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Top 50 Canadian Albums Of All-Time (20 To 11)
Friday June 30, 2000 @ 08:00 AM
By: Staff

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20. THE BAND Music From Big Pink (Capitol) 1968
A promethean debut album. Over 30 years old and still sounding new. It hasn't left the radio waves since, which is where it was first melted to the psychedelic Hammond organ intro of "Chest Fever." Big Pink unifies gospel, country and rock. Robbie Robertson and Rick Danko provided the soul and passion. Arguably American, but definitely Canadian. Universal. — Roman Sokal, photographer/scribe

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The Hip

19. THE TRAGICALLY HIP Road Apples (MCA) 1991
We used to go driving in my friend Dave's 'vette to smoke cigarettes when I was 14. Music was my life and growing up in the Hammer [Hamilton, ON], so was The Hip. Dave's car was equipped with a CD player and we burned the shit out of Road Apples. We actually used to drive to Fiddler's Green in Ancaster just to play the CD. What can I tell you, that disk is to me, what Back In Black is to 35-year-olds. Reminds me of when I used to get excited about feeling a girl's nipples. — Parkside Mike, A&R/project coordinator, The Donald K Donald Group

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18. MATTHEW GOOD BAND Underdogs (A&M) 1997
To be honest, I slagged the greasy-haired pretty-boy candy-ass punk from the West Coast at first. So how can I write about how great an album it is? Well, here's the rub: it is great. If not for being an euphoric, orgasm-inducing first-listen album, but for what it has, in the end, proved to do. Heard everywhere on the radio, it revealed Good's penchant for writing introspective, thoughtful lyrics that were able to speak to people of all ages. — Brian Pascual, Chart writer

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17. CHANGE OF HEART Smile (Cargo) 1992
Recorded live-to-DAT and centred around the theme of environmental degradation, this sprawling, ambitious song cycle was a sublime marriage of turbo-charged rock and artful strategies. Enlisting a coterie of friends, Ian Blurton and company crafted a passionate, dynamic magnum opus that has yet to be surpassed. — Richard Moule, writer, Scene magazine

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16. NEIL YOUNG Rust Never Sleeps (Reprise) 1992
One of Young's most powerful albums with Crazy Horse, Rust Never Sleeps yielded such favourites as "Pocahontas" and "Powderfinger." With his unique voice in full swing and guitars blaring and booming, Rust Never Sleeps has more bite after 20 years than most fluff today. — Keith Carman, punk rocker, Chart writer

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15. DANIEL LANOIS Acadie (Warner) 1989
I was always into Brian Eno and the Apollo album has always been one of my favourite albums to listen to. Recorded, primarily, at Daniel Lanois' original studio in Hamilton, the contribution from Lanois on the Eno album was so evident. Eno's music sounded even more ambient but now with a rich, mesmerizing texture to the music. After a few more years as Eno's protégé and many other recording accomplishments, when the Acadie album came out I was thrilled to hear that same rich, texture to the music but now it had an indigenous feel to it and Daniel's voice was so caressing. The album and the music within reflected a huge nod to Lanois' roots but also to a new style of sound for music in general. — Doug Caldwell, national marketing manager, Virgin Music Canada

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14. MARY MARGARET O'HARA Miss America (Virgin) 1988
Just as you might fear an eccentric by the numbers, "Dear Darling" is so thoroughly torchy that you could imagine her as a late, great country singer. Such a left turn results in an even more dizzying experience. Sadly, the creative process that resulted in this album must have proven so difficult that she didn't care to repeat it. — David Boyle, senior buyer, Virgin Megastore

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The Hip

13. THE TRAGICALLY HIP Day For Night (MCA/Universal) 1994
They were just a rock 'n' roll band before this album. Then, miraculously, the vast distances they had been absorbing for the previous five years merged with the equally limitless vistas of Gord Downie's imagination via a Daniel Lanois-inspired sonic canvas. Songs about dead hockey players had indeed made us feel oddly good about ourselves, but Day For Night got inside the Canadian psyche in a terrifying way that simple nationalistic tall tales never could. The songs remain gloriously impenetrable, but their landscapes feel like home. — Jason Schneider, music journalist, Kitchener-Waterloo Record

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12. NEIL YOUNG After The Gold Rush (Reprise) 1970
After The Gold Rush consisted of folk-country love songs, which consolidated the audience Young has earned through his tours and recordings with CSNY; it's dark, yet hopeful tone matched the tenor of the times, making it the singer-songwriter's magnum opus. Little known 17-year-old Nils Lofgren's piano turned one of the record's few rockers, "Southern Man" (with it's Phil Oaks-inspired lyrics) into a more stately effort than anything on 1969's Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere. Lofgren also gave the album's title track a classic tone, a mystical ballad which featured some of Young's most imaginative lyrics. — Tyson Parker, manager national media & artist relations, Virgin Music Canada

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11. THE BAND The Band (Capitol) 1969
Combining an earthy, Southern, frontier sensibility with unmatched singing, songwriting and instrumental skills, and applying them to a wide range of roots-music styles, The Band hit their stride with this, their best-ever collection of songs — many of which continue to linger and resonate in each generation to this very day. — Howard Druckman, editor,

Next: Numbers 1 to 10

41-50 | 31-40 | 21-30 | 11-20 | 1-10

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