Music History

Are These the Biggest and Best Canadian Songs, Albums, Bands and Singers of All Time?

There have been all kinds of Canada 150 lists in recent days, including this one from Nielsen and the CBC which purports to offer the biggest and best Canadian songs of all time. Musicians, artists, actors and writers from around the world were asked to name the Canadian albums that meant the most to them. When the votes were tallied, this was the result.

  1. Harvest – Neil Young
  2. The Goldberg Variations – Glenn Gould
  3. Blue – Joni Mitchell
  4. Funeral – Arcade Fire
  5. Night Train – Oscar Peterson
  6. The Band – The Band
  7. Twice Removed – Sloan
  8. Quatre saisons dans le desordre – Daniel Belanger
  9. Songs of Leonard Cohen – Leonard Cohen
  10. Ingenue – k.d. lang
  11. Sundown – Gordon Lightfoot
  12. Jagged Little Pill – Alanis Morissette
  13. Fully Completely – The Tragically Hip
  14. Holst: The Planets – Orchestra Symphonique de Montreal and Charles Dutoit
  15. Five Days in July – Blue Rodeo
  16. Let It Die – Feist
  17. 2112 – Rush
  18. After the Gold Rush – Neil Young
  19. You Forgot It in People – Social Scene
  20. Fumbling Towards Ecstacy – Sarah McLachlan

The full Top 100 list can be found here.

Moving on to individual songs, we have this:

  1. Both Sides Now – Joni Mitchell
  2. Helpless – Neil Young
  3. Wheat Kings – Tragically Hip
  4. The Weight – The Band
  5. Wake Up – Arcade Fire
  6. American Woman – Guess Who
  7. Tom Sawyer – Rush
  8. Suzanne – Leonard Cohen
  9. Mushaboom – Feist
  10. Let the Backbone Slide – Maestro Fresh Wes
  11. Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen
  12. Summer of ’69 – Bryan Adams
  13. Four Strong Winds – Ian & Sylvia
  14. Universal Soldier – Buffy Sainte-Marie
  15. Lovers in a Dangerous Time – Bruce Cockburn
  16. Lost Together – Blue Rodeo
  17. Sundown – Gordon Lightfoot
  18. Coax Me – Sloan
  19. Needle and the Damage Done – Neil Young
  20. Constant Craving – k.d. lang

For everything else, go here.

What about best bands and individual artists? Glad you asked.

  1. Arcade Fire
  2. The Band
  3. Rush
  4. Sloan
  5. The Tragically Hip
  6. Tegan and Sara
  7. Rascalz
  8. Harmonium
  9. A Tribe Called Red
  10. New Pornographers


  1. k.d. lang
  2. Maureen Forrester
  3. Burton Cummings
  4. Joni Mitchell
  5. Feist
  6. Celine Dion
  7. The Weeknd
  8. Sarah McLachlan
  9. Rufus Wainwright
  10. Anne Murray

Still need more lists from this survey? Go to VVN for a nice summary.



Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38031 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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