We have now got to 97 on the list, “Crying Over You” by Platinum Blonde. The band formed in the early 80’s and had a string of hits on Canadian airwaves. They had minimal success in the USA, so my readers from anywhere but Canada will find them to be a new band. The song featured here was their one and only number 1 in Canada. It was taken from their 1985 album “Alien Shores”. The album spawned (see what I did there) 4 singles and is likely the pinnacle of their success. It included their only charted single in the USA, “Somebody, Somewhere” which reached 82 on the Billboard Top 100 and 23 in Canada.
The band is still touring and had released an album of new material in 2012.
Without further adieu, the number 97 Canadian hit of all time, “Crying Over You”.
At 98 is a signature song from former Sweeney Todd singer, Nick Gilder. The track is Hot Child In The City.
Sweeney Todd had a big hit in 1976 with Roxy Roller. After that success, Nick left the band, going solo and signing a record deal in the USA. That deal spawned the featured song which hit number 1 in both Canada and the USA. Unfortunately, he never realized much further success, never again hitting the top 40. He did have success as a songwriter as well, penning hits for diverse artist as Pat Benatar and Bette Midler.
At 99 we present “We Run” by Strange Advance. A Vancouver new wave band, they formed in 1982, and were almost immediately nominated for a Juno (Canada’s Grammy) as most promising band. “We Run” was taken from their album, “2WO” and released as a single in 1985. It reached number 28 on the RPM pop chart. The band never made any inroads outside of Canada and essentially went dormant after releasing their 3rd album in 1988. . Fun fact, they were mostly a session band and apparently had never played live as a group prior to 1985.
The first entry into our top 100 is Honeymoon Suite and their song Love Changes Everything.
Back in the hair band days of the 1980’s, Honeymoon Suite was formed in 1981 in Niagara Falls, Ontario. The name and the place share a connection, very witty. They had a string of hits in Canada throughout the 80’s and even had some traction in the USA, highlighted by performing the title track for the movie Lethal Weapon.
Love Changes Everything was released in 1988 and is on their album Racing After Midnight. The song reached number 9 in Canada, 13 on the US Rock and 91 on the US chart, all by Billboard. The band is still recording, it’s latest release was in 2019.
Get ready to rock to a live version of the tune, live is always best.
Three very different takes on this classic. The original was written by Bob Dylan in 1962 and appears on his second album, “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan“. It was first performed by Dylan at Carnegie Hall in 1962. Over the years it has been recorded many times by a wide and varied array of talent. Dylan himself has redone the song several times, most recently in 2007. I have touched on this diversity with what I believe are some pretty different versions, and finished off with the original.
First up, a version by Roxy Music‘s Bryan Ferry. As expected, it is different. He recorded it in 1973 on “These Foolish Things” where he did a raft of covers.
Jason Mraz performed this song on “Listen To Bob Dylan: a Tribute”. Another slightly different take done in the Mraz style. Nicely done.
We move up to number 345 in this edition of Canada’s Best Music. We have another entry from the Spoons, some classic rock, some new rock from Billy talent and a song from a Canadian staple known as The Tragically Hip, who are, well, hip. Nice set if you like rock.
“Those Old Emotions”
The Spoons were in my last post, Part 31. An 80’s hairband, they had several hits back in the day, including this one in 1983. Not a great video, but, hey, pretty lucky to find it at all, I’d say.
Billy Talent has been around since the early 90’s (known as the Pezz until 1999), but struck it big over the last couple of years, earning a deserved world-wide following. Turn Your Back is from Billy Talent III, released in 2009. They have been nominated for Junos every year since 2004, winning 7 times. The video is a live version. Great rocker voice.
“Baby Have Some Faith”
5440 has been rocking Canadians since the 1980’s, releasing albums as recently as 2011. One of my favourite bands at one point. Still enjoy hearing them.
341. The Tragically Hip
A legend to many Canadians, The Hip consistently release quality material, time after time. This tune was released in 1991 on their Road Apples album. Great song.
