I am doing this post entirely in red text today because of a very special day!
You see, here in Canada, our nation is celebrating 148 years of independence. Go, Canada! It's your birthday!
I want to take the time to wish all of my Canadian brethren a very happy Canada Day!
Now some of us (such as myself) will be working on this day (but luckily my shift ends early), and some of us will have the day off. But no matter what it is you do to celebrate, please do it safely and responsibly.
That means, no drinking and driving. No drinking and swimming. No drinking and setting off fireworks. Basically, if you're drinking...don't do anything else at the same time. Everyone will be better this way.
Of course, I suppose one thing that you could do while under the influence of your second or third Moosehead of the day is dance. After all, Canada Day celebrations are among some of the most vibrant parties in the whole world. Or, at least they are in huge cities like Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto, and Ottawa.
But even if your party happens to take place in your backyard with a few of your closest friends, it can be just as exciting.
Of course, you're going to have to have the perfect Canada Day soundtrack to listen to while you're chilling on the patio, and in the spirit of Canada Day, I'll be posting some links to some classic Canadian songs from the 1980s and 1990s to make your party swing!
But these aren't going to be your typical songs. You see, if I posted songs by well-known Canadian artists such as The Barenaked Ladies, Bryan Adams, Celine Dion, and Shania Twain, big deal, right? Everyone knows who they are.
Well, my list shows a bunch of artists who are Canadian based who most Americans probably may not have heard of. But I thought that since today is a day that celebrates Canada, why not put the spotlight on some lesser known Canadian artists?
So, let's see who I can focus on this Canada Day.
HONEYMOON SUITE - Wave Babies (1984)
You know, it's almost criminal to know that Honeymoon Suite never really had many huge hits. For a Canadian band, they were one of the best. But I suppose with Loverboy, Glass Tiger, and Bryan Adams dominating the American charts back then, it was hard for them to get noticed. And while I loved songs like "New Girl Now" and "Burning In Love", "Wave Babies" just screams summer.
PARACHUTE CLUB - At The Feet Of The Moon (1984)
Okay, so in Canada, this band might be more well known for their song "Rise Up" - a song that was later used in a string of frozen pizza commercials in the 1990s (and which the band issued a lawsuit against McCain Foods because of it). But I heard that song so many times as a child that I couldn't stand it after the 10,000th time. Ah, but "At The Feet Of The Moon"? Kick ass song. Sure, it hasn't really aged well, but what song has?
KIM MITCHELL - Patio Lanterns (1986)
Okay, so while I will readily admit that this is not one of my favourite songs of all time, I will give Kim Mitchell some credit. This song is a perfect song for a perfect Canadian party. Heck, the song even managed to crack the American rock charts in 1986! Though, part of it could be the music video. That summer, every Canadian made sure to have patio lanterns hanging from their verandas, gazebos, and lanais.
PLATINUM BLONDE - Contact (1987)
I was one of those people who tended to like Platinum Blonde towards the end of their run. Okay, let me tell the truth here. Platinum Blonde wasn't my favourite band in the world. But I consider this song to be a little bit of a guilty pleasure of mine. So, shame me if you must. I do like this one. I'd play it today.
MEN WITHOUT HATS - Pop Goes The World (1987)
Okay, so the subject matter of this song is anything but happy (it's about environmental destruction and the potential end of the world by human hands), but this song is a lot more fun to listen to than "Safety Dance" (which was waaaaaaaaaaaaay overplayed). And, what can I say? I'm a sucker for a baby on the keyboard.
CANDI - Dancing Under A Latin Moon (1988)
For some reason, I have fond memories of riding the Tilt-a-Whirl with this song playing in the background. And, no...I didn't get sick on the ride, or else I would have a completely different view of this song today! I just chose it because it kind of reminds you of being in a South American festival and has a bit of a tropical feel to it. Given how hot it can get in summer, it definitely is a perfect song. And, Candi was basically Canada's response to Debbie Gibson and Tiffany, so she naturally had to have at least one of two hits. I hear that Candi now teaches music at a Toronto area school.
PAUL JANZ - Every Little Tear (1990)
Okay, this song is absolutely brilliant. I dare you not to rock out to this piece. It's a shame that Paul Janz didn't have more hits because he was really that talented, but I hear he's gone into teaching now. Nothing wrong with that!
KIM ESTY - Summer In The Street (1993)
I almost didn't include this song in this mix - mainly because I haven't quite forgotten how she butchered a Billy Idol song or sang about her squeeze toy (don't ask). However, since Canada Day is the true kickoff of the summer holidays, and since the song is about summer...well, I decided to include it anyway. Seriously, though...don't even ask about the "Squeeze Toy".
WEST END GIRLS - State Of The Heart (1994)
You know, this was another band that got better as they progressed (and changed members). And, while they were virtually unheard of in the United States, I remember them being a huge part of Canadian radio - particularly with our AM Radio station. Seriously, my mom would listen to our local radio station during the middle of the 1990s, and this song would play so much. Fortunately, it's one of the few West End Girls songs I can sit through.
THE PHILOSOPHER KINGS - Charms (1995)
So, I have to make a confession. I like the Boomtang Boys dance remix better than the original. That said, the group does a phenomenal job with this single (which ended up being their debut). It's a melancholic sounding song, but it works.
And with this, I'll end the list. Feel free to use all of these songs (or none of these songs) for your Canada Day celebrations. After all, Canada Day is all about independence, and we all have the freedom to celebrate the day exactly how we want it.