The UK’s Impression of the Top Canadian Rock Artists [Spoiler: There’s a LOT Wrong Here]

A number of concern Canadians passed on this list from Ultimate Classic Rock that purports to list Canada’s Top 10 Rock Artists.  Let’s review:

  1. Neil Young
  2. Rush
  3. The Band
  4. The Guess Who
  5. Joni Mitchell (!?!)
  6. Bachman-Turner Overdrive
  7. Bryan Adams
  8. Loverboy (!!!)
  9. Triumph
  10. April Wine

Okay, take a deep breath.  Keep in mind the source of this list is a magazine that is focused exclusivelyon classic rock.  That means no Arcade Fire, no Broken Social Scene, no Sam Roberts.  And I won’t quibble with Neil Young, Rush, The Band, and The Guess Who.  I’ll even concede Bryan Adams.

Joni Mitchell?  Brilliant, yes, but as a rock artist?  Give her space to Tom Cochrane and/or Red Rider.  Loverboy?  Hardly.  Insert the Tragically Hip in their place. (They’d hate to be lumped in with these other artists, but the band has been around since 1984.)

I was a big fan of Triumph growing up in Winnipeg (so was everyone), but I’d remove them in favour of Sloan.  Yes, Triumph has sold a gazillion more records, but I have a soft spot for the boys from Halifax.  And if not Sloan, Blue Rodeo.

April Wine remains a guilty pleasure for me, but if it came down to a fight between them and Max Webster, I know who I’d choose.




Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ 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.

4 thoughts on “The UK’s Impression of the Top Canadian Rock Artists [Spoiler: There’s a LOT Wrong Here]

  • July 6, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    Thought the list would be way off (like including Hedley or something) but it’s decent. But I think not including Tragically Hip is sort of like the UK not getting the Dave Matthews Band, or Americans not getting Robbie Williams

  • July 7, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    I don’t get Tragically Hip or Dave Matthews Band….or Robbie Williams for that matter.

  • July 7, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    Well, actually, this list is quite correct, given the genre from which it was written – Classic Rock. But it appears that another “hipster” is trying to inject his own precepts and ideologies into a subject that doesn’t allow for that.

    While I agree with Max Webster, NO ONE outside of Canada knows who the Hell you’re talking about, with the exception of your “hipster” friends.

    Bottom line is that you fail, ultimately and completely, with your “hipster” list, which I would suggest keeping to yourself until you find the correct venue for you and your kind – fedora/vest/beard wearing “I think I’m better than you because I know more uber-obscure music than you do” crowd.

    I’m just sayin’… \m/ \m/

    • September 21, 2014 at 11:46 am

      I agree with most of this list….but again it is a personal opinion and everyone would have a different list …….my list would also include Glass Tiger! Cheers…Murray from Brighton, ON


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