Selected New Releases May 5, 2017

Below find a list of selected Canadian artist releases for May 5, 2017 four of which are from those tracing their origins to Edmonton. We have included album title, artist name, very rough style/genre designation, artist hometown, and type of artist (male or female soloist, duo, or group). Highlights of this week’s batch include Turn Up the Quiet from 7x platinum and 8x JUNO winner Diana Krall, debut self-titled album from last year’s winner of La Voix/The Voice Stéphanie St-Jean, and triple platinum JUNO winner Ruth B’s debut LP, Safe Haven.

Blood from Stone, Streetlight Social, Folk, Peterborough, Group
The Cowboy Code, Raygun Cowboys, Rock, Edmonton, Group
5, David Jalbert, Folk, Mascouche, Male
Ivory Castanets, Cat Clyde, Singer-Songwriter, Stratford, Female
Kiera Dall’Osto, Kiera Dall’Osto, Roots, Saskatoon, Female
Late Night Mornings, HotKid, Rock, Toronto, Group
Old Tenement Man, Rodney DeCroo, Rock, Vancouver, Male
Safe Haven, Ruth B, Adult Contemporary, Edmonton, Female
Slow Vessels, Ian William Craig, Alternative, Edmonton, Male
Small World, Monica Chapman, Jazz, Guelph, Female
Stéphanie St-Jean, Stéphanie St-Jean, Soul, Gatineau, Female
This Old Dog, Mac DeMarco, Alternative, Edmonton, Male
The Tin Shop, The Wilderness of Manitoba, Folk, Toronto, Group
Turn Up the Quiet, Diana Krall, Jazz, Nanaimo, Female
Heights (EP), Beta Frontiers, Electronic, Toronto, Male

Selected New Releases: February 17, 2017

collage-copy

We kick off this week’s new Canadian releases with Alive and Kicking, the new rock album from Montreal based group Dany Laj and the Looks that should please fans of the raw and rowdy. Quebec City’s Laurence Castera goes for genre fusion on overall alternative album Le bruit des mots and contributes a number of exquisite tracks. Vancouver’s The Courtneys, an energetic indie rock trio, asserts grindstone guitar work combined with sweet vocals on The Courtneys II, an excellent sequel that betters the debut.

Dancing on Your Grave, LP from Vancouver’s The Matinee, contains a pleasing assortment of alternative rock tunes. Montreal’s Mozart’s Sister, alias of Caila Thompson-Hannant, does a good job on Field of Love, electronic, experimental pop. British Columbian roots leaning outfit Lion Bear Fox surfs up an enjoyable eponymous disc. On the more progressive side, a fine Metropolis appears from Toronto alt-pop group Parallels. Indie rock specialist Tim Darcy of Montreal celebrates Saturday Night with a “Tall Glass of Water” and other tidbits on his new album.

Joel and Bill Plaskett of Dartmouth, NS give us a batch of well-written tunes on singer-songwriter album Solidarity. “The Next Blue Sky” alone will draw you into the highly engaging music. And now we ask a question: Does Canada have an AC/DC? Answer: We do now. Kelowna, BC’s The Wild! has joined forces with eOne Music to release second album Wild at Heart, a more consolidated effort than the band’s strong debut 2015 work. The new album simply rocks. Sam Patch, i.e. Tim Kingsbury of Guelph, member of Arcade Fire, exercises his soloist chops on alternative record Yeah You, and I.

Saskatchewan’s The Age of Electric who received a JUNO nomination in 1998 for Best New Group has released a new self-titled 4-track EP and reissued 90s album Make a Pest a Pet.

SINGLES

Ottawa superstar Kira Isabella has released an impressive countrified cover of John Waite’s “Missing You”. Canada’s jazz queen Diana Krall of Nanaimo will be releasing new album Turn Up the Quiet in May. She has launched track “Night and Day” as a single. The music video of Gelsea Mae‘s last single, “Need You Now”, broke 100,000 views, and the Vancouver Island raised artist follows up with “Shoulda Known Better” that was released on Valentine’s Day.

