December 5 – Neil Showed ‘Who Needs C, S Or N?’

Neil Young‘s first American top 40 solo hit, “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” peaked at #33 in the U.S. this day in 1971. In his native Canada, he’d scored a hit earlier in the year with “Cinnamon Girl” as well.

Young was already well-known to international audiences through his work with Buffalo Springfield (who had a Top 10 in 1967 with “For What It’s Worth”) and Crosby Stills Nash and Young. Stills helped out Young on After the Gold Rush, the album which the single came from and that set the table for huge success with the 1972 album Harvest. Stills wasn’t getting along well with people at the time, so it was rumored the song might be about him, but later on Young confirmed it was actually about or for Graham Nash, after he’d broken up with another Canadian folkie, Joni Mitchell.

The song has become rather iconic. Artists who’ve covered it include Natalie Imbruglia, St. Etienne, Everlast and Nils Lofgren (now with Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band) , who appears on Young’s record. Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young played the song on their Live Aid reunion. Even scholars have weighed in. An Indiana University text mentions it and how it’s a “seemingly simple song which actually displays considerable attention to detail in deployment of instruments.” After the Gold Rush is also notable for the angry song “Southern Man” which references crosses burning and bullwhips cracking…and prompted a response from Lyrnyrd Skynyrd in the form of “Sweet Home Alabama”! While the album is great, it is largely acoustic (as were his subsequent hits in the following months, “Old Man” and “The Needle and The Damage Done”) and biographer Jimmy McDonogh has suggested that has perhaps harmed Neil’s career. Though Ol’ Neil has gone on to dabble in most every form of pop music known to man, from country to hard rock to electronica , many still typecast him as an angry folk singer with an acoustic guitar and miss a good deal of what he’s done. Not so the the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame though; they’ve inducted him twice, as a member of Buffalo Springfield and for his solo work.

As much as for his folk songs, he might be known for his conscience and speaking out whenever he sees fit. His strong social conscience shows in projects he’s involved with like Farm Aid , which he started along with John Mellencamp and Willie Nelson, and the Bridge School Concerts (fund-raisers for a school for disabled youth.)

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November 27 – How To Make A Hit Record For Under $200

One microphone, one 2-track recorder, one day, a few $20 bills = one album? It did on this day in 1987 for Toronto’s Cowboy Junkies, who recorded their sophomore release The Trinity Sessions (well, except for one song, “Mining for Gold” that was taped a few days later) in one easy-going, all-day session at that city’s Church of the Holy Trinity. The cost was rumored to be around $125.

Cowboy Junkies consisted then, and still consist of a trio of siblings – singer Margo, drummer Peter and guitarist Michael Timmins, plus bassist Alan Anton. On this one they had a little outside help, including another brother, John, and slide guitarist Kim Deschamps who’d later join Blue Rodeo. The album mixed some of Margo and Michael Timmins’ originals (like the single “Misguided Angel” and “To Love is to Bury”) with old covers, such as Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” and their take on the Patsy Cline standard “Walking After Midnight.”. The very low-fi resulting record garnered them international praise and success, and was arguably one of the first “adult alternative” genre releases. It also fit in well with the burgeoning alt-country movement, which was flourishing in that city at the time with bands like Blue Rodeo and Crash Vegas being local attractions.

Rolling Stone was among the international media which took note; they graded it 4-stars and said it was “in the great tradition of albums that establish a mood and sustain it so consistently that the entire record seems like one continuously unfolding song. The mood in this instance is hypnotic and introspective.” Pitchfork later ranked it among the 50 best albums of the decade. The Trinity Sessions was a top 30, platinum-selling hit in both the U.S. and Canada and as allmusic puts it is “still remarkable for how timeless it sounds and its beauty.”

Although the song “Sweet Jane” had a second-life in the States in the ’90s when it was used in the movie Natural Born Killers, and the band is still active to this day, international success more-or-less eluded them after this record. At home though, they had a string of gold albums through the ’90s and seven top 30 singles, like “Anniversary Song”, a slightly more upbeat number, which made the top 10 in ’94.

