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Daniel Nestor and Canada's Male Singles Tennis Failure

TennisAs a teen, I played a lot of tennis. I used to follow tennis pretty closely, rooting for John McEnroe then Boris Becker. I always held out hope Canada could develop a top notch mens singles player. We never did.

Canada's inability to produce a single excellent men's singles tennis player is mind boggling. There have been a few decent female players, and at least a couple of excellent doubles players, but not one male player who could even upset their way into a semi-final match. The highest ranking Canadian male in singles play was Andrew Sznajder who somehow got ranked #46 in September 1989. You're forgiven if you've forgotten about Andrew Sznajder.

We've done okay with doubles, however. Grant Connell reached #1 back in 1995 and Daniel Nestor won Wimbledon earlier today with Nenad Zimonjić. Nestor has had a great career, winning 5 Grand Slam titles and an Olympic gold medal. Still, a decent singles competitor eludes us, although we came close...

I seem to recall a young Montreal-born player with promise. His name was Greg Rusedski, as I recall, but in 1995 he decided he could make more money as a Brit. He actually got to the US Open final in 1997, but he was wearing the wrong flag on his backpack.

Will there ever be an elite male singles tennis player from this country?

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Canada, We Have Ourselves a Wimbledon Finalist

Canada, We Have Ourselves a Wimbledon FinalistI've been watching tennis grand slam events forever. As a young man, you'd have thought I was German the way I cheered on Boris Becker and Steffi Graf. After all, Canadians were never a threat.

Here's something I wrote in July of 2009 about Canada's male singles tennis failure. We had produced a few decent female players, and at least a couple of excellent doubles players, but not one male player who could even upset their way into a semifinal match. The highest ranking Canadian male in singles play was Andrew Sznajder who somehow got ranked #46 in September 1989.

Today, Canada's Eugenie Bouchard defeated Simona Halep in the Wimbledon semifinal and will play Petra Kvitova for the title. That's amazing. A Canadian might win a Wimbledon singles event.

Meanwhile, Milos Raonic has reached the semifinal and will play Roger Federer tomorrow. Before I had a true rooting interest, Federer was my guy.

With Bouchard and Raonic, tennis has become a whole lot more fun for this canuck.

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Milos Raonic: Real Deal or Andrew Sznajder Reincarnate?

sportsI should play more tennis. I really like playing tennis and I almost never play. Does anyone want to play this summer?

Speaking of tennis, in July of 2009 I wrote about Canada's male singles tennis failure. Here's a snippet.

Canada's inability to produce a single excellent men's singles tennis player is mind boggling. There have been a few decent female players, and at least a couple of excellent doubles players, but not one male player who could even upset their way into a semi-final match. The highest ranking Canadian male in singles play was Andrew Sznajder who somehow got ranked #46 in September 1989. You're forgiven if you've forgotten about Andrew Sznajder.

Today, Canada's Milos Raonic reached his second straight final in an ATP Tour event. A year ago he was ranked 361, now he'll crack the top 50. That's pretty impressive.

Is Milos Raonic the real deal or simply Andrew Sznajder reincarnate?

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The Gandharvas - The First Day of Spring

MP3I share an MP3 from my collection every Wednesday. You have seven days to grab this week's MP3. Please right-click your mouse and select "Save Link As..." or "Save target as..." so you can download it to your PC before playing.

The Gandharvas - The First Day of Spring
Last time I shared some Rusty. That got me thinking about cool Canadian bands from the mid nineties that have disappeared. The Gandharvas broke with this ultra cool single "The First Day of Spring" and followed that up with a few more radio singles, including "Downtime", another very cool track.

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Doug and the Slugs

musicIt's hard to believe it's almost been six years since Doug Bennett passed away. Doug Bennett was lead singer of Doug and the Slugs, a Canadian band that seemed to dominate top 40 radio in these parts in the early 80s.

My top 40 radio station of choice at the time was 680 CFTR and not a day went by that I didn't hear a little Doug and the Slugs. The big three singles from Doug and the Slugs, if my memory serves me correct, were "Too Bad", "Day By Day" and "Making It Work".

Here they are as we remember a great Canadian band that went virtually unnoticed outside this country. Pity.

Too Bad

Making It Work

Day By Day


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Love Junk's Best Song

CDI know you'll find this hard to believe, but I'm not a particularly social guy. When I'm told we're expected to make an appearance at a social gathering, dinner party or any collection of peers, I dread it. Unless I'm ultra comfy I'm liable to find a corner and entertain myself.

On Saturday, we were invited over to another couple's house for conversation and dinner. Normally this is ranked in my books alongside getting a root canal and chewing glass, but on this particular Saturday afternoon the conversation drifted to Love Junk.

Love Junk was the debut album from The Pursuit of Happiness, and I bought it on cassette based on the absolute wickedness of the lead single, "I'm An Adult Now". I loved Love Junk but it rarely comes up in conversation these days. On this particular Saturday, a discussion arose over which song on Love Junk was the best of the bunch.

I still think it's "I'm An Adult Now", although Drew made a good case for "She's So Young". I think "She's So Young" and "Hard To Laugh" were sensational singles and incredibly strong, but "I'm An Adult Now" is one of my ten Canadian tracks and a Canadian classic.

Why can't more social gatherings erupt in such stimulating debate?


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Milos Raonic on Grass

Raonic on GrassMilos Raonic is the best singles tennis player in Canadian history. That's right, he's even better than Andrew Sznajder, believe it or not. He's the best we've ever produced, but you wouldn't know it from the Wimbledon betting odds.

The most exciting part of Raonic's game is his booming serve, which you'd think would make him a threat on grass. In reality, he's been awfully mediocre on the green stuff, going 8-8 over his short career.

With Wimbledon underway at the All England Club you'll forgive me if I keep my hopes for Raonic low.


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Hell Hath No Fury Like a Gowan Fan Scorned

DevilI wrote a little entry about Gowan's concert in celebration of the 25th anniversary of his album Strange Animal. It wasn't meant to trash Gowan, a talented local singer-songwriter, it was meant to point out the ridiculousness of basing an entire tour around the 25th anniversary of an okay album that spawned two Cancon hits.

