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 But when Bell quit the band the offers were withdrawn.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".

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Trans X

I had no idea this was a Canadian artist. I remember this song from high school dances. I can't believe this song came out in 1981. Trans-X was started by Canadian musician Pascal Languirand, previously famous for his albums in the Ambient, Cosmic and Space music genres. He later recruited Montreal native Laurie Ann Gill as the second half of the Trans-X duo. Laurie can be seen in the early videos where she performed backing vocals for Synthpop group Nudimension. When their first song "Living on Video" was released it was an instant hit not only in Canada but also worldwide. The single sold 2 million copies and reached British and European Top ten charts.

Monday, July 5, 2010

William Shatner

Yes, he's an actor. Born in Montreal in 1931. Yep, he's Captain Kirk, TJ Hooker, and numerous other characters. My favourite is the terrified passenger from The Twilight Zone episode, "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet". Yes, these clips are weird, and makes you say, "WTF?" But, I thought I would post them here. Here are the "musical stylings" of Bill Shatner. Have a laugh and enjoy!!