Headlines for Mid-April 2015

Salome Leclerc1

A Host of Celebrities Praise Avril Lavigne for “Fly”

A number of celebrities have taken to Twitter to express praises to Avril Lavigne for her new song and music video “Fly” released in support of the Special Olympics. These celebrities include country band Rascall Flatts, pop stars Demi Lovato, Britney Spears, Nicole Scherzinger, The Backstreet Boys and Nick Carter, and actress Eva Longoria. “This video gives me chills @AvrilLavigne,” tweeted Britney Spears, “So beautiful what you’re doing for @SpeicalOlympics”. Avril replied, “Thanks @britneyspears I’m glad you like my video for FLY xo lots of love”. Nick Carter tweeted, “I’m loving @AvrilLavigne new song Fly … good job girl!”

Diana Krall Finds a Gold Wallflower

Music Canada has certified Diana Krall’s latest studio album Wallflower a gold disc. It is the third Canadian album released in 2015 to receive the distinction. Diana’s most successful album to date was 2001’s The Look of Love at 7x platinum.

Anjulie Greets 100 Million Boys

The music video for Nicki Minaj’s “The Boys” has been Vevo certified for 100 million views. Nicki may not be Canadian but the song was composed for her by a Canadian artist – Oakville, Ontario JUNO winner Anjulie.

No Next Star for YTV

YTV annual talent search show that helped launch the careers of Victoria Duffield and Alyssa Reid has announced that it has been placed on hiatus for 2015. It encouraged young talents to keep practising their singing and continue following its social network accounts for news concerning previous winners. Last year Jory Zechner won the competition.

MAGIC! is in Jeopardy!

Reggae group MAGIC! found itself in a question on game show Jeopardy hosted by Canadian Alex Trebek. The answer of the $2,000 “Hit Songs” category in the double jeopardy round was ‘THIS GROUP! GOT “RUDE” & PRESTO! HAD A HIT IN 2014!’ The contestant provided the correct question: “What is MAGIC!?”

Music Release Day Switching to Friday Worldwide

The IFPI recently released its annual Digital Music Report which did not contain too many eyebrow raisers. However, one significant change announced is summarized best by Music Canada in the following statement. “The Digital Music Report also covers plans for Global Release Day, which is the industry’s decision to synchronize the release schedule for all markets, allowing consumers to access new music on the same day worldwide. Beginning July 10, 2015, Friday will become the new release day, reducing the risk of piracy by shortening the release gap between markets, and providing new marketing opportunities for record labels over the weekend.” Currently, in Canada, music is usually released on Tuesdays. As a rule, music is released at a much later date in the United Kingdom. The industry hopes the change will be for the better.

Salomé Leclerc Walks in the Paths of the Shadow

The sophomore LP from extraordinary singer-songwriter Salomé Leclerc made the year-end best of album lists of many entities including ours. We leave you with the brand new MV for track “Les chemins de l’ombre”.

Diana Krall Woos The Wallflower

Diana Krall - WallflowerAfter being delayed twice, Diana Krall’s 12th studio album Wallflower has finally arrived. This is a covers album of mainly pop songs converted to jazz with some bossa nova rhythms. Wallflower was produced by Canada’s David Foster. Nanaimo, BC’s Diana Krall OC has won 8 JUNO awards, scored seven multiplatinum albums, and sold over 15 million records worldwide. Her most successful work was 2001’s The Look of Love at 7xPlatinum. Wallflower contains duets with two of Canada’s leading men: Diana’s jazz counterpart Michael Bublé as well as Bryan Adams.

As most are already familiar with Diana’s style, and therefore what can be expected on the new album, we will provide the origins of its songs, most of which are from the 1970s with a few from the 60s and 80s. “California Dreamin'” from 1965 was originally performed by The Mamas & The Papas, a band that included Canadian artist Denny Doherty. Both “Desperado” (1973) and track #7 “I Can’t Tell You Why” (1980) were first recorded by American country rock band The Eagles. 1969’s “Superstar”, written by Bramlett and Russell, has been covered many times, the most famous version being The Carpenters’.