That was way back in April. At some point last week, a link to that entry was posted on a Gowan Facebook fan page. That's when the Gowan diehards started dropping by to let me know I was completely wrong about their hero.

Ynnad J gave it to me good...

So typically Canadian it is to Sh*t on a Canadian artist. Funny how even 25 yrs later Canadian artists are only relevant every where else but Canada. Well at least "Toronto Mikes" Canada.

The fact that Gowan is still relevant 25 years later is enough reason to celebrate "Strange Animal".

If I'm not mistaken, there were 5 singles and 3 went to #1. But I guess that's still not good enough reason to celebrate anything these days!

Toronto Mike, your opinion fails miserably. So did your album comparisons. Good effort, but not really.

Then Stacey chimed in...

Oh Mike.. you are saddly mistaken... Gowan has many supporting fans.. long-term ones from 1985 (and earlier) along with new ones who discovered him through his gigs with Styx. The CD/DVD is actually quite impressive.. maybe you should check it out.

Then there was Joan...

Those of us who have been fans since those early days were overjoyed at the announcement of those Anniversary shows. As has been noted in other messages here, they sold out very quickly. So many of the people there were 'original' fans like me, but there were also Styx fans who went looking for his music on ebay, i tunes, anywhere they could find it, and enjoyed what they found enough to travel many hundreds of miles to see it performed live. Not one person I spoke to over those 2 days was anything but blown away by the experience.

For those of us lucky enough to have been there, both back then and in the Falls, it was more than a trip down memory lane. This music has been part of the fabric of our lives, and will continue to be. As for the man himself, he is as he has always been, amazingly talented, gracious to his fans..and seriously undervalued by Canadian music writers.

And Marjorie...

I have many thoughts about the negative things said about Gowan - What's wrong with using the 25th anniversary as an opportunity to draw attention to himself again? It probably was an opportunity to release the recording on cd. Whether it is worthy of a tour? Well, I guess ticket sales will determine that - not a critics opinion! My opinion is he's an underated artist and a great entertainer! He has enjoyed new fame through Styx and it's awesome he still focus' on his Canadian work!

There are many other comments, and I've read them all. I'm not suggesting Gowan sucks or isn't worthy of a tour, I'm just saying his Strange Animal album isn't worthy of a 25th anniversary tour. Gowan can tour all he wants, but let's not pretend Strange Animal was Pet Sounds or Dark Side of the Moon or Bitches Brew.

If Strange Animal gets an anniversary tour, so should Boy in the Box, Alien Shores, Shakin' Like a Human Being, Nice Place to Visit and The Trinity Sessions.

We have to draw the line somewhere.

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The Monday Shuffle

iTunesEvery Monday I shuffle my entire MP3 collection in iTunes and list the first ten songs that played. Here are the ten tunes I heard today with a personal story about one of them.

  1. Backed Out On The... - Kevin Drew
  2. Do You Love Me - Kiss
  3. The Spirit of Radio - Rush
  4. Bitches & Sisters - Jay-Z
  5. Sultans Of Swing - Dire Straits
  6. The Sorrowful Wife - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
  7. My Hero - Foo Fighters
  8. Ain't My Bitch - Metallica
  9. Ain't Wasting Time No More - Allman Brothers Band
  10. Crossing A Canyon - 54-40

You know what I love about the Foo Fighters' The Colour and the Shape? It's a play-through from a time when such things actually mattered. You threw that disc on and let her go from track 1 through track 13. It was all good.

In 2008, the value of the play-through album has been totally lost. It's all MP3 playlists and singles and shuffling. I'm as guilty as anyone as I almost never play an album through anymore, but if I were going to play an album through, it might just be The Colour and the Shape.

My brother Ryan and I were talking about this disc on Saturday. "February Stars" is his favourite Foo Fighters song of all-time, and although I love that track, is it better than "Everlong"? I don't believe so, but you can discuss that amongst yourselves, I've got something to say about "My Hero".

I loved Wayne Gretzky. Most guys my age did. The man had eyes in the back of his head for goodness sake! When Gretzky was on his unofficial farewell tour in 1999 he played his last NHL game in Canada at the Corel Centre in Ottawa. After that game, which I watched, "My Hero" came on in the arena and Wayne skated a couple of laps around the ice as the game's first star.

Call me a suck, but it was an emotional moment for me, and I can't hear "My Hero" any more without thinking about Gretzky's last game on Canadian ice. There went my hero...

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A torontomike.com Interview With Matthew Good

A MicrophoneMatthew Good is a bonafide Canadian rock star. I've seen him live three times and have two of his discs in my collection. While he was fronting the Matthew Good Band, our radios were inundated with hits like "Everything is Automatic", "Apparitions", "Indestructible", "Rico", "Hello Time Bomb", "Strange Days" and "Load Me Up". As a solo artist, there were further hits with "Weapon", "In a World Called Catastrophe" and "Alert Status Red".

Matthew Good was nice enough to agree to an interview and here it is for your enjoyment.

Q: MBLOG, your blog, is well maintained, intelligent and thoughtful. Is blogging the new crack?
A: For me blog design is the new crack. Filling in the other bits is just a hassle. Unfortunately my knowledge of Perl, and other ridiculous inter-language, is non existent. This deficiency stops me from exploiting truly tech-headed formats, such as Movable Type. I suppose I could learn, but when you're in your mid 30's you are gifted the right to claim yourself too 'stubborn' to bother. I can hardly wait until I'm 60 and am allowed to hate people outright for walking on my lawn.

Q: You're a part of my personal history. On a beautiful 1998 August day in Barrie I moshed to a wicked set by your band before Pearl Jam took the stage. It remains my favourite day of live music. Did you get to meet Eddie and is he a righteous dude?
A: Actually, I played two shows that day. One in the afternoon, which is the one you've mentioned, and then again that night in Kitchener. So after I got off stage I left immediately.

Q: Does a bright, political minded dude like yourself have political aspirations? Prime Minister Matthew Good sounds pretty cool...
A: Not particularly. If this country were actually a proper democracy I might entertain the idea, but I don't do well with plutocracies.

