from Harvey Dog’s Carnival – Oct. 24th, 2007
Top 100 Canadian Albums — roundtable discussion
Bob Mersereau has compiled a list of the Top 100 Canadian albums by asking over 600 critics, DJ’s and musicians to submit their 10 fav Canadian albums of all-time. So I asked my friends Randy Rockhead, Clara Countrified, and Nathan Newshit for their opinions on the list – since lists are a blast. Click here to get the list.
Me: Welcome Randy, Clara, and Nathan to our discussion of Canada’s Top 100 albums…of all-time, dudes!!!
Countrified: It’s nice to see Neil’s Harvest made #1, but other than that it’s like country music in Canada doesn’t exist.
Rockhead: It doesn’t.
Me: Now be nice.
Newshit: Obviously this list was done by a bunch of old shits who can’t comprehend anything new!
Me: ok, ok…let’s start with the top 10. Any surprises?
Rockhead: I could think of 20 albums by Neil that are better than the so-so “Harvest”…and Joni’s over-rated.
Newshit: No Rockhead – they’re just old.
Me: I’m glad The Guess Who snuck into the top 10.
Rockhead: What the fuck are The Arcade Fire doing there??? I like the Pursuit of Happiness better!!
Me: I agree dude.
Newshit: A little too new for you guys?
Rockhead: No dipshit, just a little too lame for me.
Countrified: I’m bumming…where’s Terri Clark? Why’s Shania so low on the list – isn’t it one of the biggest selling albums of all-time?
Me: Sales have nothing to do with it.
Countrified: That’s stupid.
Rockhead: I like “Up to Here” [#15] much better than “Fully Completely” [#5] which is where I think The Hip – who I like – started to repeat themselves.
Newshit: You know there’s only 1 album from the 21st century that actually made the top 20.
Me: Yes, that is true. Maybe albums take some time to simmer before we can really determine if it’s an all-time classic.
Newshit: No, I think there probably wasn’t anyone under 25 who was asked to vote.
Me: I’m not sure Newshit.
Rockhead: Who really likes or listens to Bryan Adams anyway. [note: #12 – “Reckless”]
Me: Hey – let’s hear what you guys would choose as #1.
Rockhead: I accept Neil – but, I would choose “Tonight’s the Night” [note: #30] or “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere” [note: #16]
Countrified: I’ll accept Harvest – hey, why’s there no Anne Murray?? I love that Snowbird song!
Newshit: I think “Funeral” should have been #1. It’s certainly the most relevant Canadian album on the music scene today. Just ask Bowie, David Byrne, and Rufus Wainwright.
Me: I would have picked Neil – but, I’d go for a comprehensive overview of his classic period. So, I’d choose “Decade”. [note: #31]. Hey – no Headstones! Or Forgotten Rebels!! Opinions?
Rockhead: Yes, Headstones “Picture of Health” or “Teeth and Tissue” should have been there.
Newshit: Yep – you see? No Headstones. Probably a little too new for wheelchair-bound critics.
Rockhead: At least Celine and Avril didn’t make it.
Newshit: Now, I don’t like Avril or Celine myself, but that just seems snobby not to include them.
Countrified: I’m glad Stompin’ Tom made it. [note: #82] No Paul Brandt either. Where’s Scotty Campbell?
Me: Apparently there’s no jazz in this country except for Oscar Peterson. [note: #45]
Rockhead: Praise the Lord!!
Countrified: Oh, I see Stan Rogers made it. [note: #54] That’s nice.
Rockhead: You know, I think these lists should be separated into particular genres.
Countrified: Not a bad idea. How can you compare Shania with Rush?
Me: I think part of the fun is seeing what genres are emphasized and which are ignored. There’s only 1 classical album on the list. [note: Glenn Gould #53] This tells you which genres are popular and which aren’t. If you’re an experimental musician, this list could be disheartening. Or a jazz or classical musician.
Newshit: I think lists like this just tell you how old the critics are.
Me: Well, they did ask djs and musicians as well. Probably as good a representation as you could get.
Rockhead: How about asking the fans?
Me: But then you’ll most likely get albums based on sales.
Countrified: If more people like an album…doesn’t that make it a better album. I mean, if an album doesn’t sell, how good can it be?
Rockhead: Promotion baby, promotion.
Me: True. Then it becomes which record label has the most money.
Newshit: Don’t forget reputation…
Me: Hey, lists are fun. You can’t take it seriously, or base your listening pleasures on a list. I use lists as a way to explore new or unfamiliar artists. I see Roy Hynes [#94], Thrush Hermit [#85], Harmonium [#77, #56 & #49] and The Weakerthans [#75] as musicians to further explore. Especially Harmonium…how could they pass underneath my radar?
Newshit: I say it’s a way to explore old musicians, but there ain’t a lot of new ones here to explore.
Rockhead: Hey – not true. How about The Constantine’s. I’ve seen em live and they rocked. Now I’m reminded of them and should look into their albums.
Countrified: I’d like to see an all Canadian country list. Too much “rock” bias in the press.
Rockhead: Most of what the press likes ain’t rock sweetheart.
Newshit: And it sure ain’t new, either.
Me: Now, let’s stop the press bashing. I think this list was really cool and Bob Mersereau deserves credit for getting us discussing great Canadian music – more fun than talking about current “issues” or politics.
Rockhead: Amen, brother.
Me: Harvey Dog signing off. Check out Bob’s book – at least check out his blog. Good night, Canada, wherever you are.
Notes & Hindsight
- I was looking to add a post from the old blog to the website when I stumbled upon this one. It was silly enough to persuade me to bring it back to life.
- I still have Bob Mersereau’s book! Great read! I believe I received my copy from The Mole!? Thanks Bruce!