Ongoing History of New Music

The Ongoing History of New Music, episode 834: Revisiting CanRock bands of 90s, Part 1

If you came of age musically in Canada in the 1990s, you’ll remember that it was an extraordinary time. There was this mass embracing of homegrown music. It was part nationalism and part patriotism. But it was also something else.

An entire generation of young people simultaneously said “Canadian music is as good as anything the rest of the world has to offer–and we want more of it.” And we got it.

More acts were signed to the big labels. Radio played their records. MuchMusic ran the videoes. There were tours and festivals. Record stores stacked this new stuff up front. And over a few short years, a new star system emerged.

Some of those 90s stars are still with us: Our Lady Peace, Matthew Good, the Barenaked Ladies, Sloan. They’ve all had fruitful, multi-decade careers that began in either the very late 80s or early 90s.

The Tragically Hip became Canada’s unofficial house band. Alanis Morisette’s Jagged Little Pill became the biggest-selling single album from a woman ever. And let’s not forget that a couple of Big Shiny Tunes compilations–which were very heavy on the Cancon–sold more than a million units just in this country.

But like all eras of music, there was attrition as bands came and went, passing into the realm of memories. That’s the music business. There are some longterm survivors, but most careers are evanescent.

Are these acts gone? Or have they just fallen below the radar? Let’s find out.

Songs on this show:

Age of Electric, Remote Control

The Watchmen, Boneyard Tree

Lowest of the Low, Bleed a Little While Tonight

Sandbox, Curious

Gandharvas, The First Day of Spring

Glueleg, Heroic Doses

Bif Naked, Spaceman

Tea Party, Heaven Coming Down

Need to listen to the playlist? Eric Wilhite has created one for us.

The Ongoing History of New Music can be heard on the following stations:

We’re still looking for more affiliates in Calgary, Kamloops, Kelowna, Regina, Saskatoon, Brandon, Windsor,  Montreal, Charlottetown, Moncton, Fredericton, and St John’s and anywhere else with a transmitter. If you’re in any of those markets and you want the show, lemme know and I’ll see what I can do.

If you ever miss a show, you can always get the podcast edition available through iTunes, Spotify or wherever you get your on-demand audio.

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 38340 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

One thought on “The Ongoing History of New Music, episode 834: Revisiting CanRock bands of 90s, Part 1

  • Don’t forget The Blue Shadows, an amazing band out of BC. They were every bit as good, if not better, than any of the bands already listed. Definitely one of the best CanRock bands of the ’90’s!


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