Q: Canadian rock fans were treated to a good ol' fashioned duel a few years back when you and the guys from Our Lady Peace exchanged jabs. Then, there was the crap Chad Kroeger was spilling about you to Rolling Stone. Is there anything you'd like to say about these feuds? This is a fine forum to do so.
A: Not really.

Q: Any chance we'll see you at Edgefest this year?
A: Is there one this year? I thought they did away with it?

Q: Most readers of this site are from the Great White North. Please share with us the details of your Canadian roots. We love CanCon.
A: I've traveled all over the world and been from coast to coast probably 50 plus times. We live in one of the greatest places in the world. We just need to work on strengthening our continental identity and stop endlessly entertaining the overwhelming American neocolonialist assault that is slowly but surely stripping us of our cultural uniqueness.

Q: Three of your singles have been selected by the esteemed Smells Like Sour committee for inclusion on three different editions of SLS. Is it fair to state this is your finest achievement to date?
A: Of course.

Q: When you're listening to tunes at home, who are you listening to these days?
A: I've been listening to a lot of Nina Simone.

Q: What's your favourite movie??
A: Brazil

Q: Is there anything you'd like to share with the torontomike.com faithful?
A: http://www.amnesty.ca
http://www.ceasefire.ca
http://www.getyourvoteon.ca
http://www.makepovertyhistory.ca
http://www.oxfam.ca

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Edgefest Lineup

EdgefestIn the city's worst kept secret, CFNY Edge 102 unveiled the lineup for this year's Edgefest at the Molson Amphitheater on July 1st. Billy Talent will headline, Alexisonfire will go second last and a few other bands will be there but I'm fairly unfamiliar with all of them. Let me be the first to say, on the record, that this is the worst Edgefest lineup ever. Now let me pronounce this fact Comic Book Guy style. Worst. Lineup. Ever.

As readers of this blog know, I think Billy Talent's debut is great. Their first three singles released all made SLS and the fourth will likely be on SLS13 this June. The whole disc is great, but it's one disc of twelve songs. How does one release of twelve songs make you the headlining act for a concert like this? To put things in perspective, I bitched last year because the awful Good Charlotte was headlining, but at least Billy Talent and Finger Eleven were hitting the stage first. Billy Talent at that time had the same catalogue of music, one album of twelve songs. Billy Talent and Finger Eleven beats Billy Talent and Alexisonfire, right? In other words, last year's brutal lineup was a stronger lineup than we have this year and that's pathetic.

Edgefest isn't so much about the music than it is about maximizing profits. You know this year's lineup came awfully cheap, and Billy Talent probably gave CFNY Edge 102 a discount because of their past history. There were no big bucks to shell out for a big name band like Audioslave, Green Day, Foo Fighters, Our Lady Peace or Sum 41. Heck, there aren't even any of the wicked new Canadian bands getting international praise these days, like The Arcade Fire, Metric, Broken Social Scene, Hot Hot Heat or The Dears. If you combined the entire catalogue of music from all bands announced today for Edgefest 2005 I suspect there are only a handful of songs your average rock fan would recognize, and four belong to Billy Talent.

Edgefest has certainly seen better days, but it will probably turn a profit this year. To Alan Cross and the gang at CFNY, that's truly all that matters. What a shame.

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A Texan Reviews The Tragically Hip

HipThe Tragically Hip are playing the House of Blues tonight in Houston, Texas at 8:00pm. That prompted Nicholas L. Hall from the Houston Press to preview the show.

Here's what Hall wrote. After the blockquote, I'll respond as The Tragically Hip's biggest fan in the blogosphere. The emphasis below belongs to me.

Perhaps Canadian rockers The Tragically Hip should have thought up a different name. Despite considerable popularity and critical acclaim in America's 51st state, the rootsy group failed to find a widely accepting audience in the lower 48. Staunchly traditional and unflinchingly resolute in its aim to avoid label corruptions, the band never really played to either side of the American musical divide. Straightforward rock and roll with a slight Southern twist was just not edgy enough to find a comfortable home on college-radio dials, yet the band's refusal to pander to wider audiences by dumbing down singer-songwriter Gord Downie's philosophically inclined lyrics and poetic delivery has kept the Hip largely out of the mainstream. Its most recent release, this year's We Are the Same, comes as a bit of an aptly titled surprise. The Hip has shrugged away most of its raw rock-and-roll persona, swathing most tracks in an overpoweringly radio-friendly blandness that reeks of pandering. It's really a shame, especially considering the fact that the raw, rootsy paradigm the band has employed thus far is actually experiencing a bit of a renaissance. If the Hip would only return to its roots, it might just live up to its name.

Firstly, that whole 51st state thing isn't funny. Maybe in Texas it's cool to think of Canada that way, but it sure isn't based in reality, and it's offensive to the 30 million plus living in the independent nation of Canada.

Describing the Hip as "straightforward rock and roll with a slight Southern twist" makes me think this guy hasn't heard a Hip album since Up to Here. Actually, I'll bet he hasn't heard anything beyond "New Orleans is Sinking".

I'm sure he hasn't heard the new album, We Are the Same. His suggestion they've "shrugged away most of (their) raw rock-and-roll persona" with "overpoweringly radio-friendly blandness that reeks of pandering" is so off-base. I actually don't think We Are the Same is particularly radio-friendly at all, and it's still Hip rock and excellent. In my humble opinion, the previous album was far more radio-friendly. Songs like "In View" seemed hooked to be singles, but We Are the Same manages to be amazing without the radio-ready melodies.

And finally, this guy clearly wants more "New Orleans is Sinking". He's practically begging for it. NOIS is "their roots" that will finally allow this poor band from the 51st state to live up to it's name. Another NOIS would make them Hip, even thought the original NOIS didn't.

My Leafs rant yesterday made me feel a whole lot better, and nothing is more Canadian than following up a hockey rant with a Hip one. I have one thing to say to Nicholas L. Hall and others like him. It's better for us that you don't understand.

