Sunday 10 May 2015

Book ~ "The History of Canadian Rock 'n' Roll" (2015) Bob Mersereau

From Goodreads ~ Rock and roll was born in the United States during the 1950s. Its popularity rapidly grew, spreading across the Atlantic to England. The Brits transformed rock, bringing it back to the States in a new form with the British Invasion. Since that time, the two countries have dominated headlines and histories, in terms of rock music. 

What's often forgotten in these histories is the evolution of Canadian rock and roll during the same period. Over the years, a huge contingent of Canadian artists has made invaluable contributions to rock and roll. The list of innovative Canadian artists is quite impressive: Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Paul Anka, Arcade Fire, The Band, Bryan Adams, Rush, Leonard Cohen, Celine Dion, Diana Krall, Gordon Lightfoot, Sarah McLachlan, Alanis Morissette, Tegan and Sara, Feist, Nickelback, and many others, not to mention the all-star producers, such as Daniel Lanois (U2, Bob Dylan, Peter Gabriel), Bob Rock (Metallica, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi), Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper, Kiss), and David Foster (Michael Jackson, Celine Dion). 

The history of Canadian rock and roll is a lively, entertaining and largely untold tale. Bob Mersereau presents a streamlined, informative trip through the country's rich history and depth of talent, from the 1950s to today, covering such topics as: Toronto's club scene, the folk rock and psychedelic rock of the 1960s, Canadian artists who hit major stardom in the United States, the challenges and reform of the Canadian broadcasting system, the huge hits of the 1970s, Canadian artists' presence all over the pop charts in the 1990s, and Canada's indie-rock renaissance of the 2000s.

I'm a fan of music and Canada.  I've read and enjoyed two other books by this author.

The book starts with a quiz ... not surprisingly the answers all have a Canadian connection.

The first group mentioned in the book are Toronto's The Four Lads (they scored back-to-back hits in 1955 with Moments to Remember and No Not Much).  From there, the history of rock 'n roll in Canada is revealed.

The contents include:
  1. Moments to remember - Canada's first rock 'n roll hits
  2. Four strong winds - Canada blows into folk and rock worlds in the early 60s
  3. Shakin' all over - the whole country joins in the rock 'n roll scene of the mid-60s
  4. Ugly ducklings - Yorkville Village booms and Canada's future rock stars congregate
  5. Urge for going - Canadian talent makes an exodus to the U.S.
  6. Helpless - Canadian musicians feel unloved at home in the late 60s
  7. Signs - Canada's hit-making machines revs up in the early 70s
  8. Not fragile - Canada's rockers in the 70s
  9. Rockin' in the free world - new wave, CanRock and the video era
  10. Canadiana - Canadian group lead the roots revival
  11. You oughta know - Canadian's set world records in the 90s
  12. Hallelujah - a feisty new crop of talent for the 2000s

There were some bands I like, some I haven't heard about in a long time and some I've never heard of, The book talked about their beginnings in Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg and the east coast, and how many had to head to the U.S. to get their big breaks.

If you are a fan of Canadian bands and singers such as Barenaked Ladies, Drake, Arcade Fire, Justin Bieber, Rush, Anvil, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Loverboy, Celine Dion, Shania Twain, Crowbar, Lighthouse, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Guess Who, The Band, Anne Murray, Chilliwack and many more, you should read this book!

1 comment:

John Mutford said...

Definitely a book that would be up my alley. I'm curious on the latter chapters. Rock everywhere seems to less relevant than it was, so I'd like to read his take on that.