“Alone Again (Naturally)” is the much anticipated duet with Michael Bublé, a song by Irish singer-songwriter Gilbert O’Sullivan from 1972. Diana’s duet with Bryan Adams is for track #11, “Feels Like Home” by Randy Newman made famous by Chantal Kreviazuk in The Notebook soundtrack. The album’s title-track, “Wallflower”, was written and recorded by Bob Dylan in 1971. “If I Take You Home Tonight” is a previously unreleased composition by Paul McCartney. “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word” is Elton John’s from 1976. Jim Croce’s “Operator” is from 1972, 10CC’s “I’m Not In Love” from 1975, and “Don’t Dream It’s Over” was a hit in 1986 for Australia’s Crowded House. A deluxe version of the album contains a couple more songs and a couple of live versions.  iTunes

Selected New Releases, 3 February 2015

New Releases 2015-02-03 copy

Platinum rocker Jean Leloup makes a triumphant comeback with À Paradis City, topping the iTunes chart. Victoria’s alternative trio Freak Heat Waves releases Bonnie’s State of Mind, reminiscent of early 80s underground experimental post punk. Various superstar artists, including Isabelle Boulay and Daniel Bélanger, perform songs by Yvon Deschamps in Deschampsons. Toronto’s Ron Hawkins and the Do Good Assassins deliver rock album Garden Songs with more focus on guitars and voice than drums and keys. Regina’s multiplatinum blues rock specialist and 6-time JUNO winner Colin James launches his 16th album, Hearts On Fire. Montreal alternative group The High Dials deals in melodic, new wave. In the A.M. Wilds is the group’s fifth album.

Quebec City’s Claude Bégin releases the magical pop LP Les Magiciens while his fellow citizen Pierre-Luc Lessard removes the border between folk and pop on Sans frontière. Strange Nights is singer-songwriter Andre Papanicolaou’s atmospheric followup to his acclaimed debut album from 2013. T’as-tu toute? Is the latest jazz work from the Benoit Paradis Trio (album cover art unavailable). Multiplatinum 90s group Les BB, in celebration of 25 years in music, releases an album featuring a number of superstar singers including Roch Voisine and Valérie Carpentier. Finally vocal jazz’s leading lady Diana Krall is back with renditions of modern pop songs. Wallflower includes a duet with Michael Bublé and another with Bryan Adams.

First Canadian Album Released in 2012 to Be Certified Triple Platinum

Some new certifications were awarded in the past few days which are very encouraging for Canadian artists.  First off, Ever After, last year’s exquisite album from Vancouver group Marianas Trench, has been declared Platinum.  As far as this year’s albums go, a trio of Gold awards have been given to Diana Krall for Glad Rag Doll, The (Canadian) Tenors for Lead with Your Heart, and Carly Rae Jepsen for Kiss.  Billboard has just handed Carly the Rising Star Award of 2012.

Canadians are showing heartwarming support for Francophone artists, as the contestants of Star Academie have, just 17 days after its release, received a Platinum award for their Christmas album, Noel.  Their previous disc earlier this year became a double-platinum release.  That disc, along with Justin Bieber’s Believe, were the best-selling albums of 2012 until today when it was announced that a Canadian album had gone Triple Platinum, another French language release.  Can you guess whose?  Below is a table of the recent certifications.

Album Certifications Late November 2012

Thanksgiving Releases

In time for Thanksgiving are October 2 releases from brand new country star Kira Isabella with her first studio album, Love Me Like That.  The Ottawa teen sensation and Sony Music signee has already had three hit singles and won both a Canadian Radio Music Award as well as the Canadian Country Music Association Award for New Artist of the Year.  Diamond-selling rock music veterans The Tragically Hip will be launching their 13th studio album, Now for Plan A, over a game of Twister.  She has sold 15 million jazz records worldwide, and now Diana Krall is coming out with her latest work, Glad Rag Doll, while metal band Three Days Grace gives us their fourth album, Transit of Venus.  And to top things off, Vancouver’s R&B princess Elise Estrada will be serving up her brand new single, “Piece of Me”.  Not only can we enjoy a food feast on Thanksgiving but a musical one as well!

4 New Stellar Upcoming Releases

Besides Carly Rae Jepsen’s highly anticipated release on September 18, a number of other high-profile artists will be serving new treats for us that month and beyond.  Included are a progressive rock group, a punk band, a world-renowned jazz artist, and a house muscian.

StarsThe North (September 4)

Style: Progressive
City: Montréal
JUNO Awards: 2 nominations
Certifications: 1 gold album
Twitter Followers: 12,800+
Facebook Likes: 197,000+
Official Website: http://www.youarestars.com/

One of the most prolific bands in the nation, Montreal-based Stars are launching perhaps their best work to date.  Sounding like a scintillating blending of New Order, Foster the People, and Metric, their 6th studio album, The North will be hitting stores soon.  With 2 JUNO-nominated albums and nearly 200,000 Facebook likes, the creative, electronic-twinkling ensemble consists of Torquil Campbell, Chris Seligman, Evan Cranley, Amy Millan, and Pat McGee.  Lead single is a song with a title long enough to span across the CPR: “Hold on When You Get Love and Let Go When you Give It”. You can give it a listen HERE.