I think you either get it, or you don't. If you get it, you get it large and you're hooked. If you don't, you don't, and that's just the way it is.

I just get it, and there's little in this world that feels as good as being bathed in the poetic ramblings of Gord and being surrounded by those songs I know and love. Here's Your Tragically Hip Primer, if you're interested in more.

Cool Hip Poster

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My Favourite Albums of 2005

CDWith only a few days remaining in the calendar year, it's time to write a bunch of year-end "best of" entries. I've already hit you with my favourite television shows in 2005 and my favourite musical guilty pleasure of 2005 but now it's time for a biggie. Here are my ten favourite albums of the year that were released in 2005.

10. Feist's Let It Die
I first heard Leslie Feist on Broken Social Scene's You Forgot It In People. Let It Die, her second solo effort, was my quiet album of 2005. It's a great deal slower than my usual fare but it gently rocks my world. There's definitely something about her I dig.
Essential Track: Mushaboom

9. Neil Young's Prairie Wind
I really wanted this to be good. Neil Young is a musical hero of mine and earlier this year, his sixtieth, he required emergency surgery for an aneurysm. On Prairie Wind he's clearly looking back, writing about his recently deceased father and growing up in the prairies, but he's looking back in a collection of solid songs that will please any Young fan.
Essential Track: When God Made Me

8. Kanye West's Late Registration
My ears were very pleased with Kanye West's follow up to his debut smash The College Dropout. Every track sounds great with solid rhymes over solid rhythms. It was the best rap album of the year and, in my humble opinion, West's best effort to date.
Essential Track: Hey Mama

7. Stars' Set Yourself On Fire
I call this sweet rock. It's heavy, but in a soft and melodic way. Just before "Your Ex-Lover Is Dead" we're told "When there's nothing left to burn, you must set yourself on fire." That pretty much sums up this great album out of Montreal.
Essential Track: Your Ex-Lover Is Dead

6. System of a Down's Mesmerize/Hypnotize
Yes, System of a Down released these as two separate albums, but they're clearly meant to be a double album and that's exactly how I view them. Legend has the guys taking their lead from Quentin Tarantino who released Kill Bill as two separate films even though they're two parts of a single whole. In total we have 23 typically awesome SOAD tracks, aggressive, manic and thought provoking.
Essential Track: B.Y.O.B.

5. Death From Above 1979's You're a Woman, I'm a Machine
I listened to this album after my brother Steve suggested I'd like it. He was right. It's all pretty heavy and groovy and they're from Toronto to boot. The remix album is awesome too.
Essential Track: Romantic Rights

4. Audioslave's Out of Exile
Admittedly, my vulnerability to nostalgia had me digging Audioslave before I heard a note from them, but this is their second album and I've loved them both. They've both been chock full of great rock songs that get me singing along with Chris Cornell. Out Of Exile is fantastic, three singles deep with more on the way.
Essential Track: Doesn't Remind Me

3. The White Stripes' Get Behind Me Satan
I wonder if these two can do no wrong? Their seven appearances on SLS tie them with the Foo Fighters for first place overall. I consider every album they've released to be pure play-throughs. Get Behind Me Satan is no exception, even if it is a slight step back from Elephant and White Blood Cells.
Essential Track: My Doorbell

2. Broken Social Scene's Broken Social Scene
I describe Broken Social Scene as absolute melody in a most chaotic way. Listening to their latest album I'm overwhelmed by this chaotic order that somehow, against all odds, melts into such beauty. Play a game of Six Degrees of Separation with this band and you'll smack right into other personal favourites like Feist, Metric, Stars, Arcade Fire and more. It's incredible what's come out of the Toronto alt-rock scene in recent years.
Essential Track: 7/4 (Shoreline)

1. The New Pornographers' Twin Cinema
Best album released in 2005! If the idea of a Canadian album with great harmonies, greater melodies and spectacular play-through quality is at all appealing to you, this is your band. Buy it! Borrow it! Listen to it!
Essential Track: Use It

Other Great Albums From 2005: Beck's Guero, Foo Fighters' In Your Honor, Metric's Live It Out, Wolf Parade's Apologies To The Queen Mary, Franz Ferdinand's You Could Have It So Much Better, Gorrilaz's Demon Days.

It was a great year for music, but nothing sounded as good as 2004's Funeral from Arcade Fire. Although it was released in 2004 and didn't qualify for this top ten list, it truly was my favourite album of the year.

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The Top 100 Canadian Songs of All Time?

musicOn Canada Day, 2007, I listed what I believed to be the top 100 Canadian songs of all time. It was a 1.5 month endeavour to assemble that list, and I was pretty proud of it.

A new book by Bob Mersereau has reignited this great debate. Bob lists the top 100 Canadian singles. Here's Bob's list. I've made the choices we agreed on bold.