November 20 – Blue Rodeo Rolled Dice On More Streamlined Sound

Dominionated called it a “Goldilocks” record. The rare time when a band get it just right. In the case of Blue Rodeo, that meant “not too country, not too pop, consistently great songwriting.” Their third album, Casino, came out this day in 1990.

Blue Rodeo had by then established a huge following in their native Canada, with both their first two albums being multi-platinum, despite mainstream radio’s initial reluctance to embrace them because they were hard to pigeonhole as either country or rock. But they had all been ignored in the U.S., which irked Warner Bros. (owner of their Risque Disque label and the American distributor) more than it did the Toronto band itself. So they brought in a bigger name producer, and packed them off to L.A. to record this one at the famous Capitol Records studio.

The producer was Pete Anderson, a guitarist who worked regularly with Dwight Yoakam, and had produced a Jackson Browne record not long before. He’d later go on to produce records by artists as diverse as Flaco Jimenez and the Meat Puppets. He liked the core of the band’s songs, but felt they had been too elongated and meandering in the past, and seemingly had a problem with keyboardist Bobby Wiseman whose keyboard flourishes and solos often created that meandering. So he set out to have the band make a ten song set of compact songs which could all potentially be singles. Most agree he succeeded, though at the time the band wasn’t crazy about it.

Co-leader Jim Cuddy would later admit “Pete was good at snipping and editing to make a more compact record.” And that his reining in Wiseman was for the better. “Bobby had checked out,” he said, “he had no interest in being in a band…we were so terrified of changing the chemistry of the band (so) we just looked the other way.”

The result was indeed a compact ten song record that walked the fine line between pure country and pure pop, and between raucous (generally preferred by the other co-leader Greg Keelor) and smooth (more Cuddy’s choice.) For every slower torch song like “After the Rain” there was a more rockin’ “Last Laugh.” For every country-ish “What Am I Doing Here?” there was a more poppy “5AM”. And the in between ones like the first single, “Til I Am Myself Again.”

Reviews were split. Some domestic ones felt it was too slick for their sound – the band itself at that point seemed to admit they didn’t like how Anderson had altered their song structures – but most saw it as a standout achievement. Rolling Stone compared them to the Band, with harmonies like the Everly Brothers and hooks like The Beatles. They called it the band’s “most compelling effort yet.” Later allmusic would grade it 4-stars, noting it was more “pop-oriented” than the predecessors and a “fine blend of harmonies and laid back country rock ala The Band.”

It didn’t do anything much at all in the U.S. market, despite Warner’s efforts, but found plenty of love in Canada. There it got to #6 and went double-platinum and scored them a top 20 hit in “Trust Yourself” as well as a #3 one in “Til I Am Myself Again” which went to #1 on country charts.

Blue Rodeo are still going strong over 30 years on…but without Bobby Wiseman. Or the concerted efforts to make it big south of the 49th.

November 13 – A Brand Nova Year Begins For Aldo

We’re guessing there’s not so many things Celine Dion and Jon Bon Jovi have in common besides having a fair percentage of the world’s platinum supply stored in record awards on their walls. Little in common… except their friend, today’s birthday boy, Aldo Nova! Happy 66th to the Montreal rocker!

