The Potential Unranked Top 100

canadaIt started with a quest. I was to come up with a definitive list of the 100 best Canadian tunes. Over the past month I've dumped CanCon classics which you can read here and now I've pruned those songs down to 100.

Guys and gals, I need you now more than ever. Tell me if there's a tune on this list that doesn't belong or if I've missed a sure thing. On Canada Day, I'll post the definitive list in order. You'll want to cancel your long weekend plans for this one, it's a biggie.

  • 54-40 - I Go Blind
  • Alanis Morissette - You Oughta Know
  • Alexisonfire - This Could Be Anywhere In The World
  • Arcade Fire - Wake Up
  • Arcade Fire - Rebellion (Lies)
  • Ashley MacIsaac - Sleepy Maggie
  • Barenaked Ladies - Brian Wilson
  • Billy Talent - Nothing To Lose
  • Blue Rodeo - Try
  • Blue Rodeo - Diamond Mine
  • Blue Rodeo - Lost Together
  • Bachman Turner Overdrive - Takin' Care Of Business
  • The Band - The Weight
  • Blood, Sweat and Tears - Spinning Wheel
  • Bruce Cockburn - Lovers in a Dangerous Time
  • Bryan Adams - Summer of '69
  • Corey Hart - Sunglasses at Night
  • Cowboy Junkies - Misguided Angel
  • Crash Test Dummies - Superman's Song
  • Death From Above 1979 - Romantic Rights
  • Dream Warriors - My Definition of a Boombastic Jazz Style
  • Feist - Mushaboom
  • Five Man Electical Band - Signs
  • The Gandharvas - The First Day of Spring
  • Glass Tiger - Don't Forget Me (When I'm Gone)
  • Gordon Lightfoot - Early Morning Rain
  • Gordon Lightfoot - Canadian Railroad Trilogy
  • Gordon Lightfoot - If You Could Read My Mind
  • Gordon Lightfoot - Sundown
  • Gowan - A Criminal Mind
  • Great Big Sea - Ordinary Day
  • The Guess Who - American Woman
  • The Guess Who - Share the Land
  • The Guess Who - These Eyes
  • Hayden - Bad As They Seem
  • Hot Hot Heat - Bandages
  • I Mother Earth - So Gently We Go
  • Ian and Sylvia - Four Strong Winds
  • Jeff Healey - Angel Eyes
  • Joni Mitchell - Big Yellow Taxi
  • Joni Mitchell - Woodstock
  • Joni Mitchell - Both Sides, Now
  • Joni Mitchell - The Circle Game
  • k-os - Heaven Only Knows
  • k.d. lang - Constant Craving
  • Leonard Cohen - Suzanne
  • Leonard Cohen - Hallelujah
  • The Lowest of the Low - Henry Needs A New Pair of Shoes
  • Maestro Fresh-Wes - Let Your Backbone Slide
  • Men Without Hats - Safety Dance
  • Metric - Combat Baby
  • Moist - Push
  • Neil Young - Cinnamon Girl
  • Neil Young - Helpless
  • Neil Young - Old Man
  • Neil Young - Heart of Gold
  • Neil Young - Rockin' In The Free World
  • The New Pornographers - Mass Romantic
  • The New Pornographers - Use It
  • Northern Lights - Tears Are Not Enough
  • The Northern Pikes - Teenland
  • Odds - Heterosexual Man
  • Our Lady Peace - 4am
  • Our Lady Peace - Naveed
  • Our Lady Peace - Clumsy
  • The Pursuit of Happiness - I'm An Adult Now
  • Rascalz, Checkmate, Kardinal Offishall, Thrust and Choclair - Northern Touch
  • Rheostatics - Record Body Count
  • Robbie Robertson - Showdown At Big Sky
  • Rough Trade - High School Confidential
  • Rush - Closer to the Heart
  • Rush - The Spirit of Radio
  • Rush - Tom Sawyer
  • Rusty - Wake Me
  • Rusty - Misogyny
  • Sam Roberts - Brother Down
  • Sarah Harmer - Basement Apartment
  • Sarah Harmer - Silver Road
  • Sarah McLachlan - Hold On
  • Sarah McLachlan - Angel
  • Skydiggers - I Will Give You Everything
  • Sloan - Underwhelmed
  • Sloan - Coax Me
  • Sloan - The Good In Everyone
  • Spirit of the West - Home For A Rest
  • Stan Rogers - Northwest Passage
  • Stars - Ageless Beauty
  • Stars - Your Ex-Lover Is Dead
  • Steppenwolf - Born To Be Wild
  • Stompin' Tom Conners - Hockey Song
  • Tokyo Police Club - Nature Of The Experiment
  • Tom Cochrane - Boy Inside The Man
  • Tom Cochrane - Big League
  • The Tragically Hip - New Orleans Is Sinking
  • The Tragically Hip - Bobcaygeon
  • The Tragically Hip - Wheat Kings
  • The Tragically Hip - Ahead By A Century
  • The Tragically Hip - Courage
  • Treble Charger - Red
  • The Watchmen - All Uncovered

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Comments (22 - click here to join in!)


Whew!!!! That was hard. The challenge is in limiting it to 100. We have too much great Canadian talent to choose from, however

BNL-If I Had $100000000
Trooper-Raise a little hell
BTO-You ain't seen nothing yet
Kim Mitchell-Patio Lanterns
Randy Bachman-Prairie Town
Neil Young-Harvest Moon
Max Webster-A Million Vacations

Police Club - Nature Of The Experiment
Rheostatics - Record Body Count
Hayden - Bad As They Seem
The Gandharvas - The First Day of Spring
The Lowest of the Low - Henry Needs A New Pair of Shoes
Rascalz, Checkmate, Kardinal Offishall, Thrust and Choclair - Northern Touch
Rheostatics - Record Body Count

June 26, 2007 @ 12:04 AM


I'd include a song or more from Allison Crowe - Whether I'm Wrong, Now, Secrets - or choose another.