1. The Guess Who — "American Woman"

2. Neil Young — "Heart of Gold"

3. The Band — "The Weight"

4. Bryan Adams — "Summer of '69"

5. Leonard Cohen — "Hallelujah"

6. Steppenwolf — "Born to Be Wild"

7. Gordon Lightfoot — "If You Could Read My Mind"

8. Bachman Turner Overdrive — "Takin' Care of Business"

9. Ian and Sylvia — "Four Strong Winds"

10. Anne Murray — "Snowbird"

11. Joni Mitchell — "Big Yellow Taxi" / "Woodstock"

12. Rush — "Tom Sawyer"

13. Blue Rodeo — "Try"

14. Tragically Hip — "New Orleans is Sinking"

15. Gordon Lightfoot — "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald"

16. Leonard Cohen — "Suzanne"

17. Tom Cochrane — "Life is a Highway"

18. The Guess Who — "These Eyes"

19. Gordon Lightfoot — "Sundown"

20. Sloan — "Underwhelmed"

21. The Band — "Up on Cripple Creek" / "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down"

22. Maestro Fresh Wes — "Let Your Backbone Slide"

23. The Diodes — "Tired of Waking Up Tired"

25. Rush — "The Spirit of Radio"

25. Crowbar — "Oh What a Feeling"

26. Rough Trade — "High School Confidential"

27. Martha and the Muffins — "Echo Beach"

28. Stampeders — "Sweet City Woman"

29. Arcade Fire — "Wake Up"

30. Barenaked Ladies — "If I Had $1,000,000"

31. Robert Charlebois — "Lindberg"

32. The Pursuit Of Happiness — "I'm an Adult Now"

33. Ugly Ducklings — "Nothin' "

34. Sloan — "Coax Me"

35. Rush — "Closer to the Heart"

36. Teenage Head — "Picture My Face"

37. Guess Who — "Shakin' All Over"

38. Five Man Electrical Band — "Signs"

39. Blue Rodeo — "Lost Together"

40. Ron Hynes — "Sonny's Dream"

41. Men Without Hats — "The Safety Dance"

42. Rheostatics — "Claire"

43. Lighthouse — "One Fine Morning"

44. A Foot In Coldwater — "(Make Me Do) Anything You Want"

45. Corey Hart — "Sunglasses At Night"

46. Loverboy — "Working For The Weekend"

47. Trooper — "Raise A Little Hell"

48. Parachute Club — "Rise Up"

49. Alannah Myles — "Black Velvet"

50. Terry Jacks — "Seasons in the Sun"

51. Malajube — "Montreal -40C"

52. Neil Young — "Cinnamon Girl"

53. Alanis Morissette — "You Oughta Know"

54. Feist — "1234"

55. Arcade Fire — "Rebellion (Lies)"

56. k.d. lang — "Constant Craving"

57. Neil Young — "Rockin' in the Free World"

58. Michel Pagliaro — "Lovin' You Ain't Easy"

59. Bruce Cockburn — "Lovers in a Dangerous Time"

60. Tragically Hip — "Bobcaygeon"

61. Joni Mitchell — "A Case of You" / "California"

62. The Demics — "New York City"

63. Bryan Adams — "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You"

64. Tragically Hip — "Ahead by a Century"

65. Blue Rodeo — "Five Days in May"

66. Hank Snow — "I'm Moving On"

67. Harmonium — "Pour un instant"

68. Steppenwolf — "Magic Carpet Ride"

69. Sloan — "Money City Maniacs"

70. Celine Dion — "My Heart Will Go On"

71. k-os — "Crabbuckit"

72. The Kings —"This Beat Goes on/Switchin' to Glide"

73. Neil Young — "Old Man" / "Needle and the Damage Done"

74. Jean Leloup — "1990"

75. Payola$ — "Eyes of a Stranger"

76. Blue Rodeo — "Hasn't Hit Me Yet"

77. Bachman Turner Overdrive — "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet"

78. Bruce Cockburn — "Wondering Where the Lions Are"

79. April Wine — "You Could Have Been a Lady"

80. Teenage Head — "Let's Shake"/ "Somethin' On My Mind"

81. Joni Mitchell — "Help Me"

82. Trooper — "We're Here For A Good Time"

83. Lighthouse — "Sunny Days"

84. Jean-Pierre Ferland — "Le petit roi"

85. Bryan Adams — "Cuts Like A Knife"

86. Stompin' Tom Connors — "The Hockey Song"

87. Tragically Hip — "Wheat Kings"

88. Gilles Vigneault — "Mon pays"

89. Spirit of The West — "Home For a Rest"

90. New Pornographers — "Letter from an Occupant"

91. Guess Who — "No Time"

92. Mashmakhan — "As the Years Go By"

93. Neil Young — "Hey Hey My My"

94. Paul Anka — "Diana"

95. Daniel Lanois — "The Maker"

96. The Spoons — "Nova Heart"

97. Beau Dommage — "La complainte du phoque en Alaska"

98. Ron Sexsmith — "Secret Heart"

99. Bryan Adams — "Run to You"

100. Wintersleep — "Weighty Ghost"

Pretty similar... I didn't have any French songs on my list, and opted for different Rheostatics, Feist and New Pornographers, but we're pretty close... especially in the top 25.

Heck, I'll save you a click and just reprint my list below.

The Tragically Hip - New Orleans Is Sinking

Neil Young - Helpless

The Band - The Weight

Joni Mitchell - Big Yellow Taxi

Gordon Lightfoot - Canadian Railroad Trilogy

Stan Rogers - Northwest Passage

Sloan - Underwhelmed

The Guess Who - American Woman

Leonard Cohen - Suzanne

Neil Young - Heart of Gold

Blue Rodeo - Try

Leonard Cohen - Hallelujah

The Tragically Hip - Courage

Barenaked Ladies - Brian Wilson

Cowboy Junkies - Misguided Angel

Arcade Fire - Wake Up

Gordon Lightfoot - Early Morning Rain

Neil Young - Rockin' In The Free World

Rush - The Spirit of Radio

The Guess Who - Share the Land

Blue Rodeo - Lost Together

Death From Above 1979 - Romantic Rights

Our Lady Peace - Naveed

Arcade Fire - Rebellion (Lies)

