetheart Erika Gagnon.

In 1992, he released Attitude and Virtue with Sire/Warner. Although four singles made the Top 30, it was the first album without a Top 10 hit. Hart had shifted his style into a more bluesy approach which did not seem to appeal to fans. He divorced in 1994 and became involved with Québec songstress Julie Masse. He switched record companies again, signing with Columbia/Sony, and bounced back somewhat with a self-titled album in 1996. “Black Cloud Rain” reached #2 on the national charts and the album was certified platinum. His final album was 1998’s Jade, which included the French song “La Bas” which he sang with Masse.

Although he retreated from recording, he began writing songs for other performers, including Julie Masse, Garou, and Cherie. For Céline Dion, Hart wrote “Miles to Go (Before I Sleep)” and “Where Is the Love” for the multi-platinum seller Let’s Talk About Love. He appeared as a special guest on Dion’s Canadian and U.S. tour. In 2001, he wrote “Prayer” for her album A New Day Has Come.

In 2002, Hart married Masse and they relocated to the Bahamas with their three children.

Corey Hart’s Official Website is HERE.

An excellent interview with Corey Hart is HERE.

Men Without Hats


Debut: 1980, Montréal
Breakthrough: 1983
Years Most Active: 1980-1991

Primary Members:

Ivan Doroschuk (vocals)
Stefan Doroschuk (guitars)
Colin Doroschuk (keyboards)
Allan McCarthy (percussion)
Jeremie Arrobas (drums)
Lenny Pinkas (drums)

Genre: New Wave / Dance

Biggest Hit:

The Safety Dance” (1983)

– Peaked at #3 in the U.S., #6 in the U.K., and #4 in Canada
– #82 on the CHUM FM year-end charts
– 11th biggest song of the year in South Africa

Other Hits:

– “I Like”, 1983
– “I Got the Message”, 1983
– “Living in China”, 1983
– “Where Do the Boys Go?”, 1984
– “Pop Goes the World”, 1987 (#1 Austria, #2 CAN, #20 US)
– “Moonbeam”, 1987
– “Hey Men”, 1989 (#8 CAN)
– “In the 21st Century “, 1989
– “Sideways”, 1991

Studio Albums:

1980: Folk of the 80’s (EP)
1982: Rhythm of Youth (Platinum in CAN, #13 on U.S. Billboard 200)
1984: Folk of the 80’s Part III
1985: Freeways (EP)
1987: Pop Goes the World
1989: The Adventures of Women & Men Without Hats in the 21st Century
1991: Sideways

While many 80s songs have long since been forgotten, “The Safety Dance” continues as a popular song today, attracting new fans from younger generations. Its official video on Youtube has been viewed over 3.8 million times. But Men Without Hats is far from being a one-hit wonder group. Its “Pop Goes the World” was even more successful in Canada, peaking at #2 on the charts, and it cracked the Top 20 on the American Billboard Hot 100. “Hey Men” made the Top 10 at the end of the decade. Men Without Hats formed in Montréal and did not shy away from using some French in their songs.

Ivan Doroschuk was playing keyboards for a late-’70s Montréal band called Heaven Seventeen. He left the group to form his own band, Men Without Hats, with brothers Stefan on bass and Colin on keyboards. Another ex-Heaven Seventeen member Tracy Howe joined them briefly before forming the synth-pop outfit Rational Youth in 1982. The Doroschuk brothers had grown up in the wealthy suburb of Outremont. One of their private school’s classmates was Jeremie Arrobas who joined the group as their drummer. His parents owned a small mansion on Mount Royal and they were allowed to rehearse there. Arrobas’ father helped finance the band, buying them their equipment and paying for the production and manufacture of their first record (EP), Folk of the 80s in 1980.

The band’s name came about because the Doroschuk brothers developed a reputation for refusing to wear hats during the city’s cold winters, sticking to their belief in style before comfort. They became known as the “men without hats”.

In 1982, the group released the full-length album Rhythm of Youth. Its single “The Safety Dance” was a huge success, entering the Top 10 in 20 countries around the world. It also garnered a Grammy nomination. The album was certified platinum in Canada and Men Without Hats won three Félix awards.

Men Without Hats released their follow-up album Folk of the 80s Part III in 1984. The single “Where Do the Boys Go?” was a Top 30 hit in Canada. The following year, they took a detour and released the experimental EP Freeways. With the lack of international success since Rhythm of Youth, they made some line-up changes (Lenny Pinkas on drums) and switched over to Mercury Records. In 1987, they released Pop Goes the World. Its title-track was a huge hit in Canada, peaking at #2. It topped the charts in Austria, made the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S., and was the 15th biggest song of the year in South Africa. As with “The Safety Dance”, the song was nominated for the Juno song of the year award. The album spawned a second hit-single “Moonbeam”, which made the Top 30 in Canada.

