Checkout the below listed latest and best top 10 best Canadian songs of all time 2017, Canada is known for its country, its wheatfields, and sometimes its intense cold. But did you know that it is also known for its music? From the earliest days of rock and roll–with the Crewcuts–to the present–with Magic singing “Rude–Canadians have had influence both on the American charts and around the world. The artists are underappreciated, but good in their own right. This post looks at ten such artists, and the songs that made them famous.
- 10. Taking Care of Business–Bachman Turner Overdrive
- 9. The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald–Gordon Lightfoot
- 8. Sitting’ On a Poor Man’s Throne–Copper Penny
- 7. Shakin’ All Over–Chad Allan and The Guess Who
- 6. Suzanne–Leonard Cohen
- 5. Silver Bird by harmonica
- 4. Don’t Forget Me–Glass Tiger
- 3. (Everything I Do) I Do It For You–Bryan Adams
- 2. Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman–Bryan Adams
- 1. These Eyes–The Guess Who
Here we present the list of top 10 best Canadian songs of all time 2017.
10. Taking Care of Business–Bachman Turner Overdrive
The song came out in 1974, and it’s a classic. It features Randy Bachman on lead vocals and guitar, and his good friend and former bandmate Burton Cummings on piano. It has been used on TV commercials, and has been regarded as the classic “Return to Work” song. It’s a hard-driving rock song about our daily jobs, having a good time at work, and enjoying what you do. The job is music. Bachman is writing about what he does best–singing and playing the guitar, and enjoying doing it for a living. The song reached #2 that summer.
9. The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald–Gordon Lightfoot
This song is by the king of Canadian folk songs, Mr. Gordon Lightfoot. It was born out of a horrific tragedy. On Sunday, November 9, 1975, the ship bearing the name of the Edmund Fitzgerald sank into Lake Superior, killing all 29 people aboard. This gave Lightfoot the inspiration he needed to write the 1976 hit. He took a sad event such as this and turned it into a big hit, reaching #2 here in the United States, according to Billboard Magazine. It hit #1 in Canada, and will always be remembered as one of the big hits of the United States bicentennial year.
8. Sitting’ On a Poor Man’s Throne–Copper Penny
This song qualifies as blue-eyed soul. When it was recorded in 1973, it was cut in Detroit, a city known for its soul music. The band is Copper Penny. It is about a man who becomes interested in a young lady, and doesn’t want her to know where he lives, or what his neighborhood is like. He feels outclassed by her. How can he call her? He doesn’t even have a telephone.
Disappointingly enough, the song did not even chart here in the United States. It should have. It received lots of airplay on Canadian stations that are heard in America, the main one being Windsor/Detroit’s CKLW, at the time the Big Eight. In fact, if you listen to an aircheck by the deejay Pat Holiday, for Monday, August 6, 1973, that is one of the songs Holiday plays.
This song goes to show you that some of the best songs to grace our airways never saw chart action.
7. Shakin’ All Over–Chad Allan and The Guess Who
In the days before Burton Cummings took over as lead vocalist of the Canadian band, a bespectacled young man by the name of Chad Allan assumed that role. This was the Guess Who’s first big hit. It was a cover song that they took from Johnny Kidd and the Pirates, from the early ’60s. The year was 1965, and though Allan left not long after this song became a hit, it is remembered to be the song that put the band that became the closest thing to the Canadian Beatles on the map. Radio stations both in Canada and America both play the song at times.
6. Suzanne–Leonard Cohen
We lost Mr. Cohen recently. He was one of the great folksingers of Canada of his day, and he performed until the time of his death, placing a song in Billboard’s Hot 100 charts just recently, with a song called “Hallelujah.” He is perhaps best known for his hit “Suzanne,” most famously covered by another Canadian, Tom Northcott, in 1971. He will be remembered as perhaps the most famous Canadian folksinger besides Gordon Lightfoot, mentioned at #9.
He died after a fall on Monday, November 7, 2016, at age 82.
5. Silver Bird by harmonica
In this country-rock song, you sense a sadness. It seems to be a song about how in our busyness (sic) we don’t stop and smell the roses. We don’t notice things like “the pretty waitress as she passes by.” or getting “another cup of coffee before we run.” The song has a soothing quality to it. It opens with a harmonica solo, and Cummings’s mournful vocals.
In 1969, when this song was originally recorded, it didn’t enjoy much airplay–until 1976, by which time the group had broken up, and Cummings and Bachman had gone their separate ways. This, indeed, exhibits this songwriting team’s talent, placing them on the map as arguably the Lennon-McCartney of Canada.
4. Don’t Forget Me–Glass Tiger
The band name Glass Tiger probably doesn’t ring a bell at all. But if I mentioned the name of one of the backing vocalists, who shared the lead vocal with the band’s lead singer, Allan Frew, you would know exactly the person about whom I was talking. The one and only Bryan Adams sings backup on this song, which in the US hit #2 in the fall of 1986. They had another big hit soon after this one–“Someday”–but “Don’t Forget Me” will be the song for which the group is remembered. Although not as famous, the band still performs today.
3. (Everything I Do) I Do It For You–Bryan Adams
This song hit #1 in the United States, and became the #1 song of all time at the time. According to Wikipedia, it stayed in that spot for 7 weeks during the summer of 1991, becoming the longest running #1 song of the time, since Police’s 1983 hit song, “Every Breath You Take.”
The song was written as the soundtrack for the movie “Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves.” It still remains the Canadian rock singer-guitarist’s #1 song of his entire career.
David Duke tried to co-opt his song during his presidential run, to which Bryan Adams refused to alllow it. He sent a note to Duke’s headquarters to please stop using the song in his campaign for the US presidency, and asked radio stations to stop playing the song until after the American election of November 3, 1992 to avoid causing Americans to vote for the man, because they identify so deeply with the song.
Duke is a former member of the Ku Klux Klan who was running for President that year.
All that aside, the song won several Grammys for best song written specifically for a film, and was nominated for an Academy but lost.
2. Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman–Bryan Adams
The song at #2 is also by Bryan Adams. It is also a movie soundtrack, from Don Juan DeMarco, and it went #1 in several different countries, including the US, according to Wikipedia. According to Billboard, it ended up as America’s #16 song for all of 1995. Like the other big hit of the 1990’s by Bryan Adams referenced above, it was written by Adams himself, Michael Kamen and Mutt Lange, who by the way, was at one time married to Canadian singer Shania Twain.
1. These Eyes–The Guess Who
This song never hit #1 in the States, but it deserved to. Here was an innocent–yet sad–song on young unrequited love–or love that was abused. The crying is due to the hurt incurred during the breakup. This was another good song from the files of Cummings and Bachman. It is a song that uses elements of R & B, like the electronic keyboard and the clipped electric guitar crunch that occurs as a motif in the song, popularized by Motown. Cummings’s lone lead vocal plus Bachman’s electric guitar crunch gives the song a soulful, yet haunting sound. It gives the feeling of one being alone at night, in a dark place, yet unable to sleep. The string and horn section on the song intensifies this haunting late at night quality the song possesses. Indeed, this is the song that put the Guess Who on the map in the US, and made the group the Canadian Beatles, in the eyes of this writer.
Canadians have–and will continue to–contribute a rich variety of music to the airwaves. This has been just a sample of the talent coming out of that part of the world. Their music represents a standard of excellence that has enriched American culture, as well as that of radio and the world of video as well.