Billy TalentDead Silence (September 11)

Style: Punk
City: Mississauga
JUNO Awards: 7 wins
Certifications: 3 multi-platinum albums
Twitter Followers: 44,000+
Facebook Likes: 1.1+ million
Official Website: http://www.billytalent.com/

In the Great White North, Billy is not the name of a goat (though internet trolls may beg to differ).  Until their fame burgeoned after 2003, it was rare to see the terms “punk” and “talent” printed together in the press.  With a trio of multi-platinum albums under their rockabilly belts, Ben, Ian, Jonathan, and Aaron are ready to take in their next.  Two tracks have already moshed into the Billboard Canadian Hot 100: “Viking Death March” and “Surprise Surprise”.  You can watch the former’s MV HERE.

Deadmau5> album title goes here < (September 25)

Style: House
City: Toronto
JUNO Awards: 4 wins
Certifications: 1 platinum album and 1 gold single
Twitter Followers: 1.3+ million
Facebook Likes: 6.6+ million
Official Website: http://www.deadmau5.com/

Brush aside the mouse traps, Deadmau5 is a cool cat, and who would have ever thought that a house musician could become the 5th most popular Canadian artist on social media sites?  His real name is Joel Zimmerman and was born in perhaps the niftiest place in the country—Niagara Falls.  “The Veldt” (listen HEEEERE), his collaboration with Chris James, has already burrowed up the charts like a mouse through cheese, and now he is set to launch his 6th studio album.

Diana KrallGlad Rag Doll (October 1)

Style: Vocal Jazz
City: Nanaimo
JUNO Awards: 8 wins
Certifications: 7 multi-platinum albums
Twitter Followers: 36,000+
Facebook Likes: 414,000+
Official Website: http://www.dianakrall.com/

Born in the city after which Nanaimo bars were named (they were actually invented in Ladysmith where Stef Lang is from), Diana Krall spent her youth and adult years in several cities around the globe. She eventually became the best-selling female jazz artist of all-time. Her resume is exceptionally impressive: 7 multi-platinum albums (The Look of Love is 7x Platinum) and 8 JUNO awards. The singer-pianist’s website says of the new music, “swinging, rocking and taboo collide with songs of longing, solace and regret”. The album features guitarist T Bone Burnett. You can listen to one of the album’s tracks HERE.

Diana Krall

Born: 1964, Nanaimo, BC
Debut: 1993
Genre: Jazz

Achievements

• Has sold 15 million records worldwide
• Sold more jazz albums, since her debut, than any other female jazz artist in the world
• Juno for Artist of the Year, 2002
• Juno for Album of the Year (The Look of Love, 2002)
• Star on the Walk of Fame (2004)
• Eight number one albums on the U.S. Jazz chart
• Six multi-platinum albums
• 5 Grammy Awards and 8 Juno Awards won

Significant Albums

1993: Stepping Out

• Gold

1995: Only Trust Your Heart

1995: All for You

• Gold
• Grammy Nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album

1997: Love Scenes

• 2x Platinum
• Juno Nomination for Best Mainstream Jazz Album
• Grammy Nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album

1999: When I Look in Your Eyes

• 3x Platinum
• Juno Award for Best Vocal Jazz Album
• Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album
• Grammy Award for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical
• Grammy Nomination for Album of the Year

2001: The Look of Love

• 7x Platinum
• Juno Award for Album of the Year
• Juno Award for Best Vocal Jazz Album
• Grammy Award for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical

2002: Live in Paris

• Live Album
• 2x Platinum
• Juno Award for Vocal Jazz Album of the Year
• Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album

2004: The Girl in the Other Room

• 2x Platinum
• Juno Award for Vocal Jazz Album of the Year
• Juno Nomination for Album of the Year

2005: Christmas Songs

• Christmas Album
• Juno Nomination for Album of the Year
• Juno Award for Vocal Jazz Album of the Year

2006: From This Moment On

• 2x Platinum
• Juno Award for Vocal Jazz Album of the Year
• Grammy Nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album