The Adventures of Women & Men without Hats in the 21st Century followed in 1989 and included the Top 10 hit “Hey Men”. In the 90s, the band met the same fate as a number of other 80s acts. Convinced that keyboards were no longer in fashion, they switched to a guitar-based format which effectively killed off their popularity by alienating their fans. They released what was to be their final album Sideways in 1991 calling it quits in 1992 and worked on solo projects thereafter. Ivan’s “Open Your Eyes” finished as the 90th biggest song of 1997.  The band returned in the new millennium with the rare collectors’ item No Hats Beyond This Point (2003) and the Dave “Rave” Ogilvie produced Love in the Age of War in 2012.

Both “The Safety Dance and “Pop Goes the World” received SOCAN Awards in 2006 for achieving 100,000 airplays on domestic radio.

The Payola$

A.k.a. Paul Hyde and the Payolas, Rock and Hyde

Debut: 1979, Vancouver
Breakthrough: 1982
Years Most Active: 1979-1987

Primary Members:

Paul Hyde (guitar, vocals)
Bob Rock (guitar, bass, vocals)
Chris Taylor (drums)
Christopher Livingston (keyboards)

Genre: New Wave

Biggest Hit:

Eyes of a Stranger” (1982)

– Juno Award in 1983 for Song of the Year
– #60 on CHUM FM’s Year-End Chart (1982)
– Peaked at #4 on the RPM charts

Other Hits:

– “China Boys”, 1979
– “Soldier”, 1982
– “Romance”, 1982
– “Never Said I Loved You”, 1983 (with Carole Pope of Rough Trade)
– “Where Is This Love”, 1983
– “You’re the Only Love”, 1985
– “Here’s the World For Ya”, 1985
– “Stuck in the Rain”, 1985
– “It Must Be Love”, 1986
– “Dirty Water”, 1987
– “I Will”, 1987
– “Talk to Me”, 1987

Studio Albums:

1980: Introducing Payola$ (4-song EP)
1981: In a Place Like This
1982: No Stranger to Danger, Platinum
1983: Hammer on A Drum, Platinum
1985: Here’s the World For Ya (as Paul Hyde and the Payolas)
1987: Under the Volcano (as Rock and Hyde)

Paul Hyde, an expatriate from Britain, met Winnipegger Bob Rock in high school in Langford, BC and introduced him to the new musical genre of punk rock, popular in England. They formed a garage band and Bob Rock got a job at Vancouver’s famous Little Mountain Sound Studios as a recording engineer. This enabled The Payola$ to record, in the late 70s, punkish songs “Money for Hype” and “China Boys” on independent labels, selling the singles at their gigs and through local record shops. This led to a contract with A&M Records.

A four-song EP entitled Introducing Payola$ was released in 1980. The band’s name was a reference to previous payola scandals in the U.S. in which record companies would offer bribes to radio stations to air songs. These scandals nearly derailed the careers of Alan Freed and Dick Clark. One deejay admitted to accepting $22,000 to air a single. The success of the Payola$’ EP gave A&M confidence enough to release a full-length album the following year, In a Place Like This. The album garnered praise from critics but flopped commercially. As new wave was replacing punk in Britain and was becoming the predominant musical force west of the Atlantic, the band made a genre-switch and line-up change.

In 1982, the album No Stranger to Danger was released, and its “Eyes of a Stranger” was a huge success, winning for the band the Juno for Song of the Year, beating out Rush, Loverboy, and Toronto. Junos were also awarded to the band for song-writing, Most Promising Group, and Bob Rock’s recording work. The album went platinum and The Payolas went on tour with The Go-Gos.

Some regard the Juno Award for Most Promising Group as a kiss of death, so the band worked hard on their follow-up album. Rough Trade’s vocalist Carole Pope was recruited in a duet with Hyde called “Never Said I Loved You” and the band began singing about more social issues like drunkenness, child abuse, and the threat of nuclear war. The album Hammer on a Drum was released in 1983. It went platinum thanks to the aforementioned single and “Where Is This Love”. The band toured Canada with Supertramp.

A&M (and the band) was disappointed that the album had made little headway south of the border and speculated that American radio stations, still sensitive to the earlier scandals, were snubbing them due to their name. The band did not want to drop their name, familiar now to Canadian fans, so a compromise was settled upon and their next album introduced them as Paul Hyde and The Payola$. The group was asked to change musical direction as well, shifting from new wave into more commercially-accessible mainstream pop. Big name Canadian producer David Foster was brought onboard to produce the album, Here’s the World For Ya (1985). Although the title-track and two additional singles released proved that the band and producer had delivered the goods, the album was a failure and many loyal fans of the band were lost in the shuffle. The band was up to its wits end in having to compromise themselves musically and had a falling out with A&M.

Critics felt that Foster’s richly polished pop style was not a good fit with the percussion-laden, punkish energy of the band.

The good news about working with Foster, however, was that a song Rock and Hyde were working on became one of the biggest songs of 1985 when other songwriters, musicians, and singers contributed their skills in recording it as a charity single to relieve famine in Africa. The song was “Tears Are Not Enough”. We’ll talk more about this in detail later on.

