TOP 100 CANADIAN SINGLES OF ALL TIME
1. The Demics "New York City" (Ready; 1979)
"Singer Keith Whittaker never really wanted to go to N.Y.C. Instead, this song is a gentle rib of fellow '70s New London Punks, The Regulators, and their Lou Reed fixation. The grass is not always greener. Re-issued recently isn't it time to pay the band some royalties?" - William New, Groovy Religion
2. Sloan "Underwhelmed" (murder/DGC/MCA; 1992)
"Besides being the possessor of both a refreshing snottiness and a geeky poise, Sloan proved with 'Underwhelmed' that you could completely circumvent the talent-grinding machines of the Toronto-based majors and be an artistic and commercial success on your own terms. Oh, and that growing up in a suburb is the same everywhere." - Marc Dacey, writer-at-large
3. The Guess Who "American Woman" (RCA; 1970)
"No Canadian single since has been so perfect for the times. Back then, Burton was the heir apparent to the Jim Morrison mantle and folks like Robert Plant were calling him mentor! Quite possibly the original punk rock rant." - Ian Menzies, Mo Funk Records
4. The Pursuit of Happiness "I'm An Adult Now"
"Moe Berg showed an uncannily advanced understanding of the power of video, and the reality of our post baby boom pathos." - Ian Menzies, Mo Funk Records
5. Martha and the Muffins "Echo Beach" (Dindisc/Virgin;
"...'that must be Martha [actually there are two of them!]...is that guy a Muffin? Is he on drugs [what kind of drugs]?' That was my mother watching The Junos on TV in 1981. I was too (I was 12), and this song still rocks today in that distant, restrained, proper manner we know and love about ourselves..." - Gerry Vogel, Mercury/Polydor
6. Bachman-Turner Overdrive "Takin' Care of Business"
"Chunky riffs rule!" - Dave MacMillan, EMI Music Canada
7. Blue Rodeo "Try" (Risque Disque/Warner;
"The finest moment for one of our best bands (though 'Diamond Mine' comes close). 'Try' is one of those rare ballads you and your mother can enjoy without guilt. Blue Rodeo periodically attempts to rewrite the song, but the original remains an untarnished pleasure." - Kerry Doole, iMPACT Magazine
8. treble charger "Red" (Sonic Unyon; 1994)
"We all dig it." - Rusty
9. Rush "Tom Sawyer" (Anthem' 1981)
"I will always remember 'Tom Sawyer' from the Moving Pictures tour at Maple Leaf Gardens. The song had just begun, and I was watching this soft drink
vendor climb all the way up to the grey section, just to get nailed in the back of the head with an Indian rubber ball, thrown from a few rows up. As the vendor tumbled down the stairs into the red section, everybody cheered and went scrambling for whatever they could salvage, then sat back and watched the rest of the show. A true hoser event." - Mike Klug, An April March
10. Slow "Have Not Been the Same" (Zulu; 1985)
"The most reckless, rocking, growling rage tune by Canada's self-destructing secret weapon band." - John Marshall, MuchMusic
11. Neil Young "Cinnamon Girl" (Reprise/Warner;
"You got a better one?"Allan Wigney, Ottawa Xpress Newsweekly
12. The Tragically Hip "New Orleans is Sinking"
"Ask any decent cover band to read you its set list and this Canadian rock standard is bound to be in the repertoire, whale story and all." - Don Ward, The Varsity, University of Toronto
13. Neil Young "Keep On Rocking in the Free World"
"I had just started in the industry when this song was everywhere. At the time, I remembered thinking that Neil Young was a touchstone in music. His songs had no national boundaries...Not much has changed." - Livia Tortella, Mercury/Polydor
14. The Band The Weight (Capitol; 1968)
"I'm not old enough to love The Band; however, this is one of those songs that follows you through your life. I never did understand the religious connection in the lyrics, but the chorus, especially the three note harmonies near the end, slay me every time I hear it." - Dave Porter, A&M
15. Gordon Lightfoot "Read My Mind" (Reprise/Warner;
"My parents separated when this song was released. My mother played it so often, it became a lullaby to me." - Anne-Marie Smith, Warner/Chappell
16. The Payolas "Eyes of a Stranger" (A&M;1982)
"It was during this song at a high school dance that a group of punk rock kids decided it would be fun to pick a fight with me. The only thing I can remember is being really pissed about not being able to hear that groovy drum break with all those timbales at the end of the song! I'll never forgive them for that." - Mike Klug, An April March
17. The Diodes "Tired of Waking Up Tired"
"First year at York University, I was car-less,and had to get up quite early to hitch a ride with my father. For two semesters, I lived this song Monday to Friday, from 6:30 to sometime during my second class!" - Chris Burland, Chart
18. k.d. lang "Constant Craving" (Warner;
"The trademark of pop music's greatest singles is a harmonized chorus. This is as close to perfection as it gets." - René Blackman, MCA Concerts Canada
19. Men Without Hats "The Safety Dance" (Sire/Warner;
"Pop, pop, pop was the world." - Sylvain Lafrenière, CIBL 101.5FM
20. Skinny Puppy "Dig It" (Nettwerk; 1986)