2009: Quiet Nights

• Juno Nomination for Vocal Jazz Album of the Year
• Juno Nomination for Album of the Year
• Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)

2012: Glad Rag Doll

Diana Krall - Glad Rag Doll

• Gold

2015: Wallflower

Diana Krall - Wallflower

• Gold

2017: Turn Up the Quiet

 

diana krall - turn up the quiet

Some Songs with Official Music Videos

Let’s Face the Music and Dance“, 1999 

The Look of Love“, 2001 

Just the Way You Are“, 2002 

Narrow Daylight“, 2004 

Almost Blue“, 2004 

Quiet Nights“, 2009
 

Without a doubt, Diana Krall is the most successful jazz vocal artist in Canadian history and one of the biggest names in the world. But it came only after years of preparatory work and training under a number of professionals around North America, leading to her characteristically ultra-confident stage presence.

Krall was born into a musical family in the Vancouver Island city of Nanaimo. Her father introduced her to the world of music when she was for, thanks to his extensive record collection; her mother sang in a community choir. Diana took classical piano lessons, switching to jazz piano in her high school band under the leadership of teacher Brian Stovell and later in Victoria under Louise Rose. She performed her first professional gig at 15 and later won a Vancouver Jazz Festival scholarship to an American college of music in Boston which she attended before returning home. She was introduced to visiting Americans Ray Brown and Jeff Hamilton who convinced her to take her talents to the U.S. city of Los Angeles. There, she studied with professional jazz musiciand Alan Broadbent and Jimmy Rowles. They discovered that Krall was actually a very good singer and encouraged her to vocalize more while playing. This led to her rising status as a performer.

She relocated to Toronto in 1988, with further training from Don Thompson, and then to New York in 1990 where she performed in various lounges and travelled to take part in various Canadian jazz festivals. It was high time for a recording; her debut, Stepping Out, with accompaniments from John Clayton and Jeff Hamilton, was released in 1993 on the Montreal-based independent label, Justin Time. Sales were respectable for a jazz record and she was signed to the bigger, international label GRP for her sophomore effort, Only Trust Your Heart, the following year.

The media picked up on her rather quickly, leading to greater exposure and a steady stream of new fans. GRP transferred her to their Impulse division for her third release, All for You, a tribute to Nat King Cole. The album spent 70 weeks on the Billboard jazz charts and was nominated for an American Grammy award. Diana Krall was becoming a big name in the industry, helped in part by a high-profile 1996 stint at New York’s Oak Room.

1997’s romantic ballad-themed Love Scenes catapulted her to the forefront of the jazz world with both a Juno and Grammy nomination and sales of 2x platinum. From there, everything snowballed. When I Look in Your Eyes (1999), which featured rich string arrangements, won both Juno and Grammy awards for best jazz vocal album of the year. And the rock and pop dominated Grammies nominated it for Album of the Year. Sales exceeded 3x platinum which meant it had become one of the best-selling jazz records of all-time. In 2000, Diana embarked on a 20-city tour with Tony Bennett.

Krall’s magnum opus, however, came with the release of The Look of Love in 2001. Sales were unprecedented for a jazz album: 7x platinum! Not only did it win the Juno for best vocal jazz album of the year but for overall album of the year. A Juno and Grammy award-winning live album (in Paris) appeared the following year. In 2002, Krall was named Artist of the Year at the Junos.

At this point she decided to alter her trajectory as she was now experiencing some romance with English singer-songwriter Elvis Costello. The two were married at Elton John’s estate in late 2003.

Jazz singers have often been criticized for simply rehashing the same old songs. Krall felt she could begin to compose some original material and collaborated with her new husband who helped pen the lyrics. She also wanted to convert some folk songs to jazz and selected songs from Tom Waits and Joni Mitchell. The resulting album, a mixture of original Krall/Costello pieces and jazz renditions of folk songs, was entitled The Girl in the Other Room. The 2004 recording won yet another Juno for her and sales were certified double-platinum.

From This Moment On (2006) featured covers of Gershwin, Cole Porter, and Irving Berlin songs and won a Juno. Quiet Nights followed in 2009, showcasing Latin-infused jazz standards accompanied by a 60-piece orchestra.

