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“The Playlist” Salutes Boxing Day With The Best In Canadian Music

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zinderfine / flickr

The Holiday Week to wrap up 2011 will reach its climax with New Year’s Eve celebrations across the world.  We have acknowledged Christmas, Hanukkah, even Kwanzaa leading up to 2012, but somehow the holiday in Canada may have somehow slipped by you.  To recognize Boxing Day, we bring you a special edition of “The Playlist” with some of the best that the Great White North has to offer.

In case you missed it, Boxing Day was December 26th and is considered a legal holiday for all Canadians.  Boxing Day has become known as a shopping holiday, much like Black Friday.  For many merchants, Boxing Day has become the day of the year with the greatest revenue in Canada.

Boxing Day has its roots in the UK as the Feast of  St. Stephen (saluting the 1st Christian martyr).  The term Boxing Day was believed to have come from the late Roman/early Christian era; metal boxes placed outside churches were used to collect special offerings tied to the Feast of St. Stephen.

With Canada’s ties to the Commonwealth of Nations, it should not be a shock that the nation to the North of us has picked up many traditions from the United Kingdom and made them their own.  To properly salute Boxing Day, we do not presume to become Canadians fans for hockey or even try to understand the Canadian Football League, and not attempt to see why Canadian bacon is just not ham.

Every Monday we try to bring you another edition of “The Playlist”, but we missed the 26th due to a legal holiday to recognize Xmas, and Monday Jan. 2nd is also a day off for New Year’s Day landing on the weekend.

Killing 2 Mondays with one list, here is the best Canada has to offer musically with 20 songs that fit the Canadian Content rule – songs that are recorded or written by Canadian artists.  We are not repeating artists so this list is subjective – feel free to debate the choices that have been made, but I feel you’ll find this version of “The Playlist” would play well on your iPod:

Sarah McLachlanBuilding A Mystery: #1 in Canada, peaked at #13 here back in ’97, from Halifax in Nova Scotia.  Other Sarah songs you need to find are “Vox” (her 1st ever single back in 1988), “When She Loved Me” (Oscar nominated from Toy Story 2), and “Silence” (#1 Dance hit in 2004 with Delerium).

Our Lady PeaceClumsy: #1 in Canada, Top-10 Rock hit here in 1997, from Toronto.  The band has a new album ready for 2012, a coast-to-coast Canadian tour, and hope for success here in the state’s for the first time since 2002 (“Somewhere Out There” is there biggest charting Pop single in the US).

INXS - Pretty Vegas: The band’s search for a new lead singer on CBS several years back found Ontario native J.D. Fortune.  The show helped regain the band’s relevance with a singer who hauntingly sounded a lot like Michael Hutchense.  J.D. wrote this song which went to #1 in Canada and Top-10 here in 2005.

Michael Buble’Haven’t Met You Yet: Top-10 in 5 countries, peaked at#4 in Canada, and was a Top-25 hit here for the British Columbia native who has won 3 Grammys and multiple Juno Awards ( the Canadian equivalent of a Grammy).  His version of “Feeling Good” is worth recognizing here.

Stars on 54If You Could Read My Mind: Yes this is the Gordon Lightfoot hit from 1970 (#1 in Canada and US), but this dance version brought new life to this song written by the Canadian born Lightfoot.  The 1998 cover was used for the movie 54 and featured Amber, Jocelyn Enriquez, and Ultra Nate on vocals.  The song went to #3 in Canada and became a #1 Dance hit here.

Bryan AdamsRun To You: Hard to pick one song from the rocker who grew up around Toronto, but in 1984 Adams reached #4 in Canada with this hit and #6 here.  “Heaven” was a #1 US smash but did not even crack the Top-10 in Canada.  Adams has had 8 #1 hits in Canada, and 4 in the US, but we salute his very first success.

Tal BachmanShe’s So High: A one-hit wonder from Winnipeg who is the son of Randy Bachman (from the 70s bands The Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive).  Tal’s 19999 hit was #3 in Canada and a Top-15 success in the U.S.