June 26, 2007 @ 12:55 AM


Looks like a list made by some suburbanite. lots of crap that shouldnt be there, get Northern LIghts right outta there. are you high? that song is garbage. and by the way, when it comes to Stompin Tom, 'Margo's Cargo', 'The man on the moon is a newfie', and 'Bud the Spud', all trump the hockey song. Your talkin bout best songs and I know you just put that in cuz its about Hockey. If you are judgin purely on song and not Canadiana culture, Those other songs are all better. Plus as for Neil, there are some NON-Singles that he has that takes out the ones posted. Is this going by most overplayed? or actual best? What about 'Like A HUrricane'? I'll be checkin out your updates... and DONT LEAVE OUT FRENCH CANADA!!! I know you put in Quebecors that speak english, mais ou est les musiciens quebecois? Ariane Moffatt - MOntreal. NOw thats a track. later bud

June 26, 2007 @ 2:06 AM


Hi Mike,
I would take out one of the Tom Cochrane's and replace it with Tom Cochrane and Red Rider's Lunatic Fringe.

June 26, 2007 @ 8:32 AM

Toronto Mike

Hey Mayor, I've never lived in the 'burbs!

Keep the suggestions coming... good work Jill. TPC was probably inflated because I'm still digging that track.

Holly, since you mentioned her, here's Allison Crowe singing Cohen's Hallelujah.

June 26, 2007 @ 8:55 AM

Jason @ Get Your OJ

Good list.. but I don't think anyone deserves to be there for or five times. You may need a dash more objectivity. Having someone on the list four times points to the fasct that perhaps our talent is limited, which I try to believe isn't true.

Thanks for not including NIckelback

June 26, 2007 @ 10:25 AM

Toronto Mike

When they list the top 100 American tunes, is there more than one Dylan tune?

When they list the top 100 British songs, is there more than one Beatles tune?

Certain artist warrant multiple placings, it's as simple as that.

June 26, 2007 @ 10:47 AM


HOLD THE PHONE! STOP THE PRESS! I DON'T SEE ANY LOVERBOY! And I'm only partially kidding. How about classics like:

• Turn Me Loose
• Working For The Weekend (a definite top 100 IMHO)
• Loving Every Minute Of It
• Hot Girls In Love

June 26, 2007 @ 11:10 AM

Toronto Mike

It's true, Loverboy was there and found its way to the cutting room floor during the pruning.

I'm already seeing changes that need to be made to this list before July 1... my work is never done.

June 26, 2007 @ 11:12 AM


Sadly, the only French Canadian stuff that I was ever exposed to is Celine *shivers*, Rosh and Mitsou. I didn't mind some of the Mitsou stuff, granted, I mostly got into it for her videos.

June 26, 2007 @ 11:15 AM

Mike H.

I agree partially with Jill's post above. We for sure need some Kim Mitchell in there (Patio Lanterns or I am a Wild Party). Sarah Mclaughlin also needs a little bit of recognition for her earlier stuff, either 'Drawn to the Rhythm' or 'Into the Fire'.

I'd be loathe to take out some of the smaller and quirkier acts like Hayden & The Rheostatics though. Personally, I could do with less Lightfoot, Mitchell & (ducks) Hip.

June 26, 2007 @ 2:22 PM

The Mayor

The Demics - New York City,
Strange Advance - We Run,
Platinum Blonde?
And u know "Somewhere Down the Crazy River" is better than "Showdown" by robbie...

c'mon tune the list up...

June 26, 2007 @ 4:31 PM


Waking EYes - ON a Train?
Delirium - Flowers BEcome Screens?
Big SUgar - either "Diggin a HOle" (co-written by the late great Dan Gallagher), or "If i had my way" , your choice...

June 26, 2007 @ 4:35 PM

Toronto Mike

I agree with the Robertson switch.

I also really like that Demics song.

June 26, 2007 @ 4:36 PM


this is just a random statement:

Best MuchMusic VJ of All-Time: Steve Anthony

June 26, 2007 @ 4:38 PM

Toronto Mike

Aesthetically, it's Natalie Richard. Otherwise, I think you might be right... but Dan Gallagher was a dude.

June 27, 2007 @ 8:30 AM


I second Big Sugar's Digging a Hole. Also, shouldn't there be a Headstones track's Sass Jordan?

• Tell Somebody
• So Hard
• Stranger Than Paradise
• Double Trouble
• Sun's Gonna Rise

I'm not saying they all need to be on the list, but she did have quite an impressive string of hits.

June 27, 2007 @ 9:38 AM


...did anyone mention The Box?

• Closer Together
• Ordinary People
• Temptation
• Carry On

June 27, 2007 @ 9:40 AM

james edgar

NO Song by Gowen could EVER be on any top anything list. Get that song off of there! No time to say more I'll be back!

June 28, 2007 @ 12:23 PM


Teddy Bears Picnic - Drastic Measures.

Red Rubber Ball - Diodes

June 28, 2007 @ 2:13 PM


I've had The Pikes' Dancing in a Dance Club on repeat for a bit now. It was one of the angsty songs of my teenage years back when CFNY ruled.

Incidentally, Les Stroud of Survivorman fame played along with The Pikes in the early 2000s. Weird, huh?

March 1, 2010 @ 10:15 PM

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