Paul Hyde and Bob Rock continued their partnership and changed their name to Rock and Hyde. In 1987, they released Under the Volcano on Capitol Records. Producer Bruce Fairbairn was brought onboard giving the duo creative freedom. The album spawned three hit singles which echoed the band’s earlier style and socially conscious lyrics. After this, the two went their separate ways: Hyde as a solo artist (he had a minor hit with “America is Sexy”) and Rock as a world famous record producer for Motley Crue, Metallica, Aerosmith, and The Cranberries.


Debut: 1980, Vancouver
Years Most Active: 1980-1987

Primary Members:

Mike Reno (lead vocals)
Matthew Frenette (drums)
Scott Smith (bass)
Paul Dean (guitars, vocals)
Doug Johnson (keys)

Genre: Rock

Biggest Hit:

Turn Me Loose” (1981)

– Juno Award in 1982 for Song of the Year
– #28 on CHUM FM’s Year-End Chart (1981)

Top 40 Hits:

– “The Kid Is Hot Tonite”, 1981
– “Working for the Weekend”, 1981
– “When It’s Over”, 1982
– “Hot Girls in Love”, 1983
– “Queen of the Broken Hearts”, 1983
– “Lovin’ Every Minute of It”, 1985
– “Heaven in Your Eyes”, 1986
– “Notorious”, 1987

Loverboy-Related Hit:

Almost Paradise“, Mike Reno and Ann Wilson of Heart (1984)

– #1 Hit
– Featured in the film Footloose

Studio Albums:

1980: Loverboy, 5x Platinum, Juno Award in 1982 for Album of the Year
1981: Get Lucky, 3x Platinum, Juno Award in 1983 for Album of the Year
1983: Keep It Up, 2x Platinum
1985: Lovin’ Every Minute of It
1987: Wildside


– 9 Top 40 Singles
– 3 Multi-Platinum albums
– Juno Award for Best Group for 3 consecutive years (1982-84)
– Sold 10 million copies of their first 3 albums by 1984
– Inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame (2009) 

After he was kicked out of Streetheart, Vancouver guitarist Paul Dean wanted to form his own band. His agent introduced him to Mike Rynoski (later Reno). Although he was a drummer, Dean liked his singing and the two began writing songs together. They recruited classically-trained keyboardist Doug Johnson, DalBello bassist Scott Smith, and ex-Streetheart drummer Matthew Frenette. The quintet was formed and introduced through a mutual friend to manager Bruce Allen. This led to their opening for Kiss at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver in 1979.

In 1980, the band released its debut, self-titled album, and scored hits with the slickly produced (Bruce Fairbairn) and masterfully engineered (Bob Rock) singles “Turn Me Loose” and “The Kid Is Hot Tonite”. The former topped the charts in Vancouver, cracked the Top 10 in Toronto and was an even bigger hit in Australia and New Zealand than in Canada. It was awarded Song of the Year at the 1982 Juno Awards. The album was certified platinum in both Canada and the U.S. and won the Juno for album of the year. It was to eventually go 5x Platinum in Canada.

Loverboy’s second album, Get Lucky, did slightly better in the U.S. than in Canada and spawned the hits “Working for the Weekend” (Peak: #10) and “When It’s Over” (Peak: #18). Aside from the U.S., Australia and New Zealand, Loverboy was ignored internationally. They attempted to change this by performing on TV variety shows and engaging in tours of Europe and Japan, but all to no avail.

Keep It Up, the band’s third album (1983), bolstered by the hits “Hot Girls in Love” and “Queen of the Broken Hearts”, was certified double platinum in both Canada and the U.S. The band began touring with the some of the biggest names in the business: Bob Seger, Cheap Trick, Prism, Foreigner, ZZ Top, and Journey.

In 1984 Reno recorded “Almost Paradise” with Ann Wilson of Heart for the film Footloose. It was a #1 hit.

Fairbairn began work with Bon Jovi and Loverboy opted for Tom Allom of Judas Priest to produce their fourth album, Lovin’ Every Minute of It. The new harder sound did not sit as well with the public as their previous efforts, and Loverboy’s fortunes began to slip. In 1986, the band contributed the song “Heaven in Your Eyes” to the Top Gun soundtrack. The following year, with the return of Fairbairn, they released the uninspired Wildside album, which just managed to go gold. It was settled by band members that they had run out of steam and decided to part ways.

Mike Reno and Paul Dean recorded solo projects. Matthew Frenette joined forced with Tom Cochrane. Scott Smith became a dee-jay for CFOX FM 99 in Vancouver and became a booking agent for the Sam Feldman Agency. Doug Johnson began writing for TV and radio soundtracks. In 2000, bassist Scott Smith was swept overboard from a large wave during a ride on his boat along the California coast. His body was never located despite extensive searches by the U.S. Coast Guard; he was presumed drowned.

In 2009, Loverboy was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.