"The first time I saw the video for this song, I thought Skinny Puppy were the most evil thing to ever come from Canada. When I cut my forehead open dancing to it at RPM, I knew they were." - Liisa Ladouceur, Chart
21. Young Canadians "Hawaii" (Zulu; 1980)
"A perfect piece of pop plastic, even with the dozen F-words. With Art Bergmann's sneering delivery, it summed up the punk/new wave disdain for middle-class values in the early '80s. A brilliant cut." - Kim Clarke Champniss, MuchMusic
22. Rough Trade "High School Confidential"
(True North/MCA; 1980)
"Carole Pope was (to the best of my recollection) the first Canadian to sing about something other than hetrosexual love, the first woman vocalist to publicly declare her lesbianism, the first pop singer to grab her crotch onstage...all of these things at a time when performing such acts was not only 'unfashionable' but also dangerous. All that, and the song is excellent, too!" - Denise Sheppard, music journalist
23. Gordon Lightfoot "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald"
"I don't care how cranky Gordie got about CanCon, he penned a true folk song for the ages here." - Kevin Press, Here and Now, CKLN 881.FM
24. Bryan Adams "Summer of '69" (A&M;
"A most wonderful, straightforward and unpretentious rock 'n' roll pop song." - Nada Laskovski, Chart
25. Leonard Cohen "Suzanne" (Epic/Sony; 1967)
"Thank God she wasn't called Gertrude." - Rick Camilleri, Sony Music
26. Doughboys "Shine" (A&M; 1993)
"Exquisitely produced, propulsive and insinuating, the riff and hook instantly turn me into one of those rear windshield bobbing dogs. Shoulda been HUGE!"Christopher Jones, SOCAN
27. Five Man Electrical Band "Signs" (PolyGram;1971)
"I wanted to be a 'long haired freaky people' but my parents wouldn't let me." - Ross Albert, CBC's RealTime
28. Ian and Sylvia "Four Strong Winds" (Vanguard;
"I first heard (and loved) this while growing up in New Zealand, but only felt its true emotional resonance many years later when I was exiled, awaiting a return to this great country. Canadian folk at its finest." - Kerry Doole, iMPACT Magazine
29. Sloan "Coax Me" (MCA; 1994)
"Who else can use 'cajole' as a hook?"Cori Ferguson, MCA Records
30) Neil Young "Heart of Gold" (Reprise/Warner;
"As a teenager, I hung around a café in Hammersmith, England called The 220. It was 1972. One of the most popular songs on the juke-box was 'Heart of Gold' (the b-side, just as popular, was 'Sugar Mountain'). The song embodied lonesomeness, wanderlust, simplicity and the desire to believe in something. I emigrated to Canada a year later." - Kim Clarke Champniss, MuchMusic
31. A Foot In Cold Water Make Me Do (Anything You Want)
"A great ballad that brings back memories of life's first waltzes at the junior high hop." - Dave MacMillan, EMI Music Canada
32. Anne Murray "Snowbird" (Capitol/EMI; 1972)
""If listening to this all-Nova Scotian classic isn't proof enough of its worth, Elvis gave his favourite singer, Anne Murray, the nod by recording it for his country album of the early '70s." - Matt Murphy, Super Friendz
33. Crowbar "Oh, What a Feeling" (Daffodil;
"This song hit #1 in London, Ontario before anywhere else in Canada. I still have that silver Crowbar pendant the band gave me all those years ago, but it's the memories I treasure most." - Brent Marucci, Dr. Disc (London)
34. The Viletones "Screaming Fist" (Other
People's Music; 1977)
"I included this because you guys don't think I'm cool enough to have ever heard of it." - Rick Camilleri, Sony Music
35. 54*40 "I Go Blind" (Warner; 1986)
"Taken out of time (1985) and context (the debut LP), 'I Go Blind' is a fragile, deceptively slight beauty. It slides by in 2:47 flat simple, understated and wise. While barely cracking the Top 40 at rock radio, it lent hope that Loverboy wasn't necessarily the sine qua non of Canuck pop culture." - Jeff Bateman, The Record
36. Terry Jacks "Seasons in the Sun" (Goldfish;
"Like Ben Johnson, the whole world knows this Canadian thing, for better or for worse. The year of its world-wide Number Oneness, it was the third best-selling single of all time. Yowsa." - Dave Bidini, Rheostatics
37. Spirit of the West "Political" (Stony
"A passionate, buoyant blend of Canadian rock and Celtic folk. And so damned hummable." - Christopher Jones, SOCAN
38. Haunted "1-2-5" (Quality Records; 1966)
"The Haunted won a Battle of the Bands held by Quality Records in '66 at the Montreal Forum, then took two weeks to record this hit. In the '80s, any neo-
sixties garage band had to cover this song. Certainly the best rip-off over the
lyrics of 'Gloria'." - Sylvain LaFreniere, CIBL
39. Ugly Ducklings "Nothin'" (Yorktown; 1966)
"Down 'n' dirty, two-car garage rock that stands with American contemporaries like The Standells and Count Five as protopunk." - Steve Kane, A&M
40. Slow "I Broke the Circle" (Zulu; 1985)
"Bought it the day it came out, wore it out." - Bill Baker, Mint Records
41. Andy Kim "Rock Me Gently" (Ice;1974)
"The fact that it's still played at ultra-Caucasian weddings should be warning enough." - Marc Dacey, writer at large.
