This article is a tribute to Canadian music and proof that there is a lot of quality music that comes from Canada. The chart was inspired by the book “The Top 100 Canadian Albums” by Bob Mersereau, published in 2007 by Goose Lane Editions. The book assembled a collection of over 600 expert opinions about which 10 albums released between 1957 and 2007 are the best. I am offering you an additional list that was compiled by neither a professional musician nor a music journalist, but I hope you will enjoy it anyway.
No.1: Harvest by Neil Young
This folk rock album was released on February 14, 1972 as the fourth Neil Young solo album. “Harvest” contained “Old Man” and “Heart of Gold,” two hits that placed very highly on Billboard’s Hot 100. Harvest itself stayed on the top of Billboard’S 200 for over two weeks. What makes the album even more special is the fact that it features the London Symphony Orchestra.
Joni Mitchell Blue
No.2: Blue by Joni Mitchell
It looks like the number four could be related to great albums. Blue, Mitchell’s fourth album, released on June 22, 1971, made a breakthrough to UK Album Charts, placing third. Its international popularity continued, and in 2000, the New York Times wrote that Blue was “one of the 25 albums that represented turning points and pinnacles in 20th-century popular music.” It was given the honour of the Grammy Hall of Fame Award.
No.3: The Band by The Band
There are many disputes over what style this second The Band album was recorded in. Hopefully, nobody will be offended if I say that The Band, released on September 22, 1969, is a shining example of Roots rock. You might hear it referred to as “The Brown Album,” in reference to The White Album by the Beatles.
No.4: American Woman by The Guess Who
The Guess Who were not new to the music industry when they released American Woman in January 1970, but the success they achieved with this album was surprising even for them. The album stayed on the Billboard Pop Albums charts for more than a year! American Woman was remastered in 2000.
No.5: Songs of Leonard Cohen by Leonard Cohen
Songs of Leonard Cohen, fully released in February 1968, experienced vast success, mainly in Europe. It stayed in the first part of the UK album charts for nearly a year and listed at number thirteen in 1989. The album is believed to foreshadow Cohen’s future career. It is seen as a Cohen’s answer to the psychedelic style, which was popular at the time it was released.
No.6: Reckless by Bryan Adams
Another fourth album, released on October 29, 1984 by A&M Records. It was the album that Adams himself considered his most successful. More than 5 million copies were sold in the United States alone, and more than one million on Canadian markets. More than 13 million copies have been sold to date.
No.7: Whale Music by Rheostatics
The album was released in 1992. In 2005, the band released a download-only album from the concert called The Whale Music Concert, 199, published by Zunior records. Many people confuse the original title with a soundtrack the band recorded to the film Whale Music, released in 1994.
No.8: Fully Completely by The Tragically Hip
On October 6, 1992, The Tragically Hip released their third album, and it rapidly climbed the charts. It listed at number one on the RPM Top 100 albums chart and, in 2007, it was certified Diamond in Canada.
No.9: Music from Big Pink by The Band
This album, released on July 1, 1968, contains the most famous The Band song, “The Weight.” The name of the album comes from the name of the band member’s house, called “Big Pink,” in upstate New York. This debut album originated in co-performances with Bob Dylan on his 1966 tour. (They performed as The Hawks.)
No.10: Funeral by Arcade Fire
Once again a debut album, released on September 14, 2004. This album got its name from the loss of several of this indie rock band members’ family members in 2003 and 2004. It was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2005. It produced a surprisingly high number of singles, with “Rebellion (Lies)” being the most distinctive.
What is your personal list of the Top 10 Canadian Albums (1957-2007)?