Monday, December 04, 2006

The Greatest Canadian Musicians

Last week, I wrote about the 100 top American albums as voted by the listeners of a Pittsburgh radio station. The more I thought of the results, the more frustrated I became since so many artists were missing. Therefore, I decided that I would create my own list of the top 100 American albums of all-time. This idea lasted for maybe 2 minutes when I realized that I didn’t have the time or energy to do this. That’s when I decided to do a list of the Top 25 Canadian musicians. I figured this would be a lot easier.

1. Neil Young
2. Rush
3. Joni Mitchell
4. Barenaked Ladies
5. Celine Dion
6. Shania Twain
7. Alanis Morissette
8. Bryan Adams
9. Paul Anka
10. Guy Lombardo
11. The Guess Who
12. The Band
13. Sarah McLachlan
14. Anne Murray
15. Gordon Lightfoot
16. Nelly Furtado
17. Nickelback
18. Tom Cochrane
19. Avril Lavigne
20. k.d. lang
21. The Tragically Hip
22. Sum 41
23. Michael Buble
24. Diana Krall
25. Corey Hart

Others Receiving Votes: Daniel Powter, Our Lady Peace, Simple Plan, LEN

To me Neil Young was a no-brainer. He has so many hits as a solo artist and as part of groups such as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Buffalo Springfield and Crazy Horse. Maybe equally important is his influence as the "Godfather of Grunge" in the early 1990s on artists such as Pearl Jam and Sonic Youth.

Numbers 4 through 7 was a toss-up. Celine, Shania and Alanis are all similar. They have all had massive albums, multiple hits and extremely successful careers. However, as a matter of personal preference, I just couldn’t put Celine ahead of BNL. (Thanks to my friend Jason for providing me with this moment of clarity.)

Guy Lombardo was the toughest artist to place in the countdown. He could actually be #1 because he and his Royal Canadians sold over 100 million records and his version of "Auld Lang Syne" is played everywhere on New Year’s Eve. After Happy Birthday and possibly a few Christmas songs, Auld Lang Syne may be the most played song of all-time! On the other hand, how many people under the age of 40 have ever heard of Lombardo? Guy Smiley – yes; Guy Lombardo – probably not.

Corey Hart had to make the Top 25 just for "Sunglasses at Night."

I should also note that if there is a recording Mario Lemieux singing the "Stanley Cup Shuffle," he would automatically make the Top 10.

Please feel free to share your thoughts and comments.


Nick said...

Great list. Except for Nickelback. They suck, dude. Where's Leonard Cohen?

Sean said...

You're right on both counts. Leonard Cohen should be on the list. I knew I would miss a Canadian somewhere.

As for Nickelback, they may suck, but they have sold a lot of albums and have been extremely successful. Here's some random Nickelback trivia for you: "How You Remind Me" was only the second song by a Canadian band to be number one on both the Canadian and U.S. rock charts ("American Woman" by the Guess Who is the other).

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of musicians on that list ahead of The Hip. I think they're top five.

Sean said...

I wasn't sure what to do with The Hip. Part of my rankings were determined by how successful the artists did outside of Canada. While I know they are extremely popular in Canada, I don't think they ever crossed over to the U.S. and internationally like artists such as Sarah McLachlan or Nelly Furtado.

Archi said...

Nickelback is actually one of the few pop groups whose songs I enjoy with regularity!

Archi said...

And by that I mean active pop groups on Top 40 radio... Sarah McLachlan, BNL, etc don't count cuz they're not currently hip.

Sean said...

So you're saying that Nickelback is hip?

Anonymous said...

Whoa! Bruce Cockburn's not on the list ???

Anonymous said...

No Matthew Good or Daniel Lanois? Yes to Nickelback? Fail list is fail.

Anonymous said...

>No Oscar Peterson
>No Leonard Cohen
>Implies Nickelback is in any way good


Anonymous said...

Rather surprised that two of the greatest musicians of the 20th century were absent. Both from Montreal, grew up at the same time and were giants of their respective instruments. Winners of many polls, they sold thousands of albums, led groups for well over 40 years and influenced countless players over two to three generations.

Shame on you if you aren't familiar with Oscar Peterson and Maynard Ferguson.