42. Stampeders "Sweet City Woman" (World Music
"I'm a Calgarian." - Jason Anderson, eye weekly
43. Gordon Lightfoot "Sundown" (Reprise/Warner;
"I used to think Gordon Lightfoot was someone only people of my parents' age listened to and liked. Years after I escaped my parents' turntable tyranny, I saw Andrew Cash perform 'Sundown' to a spellbound crowd at an underground club in my hometown. Andrew taught me to appreciate the heartbreaking sense of loss in this Lightfoot classic." - Amber Meredith, Chart
44. Tom Cochrane "Life is a Highway" (EMI
Music Canada; 1991)
"I was once one of only two Canadians on a bus full of twentysomething Contiki tourists barrelling through 15 European countries in 11 days. Our Aussie tour guide's theme song? 'Life is a Highway', which she blared through the bus speakers every morning as we hit the road. Definitely one of my guilty pleasures." - Amber Meredith, Chart
45. The Grapes of Wrath "All The Things I Wasn't" (EMI Music Canada; 1989)
"Maybe the best 2 1/2 minutes since Dylan knocked on heaven's door. I dare you to go back and listen to it just once." - Kevin Press, "Here And Now", CKLN 88.1FM
46. The Guess Who "These Eyes" (RCA; 1969)
"F.U. It's the best blue-eyed soul song written by a Canadian." - Paul Kelly, Chart
47. Cowboy Junkies "Sweet Jane" (RCA/BMG;
"When Lou Reed toured his New York disc, he covered the Junkies version of 'Sweet Jane'. Some years later, he did not cover Marky Mark's version of 'Wild Side'." - Kevin Press, "Here and Now", CKLN 88.1FM
48. Sweeney Todd "Roxy Roller" (London/PolyGram;
"The song goes way beyond the cheesiness threshold that most bands wouldn't dare cross, but that's the point. To this day, just listening to it makes my pants flare! Methinks too many bands are still afraid of appearing stupid. That wasn't an issue with Sweeney Todd." - Grant McDonagh, Zulu Records
49. Sarah McLachlan "Path of Thorns" (Nettwerk;
"A weeping song and an achingly beautiful one at that. Though the crux of the lyrics concern unreciprocated love, McLachlan sings with strength and resolve, only revealing her vulnerability (in the form of a whispery voice) as the song fades out. A tastefully tragic tune to have a good sob to." - Erin Hawkins, Vanishing Point/eye weekly
50) Joni Mitchell "Big Yellow Taxi" (Reprise/Warner;
"The first song that made me think of something other than myself." - Anne-Marie Smith, Warner/Chappell
"I Will Give You Everything"
53) Ugly Ducklings
"Ain't Seen Nothing Yet"
55) The Tragically Hip
"Fifty Mission Cap"
56) Change of Heart
57) Bruce Cockburn
"If I Had a Rocket Launcher"
58) Stompin' Tom Connors
"Bud the Spud"
"Gonna Get Close To You"
60) The Pointed Sticks
"What Ya Want Me To Do"
62) Ian Thomas
63) The Kings
"Switching to Glide"
"When I Die"
"Record Body Count"
"Born to be Wild"
67) Bruce Cockburn
"Lovers in a Dangerous Time"
"No Solution, No Problem"
69) Leonard Cohen
70) Images in Vogue
"Lust for Love"
72) Ian Thomas
"A Promise is a Promise"
74) Barenaked Ladies
"If I Had a Million Dollars"
"I'm Going to France"
76) 13 Engines
77) Broken Girl
78) Crash Vegas
80) Forgotten Rebels
"Surfin' on Heroin"
81) Jolly Tamberine Man
"Apple Strudel Man"
82) Neil Young
"Needle and the Damage Done"
83) Cowboy Junkies
86) The Parachute Club
87) Porcelain Forehead
"When I'm With You"
89) Art Bergmann
"Bound for Vegas"
91) Spirit of the West
"Home for a Rest"
92) The Tragically Hip
"Blowing High Dough"
93) Jann Arden
95) Grapes of Wrath
"Peace of Mind"
96) Stompin' Tom Connors
"Good Old Hockey Game"
"Welcome to My Castle" Nardwuar
98) Hardship Post
"Why Don't..." -
"Bad As They Seem"
"What The Hell I Got"