Nelly FurtadoSay It Right: Born in the Vancouver suburbs, her debut single in 2000 was the #1 song of the year in Canada (“I’m Like A Bird” – peaked at #9 in the U.S.), but “Say It Right” went #1 in 5 countries in 2007 including here, but only reached #5 in Canada (Go Figure).

NickelbackHow You Remind Me: One of the most dominant rock bands of the last decade, and yet the band from Alberta’s biggest hit is still their first from 2001 (Top-5 in 12 countries, #1 in Canada, U.S. and 3 other countries).

Corey HartNever Surrender: Not to be confused with the All-Star outfielder from the Milwaukee Brewers, the Montreal native was a 2-hit wonder in the U.S., but he 3 #1 singes and a pair of #2 singles in Canada between 1985-1990.  “Sunglasses At Night” was a Top-10 hit here, but only made it to #24 in Canada.  “Never Surrender” was #3 in the U.S. and #1 in Canada (the biggest hit of his career).  Hart did reach the U.S. Top-40 chart 7 more times but never came back to his peak in 1985.

Alannah Myles - Black Velvet: All over the radio in 1989, the one hit from this Toronto girl was a #1 hit and the most played song in the U.S. that year.  Myles won a Grammy in 1990 for “Black Velvet” and then disappeared.  Myles did go to #1 in Canada but not for “Black Velvet” (she was #2 for that song – #1 in 1992 in Canada for “Song Instead Of A Kiss”)

Aldo Nova - Fantasy: The Montreal rocker  scored a Top-10 hit in the U.S. and a Top-15 hit in Canada with this 1982 release (his only hit in both countries).

Toni BraxtonUn-Break My Heart: Let’s ignore her reality show and remember her biggest hit of her career in 1996.  Produced by Canadian songwriter David Foster, this hit was a Top-2 smash in 10 countries (#1 in the U.S. and #2 in Canada).

Jeff Healy BandAngel Eyes: The house band in the Patrick Swayze classic Roadhouse, the band from Toronto went to #5 in 1988 for it’s U.S. success that made you forget that Jeff was blind.  Healy was an amazing guitarist who we lost too soon a few years ago (fought cancer bravely for over 2 years before passing away in 2008 – he was only 41).

Shania TwainThat Dont’ Impress Me Much: The Windsor native crossed over from the Country charts and began the movement of Pop/Country hybrid that dominates radio today.  Her 1998 hit is the biggest worldwide having gone Top-10 in ten countries.  Shania has only #1 hit in her home of Canada, and it is not this song (“God Bless The Child” in ’96), plus this song was not even a #1 country hit in the U.S. for Shania (and she’s gone to the top 7 times).

Theory Of A DeadmanNot Meant To Be: The Canadian discovery of Chad Kroeger from Nickelback, the band has had two #1 Rock hits in the U.S. and a #1 Canadian Pop hit in 2002 (“No Surprise”, which was a Top-10 Rock hit here).  “Not Meant To Be” is the band’s biggest Pop hit here in the states.

DefaultWasting My Time: The Vancouver rockers have been huge in Canada with 11 Top-10 Rock hits (3 which have reached #1).  Their 2001 single peaked at #13 on the U.S. charts, making them a “One Hit Wonder” here.

Sum 41 - Fat Lip: A #1 U.S. Alternative hit for the Ontario based Punk/Pop group.  They do have 3 top-10 Pop hits in Canada, but this is their most known song down here.

Barenaked Ladies - One Week: One of the best live bands out there, the Toronto area bank has had 7 Top-10 hits in Canada.  “One Week” revealed the secret many people already knew – these guys are that damn good!  #1 in the U.S. in 1998, BNL had their biggest success worldwide with this hit.

Alanis MorissetteIronic: 6 #1 hits in her home country, 5 other singles reach the Top-10, and picking only one from this lady is almost impossible.  “Uninvited” is haunting, “Thank U” was underrated, but “Ironic” was her biggest hit in the U.S. based on the strength of her creative video.  Alanis does not have to record another song again as she has left an undying legacy.  Her acting career continues to flourish with a 2 season arc on Weeds of recent note.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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