Blue Rodeo - Diamond Mine

Bruce Cockburn - Lovers in a Dangerous Time

Gordon Lightfoot - If You Could Read My Mind

Five Man Electical Band - Signs

Bachman Turner Overdrive - Takin' Care Of Business

Gordon Lightfoot - Sundown

The Guess Who - These Eyes

Blood, Sweat and Tears - Spinning Wheel

Hayden - Bad As They Seem

Neil Young - Cinnamon Girl

Ian and Sylvia - Four Strong Winds

Joni Mitchell - Woodstock

Rush - Closer to the Heart

Joni Mitchell - Both Sides, Now

Our Lady Peace - 4am

Maestro Fresh-Wes - Let Your Backbone Slide

k.d. lang - Constant Craving

The Tragically Hip - Bobcaygeon

Neil Young - Old Man

Dream Warriors - My Definition of a Boombastic Jazz Style

Sarah Harmer - Silver Road

Jeff Healey - Angel Eyes

The New Pornographers - Mass Romantic

I Mother Earth - So Gently We Go

Our Lady Peace - Clumsy

Joni Mitchell - The Circle Game

The Pursuit of Happiness - I'm An Adult Now

The Lowest of the Low - Henry Needs A New Pair of Shoes

Ashley MacIsaac - Sleepy Maggie

Robbie Robertson - Somewhere Down the Crazy River

Tom Cochrane - Big League

Rush - Tom Sawyer

Moist - Push

Billy Talent - Nothing To Lose

Rusty - Wake Me

The Northern Pikes - Teenland

Sarah Harmer - Basement Apartment

Sarah McLachlan - Hold On

The Tragically Hip - Wheat Kings

Sloan - Coax Me

Spirit of the West - Home For A Rest

Steppenwolf - Born To Be Wild

Crash Test Dummies - Superman's Song

Stars - Ageless Beauty

The Tragically Hip - Ahead By A Century

The Demics - New York City

Barenaked Ladies - If I Had $1,000,000

54-40 - I Go Blind

Bryan Adams - Summer of '69

The New Pornographers - Use It

The Watchmen - All Uncovered

Treble Charger - Red

Sam Roberts - Brother Down

Randy Bachman - Prairie Town

Sarah McLachlan - Angel

Tom Cochrane - Boy Inside The Man

Alanis Morissette - You Oughta Know

Skydiggers - I Will Give You Everything

Men Without Hats - Safety Dance

Rough Trade - High School Confidential

Hot Hot Heat - Bandages

Corey Hart - Sunglasses at Night

Loverboy - Working For The Weekend

Metric - Combat Baby

Rusty - Misogyny

k-os - Heaven Only Knows

Tokyo Police Club - Nature Of The Experiment

Stars - Your Ex-Lover Is Dead

Rheostatics - Record Body Count

Odds - Heterosexual Man

The Gandharvas - The First Day of Spring

The Diodes - Tired of Waking Up Tired

Feist - Mushaboom

Gowan - A Criminal Mind

Grapes Of Wrath - All The Things I Wasn't

Max Webster - A Million Vacations

Any glaring omissions from both lists?

Discuss "The Top 100 Canadian Songs of All Time?" (10 comments so far)


My Favourite Greatest Hits Collections

cdGreatest Hits albums are a great way to introduce yourself to a musician, especially when you're too young to appreciate the meat of an artist's career. I was just reading a list of the best "best of" albums, and it got me thinking about my favourite "Greatest Hits" collections.

Neil  Young - DecadeNeil Young - Decade

Why It Mattered
In the 1980s, I was a member of Columbia House. You got a bunch of CDs for a penny if you bought a certain amount at regular price over the next few years or something like that. From Columbia House, I ordered Neil Young's double album Decade and I was smitten. If you don't know Neil, start with this compilation and fall in love.

Alice in Chains - Greatest HitsAlice In Chains - Greatest Hits

Why It Mattered
Only ten songs deep, this is Dirt and more. If I just want a power punch of 90s nostalgia, this is my go-to album. Everyone talks about Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden. Alice In Chains belongs in that group.

The Beatles - 1962-1966The Beatles - Red and Blue double albums

Why It Mattered
The red one covered 1962–1966 and the blue one covered 1967-1970 and if you missed the 60s this was an awesome way to familiarize oneself with the Beatles catalogue. Four CDs in total, all the hits are here from arguably the best band in the history of rock n' roll.

Blue Rodeo - Greatest HitsBlue Rodeo - Greatest Hits

Why It Mattered
I started out as a Blue Rodeo fan. I loved "Try" and "Diamond Mine", but then I lost track of these guys. Maybe I felt they were a little too country for me, I dunno, but this fantastic greatest hits compilation reminded me how awesome Blue Rodeo are.

Alice Cooper - Greatest HitsAlice Cooper - Greatest Hits

Why It Mattered
In the late 80s and very early 90s I would hang at Joe's where his brother Frank would show off their stereo that actually went to 11. They cranked a lot of Ozzy and Van Halen and Alice Cooper's Greatest Hits. The Ozzy was alright and the Van Halen was okay, but the Alice Cooper struck a chord. I still love this album.

Rolling Stones - Hot RocksThe Rolling Stones - Hot Rocks

Why It Mattered
For people born in the 70s or later, Hot Rocks should be a prescribed rite of passage. My father had this double album in vinyl and that's when I first discovered it. It's hit laden, as you can imagine, and even though I don't consider myself a Rolling Stones fan today, I most definitely was for a few years in the 80s thanks to Hot Rocks.

James Taylor - Greatest HitsJames Taylor - Greatest Hits

Why It Mattered
This is actually the only James Taylor album I own and I don't feel compelled to buy another. "Sweet Baby James", song #4 on this compact disc, had such an impact on me, I named my first born son after it.

Simon and Garfunkel - Greatest HitsSimon & Garfunkel - Greatest Hits

Why It Mattered
Such sweet melodies, such a wonderful blend of voices, such American classics. I had to to play a little catch-up here so I delved into their Greatest Hits while in high school. Their recordings are just so damn pretty I'd pause Appetite for Destruction just to chill to "The Sounds of Silence".

Kenny Rogers - Greatest HitsKenny Rogers - Greatest Hits

Why It Mattered
Tomorrow is Mother's Day. Why does Kenny Roger's Greatest Hits matter? It's all right here in black and white. When it comes to the music you like, where you come from will always play a role.

Bob Marley - LegendBob Marley - Legend

Why It Mattered
Speaking of rites of passage, Legend from Bob Marley is essential listening for every teenager. I've since accumulated several other Bob Marley albums, but I still find myself going back to Legend when I'm in the mood for a little reggae.

Lynyrd Skynyrd - Skynyrds InnyrdsLynyrd Skynyrd - Skynyrd's Innyrds

Why It Mattered
I must confess, for a period in the early 90s, I really got into "Free Bird". There's a ten minute outtake version that appears on Skynyrd's Innyrds that I would play over and over and over again. I'm not ashamed to admit I still love that version.

Janis Joplin - Greatest HitsJanis Joplin - Greatest Hits

Why It Mattered
I'm still searching for a female voice in rock that can do what Janis did. Some say Pearl is all you need from Janis, but Pearl doesn't have "Piece of My Heart" or "Summertime".

