Where Classic Rock Lives...Barely!!!

 

 

The British Invasion, The second and third waves of the British Invasion. The California Surf Rock scene. San Fran's psychedelic scene, New York's Punk Rock Era, LA's Glam Metal days, Seattle's Grunge, There are dozens of influential music scenes that have shaped rock music over the course of history, but what about "The Early 80's Canadian Power Rock/Pop Scene"?

 

Ummm, the what? You are probably asking yourself. You mean you've never heard of it? Well that's because I just coined the phrase, but that doesn't mean it didn't exist. Oh, it existed and I plan on shinning the light on this music era that was as sweet as Canadian maple syrup. So grab a Molson and get your mullet ready to rock. Eh.

So what makes a music scene? Well some bands would help and a common geographical region. A certain musical sound and maybe a look and of course you need that one giant breakthrough band that shines the light on this so called scene and bang, you got yourself one.
 
Now we are not talking about Rush, Triumph or Gordon Lightfoot. We are talking about a specific time, the early 80's. A specific sound, power rock/pop. Heavy keyboards, driving guitar, ridiculous looking outfits and hair, plus some of the most absurd videos in MTV's history. So let's begin our journey to the great north.
 
Up first Aldo Nova, in 1981 this Montreal native scored big with his debut album "Aldo Nova" which sold two million copies, thanks to his big rock hit "Fantasy". Which went as high as number 3 on the Billboard charts. But after that record Aldo pretty much fell off the earth, reappearing as a songwriter for Celine Dion in the 90's, all things considered Aldo didn't do too bad for himself.
 

Next up is Saga, hailing from Oakville, Ontario. The prog rock bands fourth album 1981's "Worlds Apart" was there breakthrough record. Spawning the MTV hit "On The Loose" as well as "Wind Him Up". The band won a Juno award in 1982, the Canadian Grammy and Worlds Apart was certified Gold.

 

Their next album barely made a dent in the US charts and Saga faded away into memory. They still released records but by the 90's Canadians weren't even buying them. However the Germans were, as every album the band has released has charted there. But don't forget these are the same people that bought David Hasseloff's records.

 
Red Rider is definitely not a household name in the U.S. and they have not sold a lot of records here but this Toronto based band has one of the most played songs in history of rock radio. 1981's "Lunatic Fringe" is played in heavy rotation on just about every classic rock station on earth. Even if you said you've never heard of it, trust me you have.  Lead singer Tom Chocarane did break out on his own and had a massive MTV hit "Life Is A Highway"
 
Now up is Honeymoon Suite, hailing from Niagara Falls, Ontario. The band chose the name as a nod to Niagara Falls being a honeymoon destination. Their big break came in 1984 with their single "New Girl Now" from their self titled debut album, which peaked at #57 on Billboard.
Their next album 1986's "The Big Prize" featured an even bigger hit "Feel It Again" which climbed as high as #37 and featured one of the most cheestastic videos ever. But sadly Honeymoon Suite really never caught on big in the U.S. and selling far less albums than both Saga and Aldo Nova. They did continue to release records and tour in Canada in the 90's and 00's.
 
Now the key ingredient to any music scene, is the one successful band, that sells so many records that it then shines the light on that entire scene and you have the trickle down effect. After Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains and Soundgarden all broke in the early 90's, All you had to do was wear a flannel shirt and say you were from Seattle and you got a record deal.
 
 
So who is that key ingredient in the Early 80's Canadian Power Rock/Pop scene? Well they have sold over 15 Million records, written a rock anthem, (try writing one of those, next to impossible) and have maybe the worst name in the history of rock music, hailing from Calgary, I bring you Loverboy.
Their 1980 self titled debut album was a monster, selling over 700,000 albums in Canada alone. Are there even that many people up there? The album went double platinum in the U.S. spawning the rock radio staples "The Kid Is Hot Tonite" and "Turn Me Loose".
The follow up album was an even bigger smash, 1981's "Get Lucky" sold 4 Million copies in the U.S. alone. With hits like "When It's Over" and the ultimate party anthem "Working For The Weekend".
 
 
 
They released their third album in 1983's "Keep It Up", which went double platinum, with the minor hit "Hot Girls In Love". 1985 saw "Lovin Every Minute Of It" which also went double platinum and featured some more minor hits, the title track and "This Could Be The Night". However the Loverboy magic faded, they released their last album in 1987 "Notorious" which was a flop and then they pretty much packed it in.
 
Now the flip side to the rock scene was the pop one. Yes Canada also had huge pop success in the early 80's. He released his first album "First Offense" in 1983, which included the monster hit "Sunglasses At Night", he is Corey Hart.

 He would wind up selling 15 million records worldwide before his career would flame out as quickly as it rose. His second album "Boy In The Box" would be only the second ever million selling record in Canada and produce the smash hit "Never Surrender"

 
Up next, the glam pop Glass Tiger whose 1986 debut album featured the huge hits "Don't Forget Me When I'm Gone" and "Someday" and whose wardrobe i literally had in the 80's. Unfortunately after their first album they went the way of the Montreal Expos, which would be non existent.
 
Lastly we have Frozen Ghost,  the band formed in 1987 in Toronto,  these guys had a minor hit in the U..S. "Should I See" from their self titled debut. Then i guess they froze their asses off in Canada, because no one here heard from them again. 

Oh Canada indeed. So I rest my case for the inclusion of The Early 80's Canadian Power Rock/Pop Scene as a real and credible musical scene and if all this awesomeness doesn't prove that the Early 80's In Canada wasn't a smoking cool music scene then you obviously have your mullet up your ass. Because The Early 80's Canadian Power Rock/Pop Scene was real and it was real cool. Eh.