Interesting covers goes old-time. Today we look at a milestone song “Hound Dog“. It was written by the legendary team of Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller in 1952 after meeting and hearing Willie Mae (Big Mama) Thornton. The meeting had been arranged by Johnny Otis. They were 19 at the time, unbelievable. Big Mama Thornton was the first to record it (August 1952) and released it in February 1953. It was her only hit, but the song, well that’s a different story altogether. It has been covered over 85 times and charted on several of those incarnations, although none had the success of either Big mama’s or Elvis Presley’s versions. The Elvis version is obviously the best known and placed at 19 on Rolling Stones Top 500 of all time, not to mention being in the Grammy’s Hall of Fame. Who has covered it you ask? A veritable who’s who of music and reflecting a wide diversity of style. Jerry Lee Lewis, Pat Boone, John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Conway Twitty, Eric Clapton, James Taylor and Frank Zappa. Crazy! We will dispense with the poll on this, seems the work involved is not worth the 1 vote each time hahaha. We’ll start with Big Mama, move through a couple of others and finish up with Elvis. Enjoy!
The Big Mama version is very much R&B and a lot less frenetic than the more familiar Elvis effort. I like the voice and her control of the song. The instrumentation is subtly performed by some very good musicians. A great song done like this.
This version is by one of my favourites, John Lennon. Unfortunately, the song is not up to his standards, ruined by some “singing?” by Yoko doing her best imitations of a dog. Kind of funny to listen to and watch. Some good playing though.
Here is the Jimi Hendrix version, unmistakably his.
I’m A Believer is a song penned by Neil Diamond and made a forever signature classic by The Monkees way back in 1966. The song went gold in 2 days, hitting number 1 in December 1966 and was the biggest selling single of 1967. It is also one of only 40 songs to sell 10 million physical copies (source:Wikipedia). Amazing numbers for so long ago. Needless to say that success bred many attempts at duplication, of which I will note four. Don’t forget to vote for the one you like best.
First we have British singer Robert Wyatt who made it a UK hit in 1974. The band he was with had some power with Andy Summers (Police) on guitar and Nick Mason (Pink Floyd) on drums. The video is a live performance on Tops Of The Pops and was his first appearance after an accident left him a paraplegic.
Next up we have my favourite version by Smash Mouth. Why you say? Simple, Shrek is one of my all time favourite movies. Eddie Murphy is also featured on the tune, recorded in 2001.
Third, we have the man, Neil Diamond. he sings his song live in 2008. Nicely done Neil.
Sweet Jane is a classic Velvet Underground tune, first released in 1970 on their “Loaded” album. Lou Reed wrote the song, and his lyrics are powerful, not mention the arrangement. As I morph this series, I am thing a poll is just screaming to be added to the mix, so I will. Rules are simple. I will add the songs, then ask you to decide which is your fave. Simple? This works well for this choice as there are many covers out there. Let’s start with the original, then move on from there.
Next up, let’s go with Mott the Hoople. This was the first cover, 1972, and was released on their “All The Young Dudes” album. The band featured the great Ian Hunter on vocals, and is a true copy, with little change in the arrangement.
Mott The Hoople
Next up is a version by Canadian alt-country band, “Cowboy Junkies“. They released the tune as a single in 1988. It was used on the soundtrack for “Natural Born Killers“. A slower version, and the vocals of Margo Timmins are great. The song is slowed up with great effect. My favourite version.
And a last entry, a live version, with Lou Reed fronting Metallica. A very different version.
Decided to change the name to “Interesting” from “Unusual”. I’d say that a lot of covers are more interesting than strange. My first post on this involved Jackie Wilson doing the Doors “Light My Fire”. Not really unusual, although a soul icon doing what became a rock classic was somewhat strange, it was truly much more interesting.
Today we are going to take a look at something that is definitely interesting, and maybe a bit unusual as well. Siouxsie and the Banshees were a 70’s punk band that expanded into a more adventuresome style of music. Some would call it post-punk, others might say glam. Personally, I never got into them very much. I did find it kind of cool that they did a cover of one of my favourite Beatles tunes, “Dear Prudence”. I have been a John Lennon fan since the early days of my musical odyssey, and many of his songs could be classified as soundtrack of my life. Dear Prudence was on the Beatles Whit Album, released in 1968 and tells the tale of Mia Farrow’s sister Prudence. She was studying with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi at the same time as Lennon, and he wrote the song to encourage to come out and socialize as she had turned into a bit of a recluse. ( I pretend to be an informative blog haha.).
Siouxsie and the Banshees recorded the song in 1983 and released it as a single. It became one of their biggest hits. Without further adieu, “Dear Prudence”.