               Copyright 2011 by the Canadian Music Blog

Branching Out and Conquering Other Genres (1997-1999)

Canadian music showed no signs of slowing down through the remainder of the decade. What was unique about the late-90s was that, Canadian artists began to branch out and conquer other genres of music. Pop and rock had been championed by a plethora of Canadians as had folk; it was time to show that we could produce a superstar in other fields of music.

Although Canada had always done well in the country music scene, ever since Wilf Carter appeared in the 1930s, it was time for a Canadian superstar to churn out three double-diamond albums in a row, a feat completely unprecedented. Her catchy music appealed to children, teenagers, young adults, older adults, and even seniors. It was so irresistible that a few of her songs crossed over onto the pop charts. One was the third biggest song of 1998 in the United States. She teamed up with musical genius “Mutt” Lange, who had worked with Bryan Adams, and married him. Her name was Shania Twain.

So-called R&B had always been a genre that appealed more to the populace south of the border. But a Torontonian fell in love with it and decided to make a career out of performing these kinds of songs. She never became a big name in Canada, but, in 1998, her song “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here” was a million-seller in the U.S., peaking at #2 on the pop charts and topping their R&B charts for 14 consecutive weeks, smashing all records. Her name was Deborah Cox. She scored a big hit in Canada later on in 2009; “Beautiful U R” was 39th of the year.

The late-90s also saw the rise of the biggest-selling female jazz artist in the world, a Canadian. Most jazz artists could never hope to sell as many records as pop or country artists but Diana Krall sold 15 million worldwide. Eight of her albums debuted at the top of the Billboard jazz albums charts, six of them being certified multi-platinum at home.

Another genre conquered was Celtic / New Age, thanks to harp-player Loreena McKennitt and her hauntingly beautiful voice. Her three albums released in the 90s all went 3-4x platinum and in 1997 she scored a Top 10 hit on the pop charts.

Canadians were not satisfied with their newfound success in France which began not with Celine Dion but with Roch Voisine. Two more superstars arose to score diamond albums in the land of the Eiffel Tower. The first was roots rocker Isabelle Boulay. The second was to become the second best-selling Canadian artist in France (after Celine Dion). He was born in Sherbrooke and is known for his throaty singing style. He currently holds the SNEP record for the most weeks at number one. His name is Garou.

Toronto’s Our Lady Peace, thanks to a diamond album, was the hottest new band to emerge. Frontman and primary songwriter Raine Maida formed a musical family by marrying Chantal Kreviazuk, a former childhood prodigy, who, herself, became one of the most cherished singer-songwriters in the country.

1997

Many new artists arose this year. The biggest song of the year, as mentioned previously, was Sarah McLachlan’s “Building a Mystery”. Second to that was Our Lady Peace’s “Clumsy” which appeared on the year-end chart at #14. Another new band to emerge was St. John’s folky Great Big Sea. Their song “When I’m Up” appeared in the year-end chart at #62. They managed a pair of platinum and of multi-platinum albums and scored a few more hits. The Philosopher Kings were another semi-major act, their first big song being “I Am the Man”. Band members met while in high school in the Toronto suburb of Thornhill. They scored a couple more Top 10 hits the following year. Saskatoon’s bluesy Wide Mouth Mason scored their biggest hit “Midnight Rain” (#56 YE). Another band from Saskatchewan had a hit this year. Age of Electric’s “Remote Control” finished as the 71st biggest hit of the year. Toronto’s Big Sugar added a dash of reggae to their music and had their first hit single “If I Had My Way”. Fellow locals I Mother Earth scored their biggest hit, “Raspberry” which pushed sales of their album to double-platinum status. Vancouver’s Econoline Crush attained one-hit wonder class with “All That You Are”.

Isabelle Boulay, from the town of Sainte-Félicité, on the north shore of the Gaspé peninsula, scored her first hit,” Je t’oublierai, je t’oublierai” off her debut album. Although she’d been around since 1993, Nanaimo, BC’s Diana Krall made it to the big leagues when her album Love Scenes, released this year, attained double-platinum status, a difficult feat in the realm of jazz. Chantal Kreviazuk scored her first hit “God Made Me”, the 77th biggest song of the year. Halifax’s fusion artist Holly Cole made a name for herself with “I’ve Just Seen a Face”. Another Holly (McNarland) emerged from The Pas, Manitoba and gave us the hit “Numb”. Later she collaborated with the likes of Matthew Good and The Tea Party.

