Monday, September 5, 2011

Marc Jordan

Another Canadian talent. You may not know his name, but you have probably heard his music. Marc Jordan (born 1947), is a Canadian singer-songwriter, record producer, session musician, and actor. Covering a wide variety of genres, he has written songs for a number of well-known artists, including Diana Ross, Rod Stewart, Cher, Bette Midler, and Josh Groban. He was named best producer with Steven MacKinnon at the Juno Awards in 1994 for "Waiting For A Miracle" from Reckless Valentine. He wrote and performed the songs "Marina Del Ray" and "Survival" and wrote a huge hit for Rod Stewart, "Rhythm of My Heart". He is currently touring with Lunch At Allen's, which includes Ian Thomas, Murray McLauchlan, and Cindy Church.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Aldo Nova

Aldo Nova is a Canadian guitarist, producer, singer born in Montreal. Aldo gained fame in 1981 with his self-titled debut album, which contained the single "Fantasy" which reached #23 on Billboard. It had two singles: "Fantasy" and "Foolin' Yourself". "Fantasy" made him what some would call a one hit wonder. His next album, Subject...Aldo Nova had a minor hit with "Monkey on Your Back," but his solo career flagged and he became a player and songwriter for other bands. He worked with Jon Bon Jovi in both the early and late 1980s and produced some early CĂ©line Dion albums. Nova co-wrote the hit song "A New Day Has Come" for Dion and has been featured playing guitar, synthesizer, and percussion on her records. He also wrote her Your Light and I Can't Fight The Feelin'. He helped write and produce parts of Chantal Condor's 1989 album, Chantal. In 1991, Nova sought the help of Bon Jovi to revive his solo career on his release Blood on the Bricks, but it still only managed to chart at number 124.

As a songwriter, Nova's recent hits include Clay Aiken's "This is the Night" (co-written with Chris Braide and Gary Burr), which in the US was a number one hit and the best selling single of 2003. Some would call him the Canadian Bon Jovi, he had some great music back in the day. It's a shame he didn't get more airplay, I think he could have been as big as anything.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Ray Lyell

A Canadian musician and songwriter from Hamilton. Ray became popular in the late 1980's with his band The Storm. Ray Lyell and The Storm released their first album in 1989 and scored a Top Ten hit with the song Another Man's Gun. Their second single Carry Me, was a Top 40 hit. In 1990, Ray was nominated for a Juno Award for Most Promising Male Vocalist. 1992 saw Ray Lyell in a legal conflict in the U.S. and he was forced to sell the rights to the name "The Storm". Ray's next album was called Desert Winds but was released under his own name even though he still performed with "The Storm". The first single from the album was Gypsy Wind. In 1996, Ray studied and became a vocal coach which he continues to do today, as well as teach, write and record from his studio, Rayne Records. He is a great singer and one of my favourite performers. I think he should of got a lot more recognition.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Happy Birthday Geddy Lee!!

Today is Geddy Lee's birthday. The front man and bass player extraordinaire for Rush is 57. Holy crap I didn't realize he was that age. Anyway, Happy Birthday Geddy!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Boys Brigade

Formed in 1981 in Toronto where they began as a pick-up act doing speak easies and underground clubs before debuting on Queen Street. Early exposure with their song "Mannequin" on Q107's annual Homegrown contest/album led to exposure on Toronto radio.

Toronto band Rush's light designer, Howard Ungerleider, took the band on as manager thereby putting them in direct contact with Rush's label, Anthem. Rush bassist, Geddy Lee, took an interest in the band and subsequently produced their debut album in 1983. The album spawned two hit singles "Melody" and "The Passion Of Love".

Critics predicted a long life, but the band's size (6 members), and personal conflicts led to the band's demise.Lead vocalist Malcolm Burn would go on to a critically acclaimed solo career and would become a world famous engineer and producer in his own right originally under the tutelage of Daniel Lanois.

Eye Eye

Andy Ryan and Bill Wood were originally in a Toronto band called "The Oh Nos" and after it split, Wood joined Billy Club while Ryan hooked up with Caporal as Eye Eye in 1983 as a duo. After record companies started showing interest in their tunes, Eye Eye added Bell on vocals and Ruston to form a legitimate band.

They won the annual Q107 Homegrown contest in 1984. Coincidently Bill Wood's band Billy Club were also finalists in the same contest. First prize was a record deal, but with the financial difficulties of the label in question suspect, the group steered clear of any long term commitments.

They were also finalists in the 1985 CBC 'Rock Wars' and a 3rd place finish (out of 632 bands) in the 1985 'National Rock Express/Much Music Talent Search'. All of this exposure gave the band some clout and so they were able to convince Terry Brown to record a 6 song demo at Scarborough's Certain Circles Studio. The demo attracted several major labels to their door. But when Bell quit the band the offers were withdrawn. The group then brought in Wood and were still able to salvage a record deal with Toronto indie label Duke Street Records who signed Eye Eye in late 1985.

The release of their debut album, 'Just In Time To Be Late', managed two hit singles "Out On A Limb" and "X-Ray Eyes" despite Duke Street's misplaced marketing strategy.

Skylark featuring David Foster

Skylark was a pop/rock band mainly active from 1971-1973 based in the Vancouver area. They were originally one Ronnie Hawkins' backup bands and they signed a contract with Capitol Records. Skylark released a self-titled album in 1972 which had 3 singles. The group, had among it's members, David Foster, who would later become a famous producer working with such famous acts as Celine Dion, Kenny Rogers, Earth Wind & Fire, Barbara Striesand, Bryan Adams, Madonna, Michael and Janet Jackson and many others. Skylark's biggest single, was the song "Wildflower", which was a number one hit in Canada, and reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US. The group disbanded after it's second album because of lukewarm reception. The female singer is B.J. Cook who was David Foster's first wife. It seems like from their videos, they were a pretty talented band. They do a pretty good version of Joni Mitchell's "Woodstock".