Billy Idol - Vital IdolBilly Idol - Vital Idol

Why It Mattered
Between Duran Duran and Guns N' Roses, there was Billy Idol. Billy Idol remixed the hits form his first two albums and released Vital Idol in 1987. Actually, I'm told it came out in 1985, but I didn't buy the cassette until 1987. I've since picked up the CD (which is now ripped to MP3) because it is, after all, vital Idol.

The Best of the Guess WhoThe Guess Who - The Best of the Guess Who

Why It Mattered
As a kid, I really only knew "American Woman" and "These Eyes" until I heard "Share the Land" on Q107. I needed to hear what else these Winnipeggers were up to as they paved the way for the many Canadian bands I already had in my Walkman. This album introduced me to "Laughing", "No Time", "No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature" and other fantastic Cummings / Bachman classics.

CCR - ChronicleCreedence Clearwater Revival - Chronicle

Why It Mattered
CCR was an absolutely brilliant rock band with that swampy Southern feel. If you're about my age, or younger, this is really all you need. It's 20 of their best singles essential listening for anyone with a pulse.

Discuss "My Favourite Greatest Hits Collections" (8 comments so far)


More Edge Analysis By Demand

radioI did this once before. Earlier today I copied the list of songs played on 102.1 in the previous twelve hours and I've added little notes to each one.

People seemed to like that entry from September, but this kind of thing is a little more labour intensive than I like. Still, I'll try to do this every few months or so. Here's the second instalment of Twelve Hours of Edge Analysis.