The biggest name in male soloists was Sherbrooke’s Garou, a stage name that is a combination of his surname Garand and the French expression loup-garou, which means werewolf. He was discovered by Luc Plamondon while performing in a local bar and subsequently drafted to play in Notre-Dame de Paris. The song “Belle” from the musical, sung by himself, Canada’s Daniel Lavoie, and France’s Patrick Fiori, became the third best-selling single of all-time in France (after two novelty songs). In 2000, Garou released his debut album Seul, certified diamond in France, and one of the biggest-selling French-language albums in history worldwide. He eventually became the best-selling Canadian artist in France after Celine Dion.

Bruno Pelletier was another new name this year. He was born in Charlesbourg, a suburb of Quebec City. His debut had come in 1992 but, with the 1997 single “Aime”, saw his first Felix-nominated song of the year. The only other male artist to have a big hit this year was Men Without Hats’ Ivan whose song “Open Your Eyes” made the year-end Top 100 chart.

1998

Big hits this year included Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” from the number one movie of all-time (at the time) Titanic. Bryan Adams had two chart-toppers: “On a Day Like Today” and “Back to You”. Alanis Morissette’s “Thank U” was a number one single as well. In the United States, the two biggest songs of the year were “Too Close” by Next and “The Boy is Mine” by Brandy & Monica respectively. In third place was a song called “You’re Still the One” by a Canadian country artist from Windsor, Ontario, named Shania Twain. She achieved the unimaginable: three consecutive studio albums were certified double-diamond in Canada (2 million copies sold).

Manitoban Celtic new ager, master of voice, piano, accordion, and harp, Loreena McKennitt, had been around since the mid-80s, scored a quadruple-platinum album in 1991, called The Visit, and had her first big hit, “The Mummers’ Dance”, on the pop singles chart this year.

Montreal’s Éric Lapointe scored his first Felix-nominated song of the year, “Rien à regretter”. According to some sources, he had as many as 30 songs that topped the charts on various radio stations and singles charts in Quebec.

Toronto’s dance band Love Inc. scored a couple of hits this year: “Broken Bones” #31 and “You’re a Supertar” #13. A few years later they were discovered by Britain and both songs became Top 10 hits there. There are some who credit their debut with being the only dance album created in Canada to attain platinum status.

On a side-note, a dance version of Gordon Lightfoot’s “If You Could Read My Mind” was performed by the international group Stars on 54 and was featured in the Mike Myers’ film Studio 54. It peaked at #3 on the charts.

1999

The three biggest Canadian songs of the year came via new artists. While the Americans were taken by Toronto’s Deborah Cox who supplied the 9th biggest song of the year in the U.S., Montreal pop duo Sky scored the first of three number one singles called “Love Song”, the 6th biggest song of the year. In eighth place was Randy Bachman’s son Tal with the song “She’s So High”. And at 15th spot was the Toronto one-hit wonder group Len (“Steal My Sunshine”).

Besides Sky and Len, there were a number of new bands this year. Bluesy La Chicane debuted and scored the hit “Calvaire”. The Moffatts were four brothers who had grown up in various locales in B.C. They relocated to Nashville in the U.S. and released their first (country) album. Later they switched to pop and scored their first hit “Misery”. Montreal’s Les Respectables came out with “Amalgame”. Dance trio The Boomtang Boys scored the hit “Squeeze Toy”. Toronto’s dance group Temperance had the hit “If You Don’t Know” and 2 rude had “Thinkin’ about You”

Mario Pelchat, from Dolbeau-Mistassini, QC, won the Felix award for song of the year with “Je ne t’aime plus”. Francophone Italian-Canadian Nicola Ciccone appeared this year with the song “Le menteur”. Dance artist Joee scored the hit “Arriba”, the 51st biggest song of the year. Martin Deschamps saw his first hit—”Quand?” He took on the role of lead singer for the reunited Offenbach.

There were no new significant female soloists this year.

Coming up are lists of big songs and albums from the late-90s; a list of Juno and Felix song nominees and winners; mini-profiles on semi-major artists La Chicane, Nicola Ciccone, Holly Cole, Great Big Sea, The Moffatts, Mario Pelchat, Bruno Pelletier, The Philosopher Kings, and Sky; and feature profiles on major artists Isabelle Boulay, Garou, Diana Krall, Chantal Kreviazuk, Éric Lapointe, Loreena McKennitt, Our Lady Peace, and Shania Twain.