10:50AM Hostage Life - Sons Of Hostage Life This is a Toronto band with a pretty catchy Rancid thing going on. They get bonus points for singing about Union Station.
10:45AM Pearl Jam - Even Flow Definitely a classic alternative staple. Songs like this don't age.
10:38AM Beck - Loser Another classic. It's nice to see CFNY hasn't totally fogotten us old fogies.
10:33AM Billy Talent - Fallen Leaves I dig this tune. I dig this band. When this tune comes on, I crank it.
10:26AM Moby - Porcelain I was never a big Moby fan, but this a nice track, although I find it a little boring.
10:22AM Fall Out Boy - This Ain't A Scene, It's An Arms Race I conversed with Alan Cross about this song yesterday. You can see his comments here.
10:15AM Sum 41 - Motivation I tired of these guys quickly. They may be from Ajax, but I still can't handle this track.
10:01AM Red Hot Chili Peppers - Snow (Hey Oh) My wife loves this song, I find it boring.
9:58AM Sam Roberts - Bridge To Nowhere This was SLS worthy and I still like it.
9:55AM Neverending White Lights - Age Of Consent This one is growing on me. I wasn't sure at first, but darn it, I think I like it.
9:47AM Three Days Grace - Pain More local talent that I wished I liked more. It's not bad, but it's nothing special.
9:43AM Finger Eleven - Paralyzer Speaking of local talent, this is a rather poppy number from our friends. Remember, Scott Anderson dropped by SLS to chat about One Thing.
9:36AM Modest Mouse - Dashboard The Modest Mouse faithful don't like this new song, but I do. It's SLS-worthy.
9:32AM Cypress Hill - Audio X I don't know this tune! Could someone please send it to me, I'd love to hear it.
9:20AM Our Lady Peace - Innocent It's nice to see CFNY favours Ontario talent. Check out how many of these tunes are Ontario-based musicians. I dig the OLP.
8:51AM IllScarlett - One-A I loved IllScarlett's first single and I love this one. I jack this one when it comes on, which is often.
8:37AM The Tragically Hip - 38 Years Old Damn, I love this track. I'll be seeing these guys next week. I hope they play it again.
8:21AM Linkin Park - In The End I have nothing bad to say about Linkin Park. Their hits, like this one, were fun.
8:08AM Incubus - Anna Molly This is one of my favourite songs right now. Anna Molly is a megalomaniac.
7:46AM Muse - Starlight It's no Hysteria, but it's nice. It's just not memorable, ya know?
7:34AM Nickelback - Figured You Out I'm done with Nickelback.
7:23AM Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit The definitive classic alternative selection. Load up on guns...
7:10AM Billy Talent - Fallen Leaves See 10:33AM
6:48AM Red Hot Chili Peppers - Snow (Hey Oh) See 10:01AM
6:36AM The Tragically Hip - Bobcaygeon With the Hip coming to town, CFNY has upped their Hippage. Of course, their Hippage is typically high, and so it should be. I love this song. Surprised?
6:19AM Gnarls Barkley - Crazy I'm tired of Crazy, but it was fun while it lasted.
6:13AM Pearl Jam - Alive Two songs from Ten this morning. Why the hell not?
6:03AM Finger Eleven - Paralyzer See 9:43AM
5:57AM Stone Temple Pilots - Creep From Core, this is another song that takes me back to the early 90s. Good stuff.
5:53AM Michael Andrews Feat. Gary Jules - Mad World Awesome cover. Not only is it better than the original, but it seems to get better every time I hear it.
5:41AM Green Day - Brain Stew This is the song I think of when Billy Talent's Fallen Leaves comes on. They both share that crunchy guitar sound during the opening. Great tune.
5:37AM Wolfmother - Joker And The Thief Wolfmother has a cool 70s vibe going and I'm digging this track just as I enjoyed their two previous SLS-worthy songs.
5:25AM U2 - Sunday Bloody Sunday You know CFNY is going to throw a little U2 on during every 12 hour period. At least they went old school.
5:20AM Killers - Read My Mind It's okay, I guess. I'll stick with Hot Fuss.
5:14AM Our Lady Peace - Is Anybody Home? OLP has a number of catchy tunes that play well on the radio. This is one of them.
5:11AM Raconteurs - Level Great track from the Rac.
5:05AM Smashing Pumpkins - Zero I've always felt Zero is under appreciated. It's one of my favourite Pumpkin tracks
5:01AM IllScarlett - One-A See 8:51AM
4:57AM Nine Inch Nails - The Hand That Feeds Zzzzzzzzz.
4:53AM AlexisOnFire - This Could Be Anywhere In The World Yeah, I like this track. I threw it on the last SLS. How many Ontario bands are we at?
4:45AM Prodigy - Firestarter Here's a golden oldie. It was good fun, wasn't it?
4:42AM The Tragically Hip - The Lonely End Of The Rink Yeah!!! More TTH - lace up the skates and sing that anthem. Lest we forget the unofficial video.
4:37AM Rage Against The Machine - Renegades Of Funk These guys are reuniting for a really big she-ow. I wonder if Cornell will join them. I miss RatM.
4:31AM DJ Champion - The Plow I must admit, I'm not yet familiar with this one and therefore have no comment.
4:27AM Incubus - Anna Molly See 8:08AM
4:22AM Offspring - Self Esteem Yeah, I'm a carefree teen again! This was a huge song in my circle in the mid 90s.
4:18AM Fall Out Boy - This Ain't A Scene, It's An Arms Race See 10:22AM
4:12AM Hot Hot Heat - Bandages Nice Cancon selection. Great track.
4:07AM Nirvana - Lithium Perhaps my favourite Nirvana track, although that's hard to say. It's awesome.
4:02AM Muse - Starlight See 7:46AM
3:59AM OK Go - Here It Goes Again After seeing that treadmill video a couple of times I grew tired of this song.
3:54AM Eminem - Lose Yourself I must admit, this is still a solid track Mr. Mathers. Oscar-worthy indeed.
3:52AM Hostage Life - This Song Was Written By Committee This one never grew on me.
3:46AM R.E.M. - The One I Love Delving into the R.E.M. catalogue, this is a nice selection.
3:44AM Tokyo Police Club - Nature Of The Experiment From Newmarket, Ontario of all places, home of Serial Joe as I recall, TPC have a nice single on their hands.
3:40AM Queens Of The Stone Age - No One Knows I loved it then and I love it now. Fantastic!
3:35AM Arctic Monkeys - I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor This single broke these guys in this country. It's a goodie.
3:31AM Billy Talent - Fallen Leaves See 10:33AM
3:27AM Coldplay - Speed Of Sound Not my favourite Coldplay song, I must admit.
3:22AM 30 Seconds To Mars - From Yesterday Jared Leto sings for this band, but you already knew that. Their sound does nothing for me.
3:14AM Lenny Kravitz - American Woman A useless cover of a great Canadian song. I hate Lenny for this.
3:07AM Tool - The Pot Sometimes I really like Tool, sometimes I don't. This one is typical Tool, in fact, it sounds like several of their other songs.
3:01AM Red Hot Chili Peppers - Snow (Hey Oh) See 10:01AM
2:57AM Seether - Remedy Nirvana redux!
2:53AM Green Day - Boulevard Of Broken Dreams American Idot made Green Day relevant again and this might be my favourite track from that album.
2:49AM City And Colour - Comin' Home Yeah, I like it. What are you going to do about it?
2:42AM Oasis - Don't Look Back In Anger A beautiful song from Oasis. This entire album is gold.
2:38AM Matt Mays - When The Angels Make Contact It's too early for me to judge this track. It needs a few more listens.
2:35AM Linkin Park - One Step Closer Another Linkin Park hit. I'm okay with that.
2:29AM The Good, The Bad & The Queen - Herculean This is an intriguing project. It's Damon Albarn but it's not the Gorillaz, although Danger Mouse is involved. It's good.
2:25AM Finger Eleven - Paralyzer See 9:43AM
2:21AM Foo Fighters - My Hero I still remember when they played this in Ottawa after Gretzky's last game in Canada. It brings a shiver to my spine and a tear to my eye.
2:17AM Army Of Anyone - Goodbye I haven't heard a lot of this song, and I don't love it yet. In fact, I find it a little boring.
2:12AM Sum 41 - Pieces I'll pass, thanks.
2:07AM Snow Patrol - Chasing Cars Yes, this is a pretty song. Yes, it's easy on the ears. Yes, I tried not to like it but it's highly likeable.
2:02AM Wolfmother - Joker And The Thief See 5:37AM
2:00AM DJ Champion - No Heaven I'm sick of it, but for a while last year I really liked this song.
1:56AM Felix Da Housecat - Ready 2 Wear This song sounds like it's from the 80s and if you like that sound you might like this. I don't.
1:53AM Le Tigre - Deceptacon (DFA Remix) Firstly, this is the best song title ever. Otherwise, it's a lot like the song above.
1:49AM Ladytron - Destroy Everything You Touch This must have been part of a trio of 80s inspired dancy tracks. This is the best of the three.
1:45AM Franz Ferdinand - Take Me Out The summer of 2004 and the leader of the trifecta package. It's still good.
1:40AM Streets - Fit But You Know It It's fun to sing this with your best Brit accent.
1:37AM Killers - Mr. Brightside This tune got played into the ground, so it's unfair for me to trash it now.
1:29AM Metric - Dead Disco I like Metric.
1:26AM Gary Numan - Cars The original Cars, nice touch. Numan was ahead of his time.
1:22AM Erasure - A Little Respect Speaking of the 80s and that sound, here's one of the staples. Not my cup of tea, but I was sound asleep when this aired.
1:18AM Scissor Sisters - I Don't Feel Like Dancin' Just look at the next set of songs and you'll catch the vibe. Not for me, but that's okay.
1:14AM Louis XIV - Finding Out True Love Is Blind A great single that I threw on SLS. One of my favourites from 2005.
1:11AM Ramones - I Wanna Be Sedated Speaking of Jared Leto, remember when he took the mic in My So Called Life for Rayanne and finished this song. That was the first sign that 30 Seconds to Mars was inevitable. Great song.
1:08AM Arctic Monkeys - Fake Tales Of San Francisco Not as stong as the first single, but still solid.
1:04AM Chemical Brothers - Hey Boy Hey Girl The Chemical Brothers had some cool singles, but this one wasn't one of my favourites.
1:00AM Benny Benassi - Satisfaction Ha! I love the stuff they play in the wee hours of the morning.

Discuss "More Edge Analysis By Demand" (4 comments so far)


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