Aldo, born Aldo Caporuscio, learned to play both guitars and piano while quite young, and by 1981 had signed to Portrait Records, a division of CBS which would soon boast Cyndi Lauper as well. While it probably wasn’t exactly a case of having it easy or falling into fame accidentally, Aldo did start out with a bang. He recorded his first album in his home city later that year, and it was close to a Prince-style effort. While not quite like some Prince albums (or Dave Grohl’s first Foo Fighters one), Aldo really took the wheel on it, producing it himself, writing almost all the songs himself, singing, playing guitars, bass and keyboards including synthesizers on it, with a little outside help for drums, some bass and some backing vocals. No wonder he simply called the album Aldo Nova! The album featured generally glossy rock songs with just a wee hint of early-’80s new wave sound and production. No wonder decades later, allmusic would call the record “a minor classic” and suggest Nova “doesn’t get enough credit for helping invent the 1980s pop-metal genre”, pointing out that he preceded the success of the likes of Bon Jovi and Def Leppard. The album itself went double-platinum in the U.S., hit #12 in Canada where it gave him a top 20 hit single (which hit U.S. charts as well and rose to #3 on mainstream rock ones) in “Fantasy”, followed by a second, slightly less-successful hit at home in Canada with “Foolin’ Yourself.

Unfortunately for Aldo, his next couple of albums didn’t generate anything like the same buzz and CBS wanted him to change styles dramatically by the mid-’80s. He balked at that, and when they refused to let him out of his 10-year contract, he essentially went on hiatus, concentrating largely on writing and performing commercial jingles. As soon as he was done with that, he signed briefly to Jambco, a label owned by his friend Jon Bon Jovi. He’d helped Bon Jovi a little with his Blaze of Glory record (playing some guitars, keyboards and even tambourine) and Jon in turn returned the favor, releasing Blood on the Bricks, Aldo’s fourth album. Despite decent reviews, it did little better than his previous one about seven years prior.

However, things weren’t that bad for Aldo. He’d made friends with another Quebec musician – Celine Dion. He did some session work for her before she was a large, international star, and she’d turned to him periodically since. To date he’s written at least 13 songs for her, performed on several of her albums and co-produced her 2002 international #1 album, A New Day Has Come. Not bad for a guy written off as a one-hit wonder!

Age doesn’t appear to be slowing Aldo down any. He wrote an ambitious rock opera, The Life and Times of Eddy Gage, which Aldo says “is slightly based on mine” but has “its roots in religion and theology” . It deals with a young, up-and-coming rock star trying to navigate his career around deceitful and dangerous characters. While the pandemic seemed to delay, if not prevent, it from arriving on any stage near you, he did put out a soundtrack to it earlier this year, as well as a remix album. On that one he’s re-recorded several old tracks and even includes versions without vocals or without guitar so fans can either sing along, karaoke-style, or play guitar with his band. “You can play the record if you want, or you can be a part of it. It’s a new concept.” With ideas like that, maybe his working with both Bon Jovi and Celine Dion shouldn’t be that surprising after all.

November 9 – Bachman And Turner Hit Overdrive On Stardom Express

Some Canadian rockers rolled down the highway all the way to the top, south of their border. Bachman-Turner Overdrive, or BTO for short, hit #1 on Billboard this day in 1974 with “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet.” Curiously, the song it knocked off the top spot was the similarly-titled “You Haven’t Done Nothin’” by Stevie Wonder. It was BTO’s only American chart-topping single, while in their homeland (where the single also hit #1 the same day), they’d score another a few months later with “Hey You.” Looking back, it now seems incredible that the song they are perhaps most remembered for, “Takin’ Care of Business” peaked at #3 in Canada and just #12 in the States.

It was probably extra sweet for Randy Bachman. He had quit the Guess Who about three years earlier, after having something of a personality clash with Burton Cummings. The Guess Who scored two #1s in 1970 in both countries with songs he co-wrote (“American Woman” and “No Sugar Tonight”) but none since he departed. This presumably was validation of his musical vision, which had been somewhat panned by many when he quit and with his first post-Guess Who band, Bravebelt (which also featured another Guess Who departee, Chad Allen.) Allen had left that group and while playing live, the Bachman’s turned their amps up a bit, so to speak. “We instantly saw the difference between playing sit down music people could talk over and playing music they would jump out of their seats for and dance to,” Randy recalled. Such was the genesis of BTO, remarkably now in retrospect, one of the hardest rock bands on radio in the early-’70s.

You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” was from BTO’s third album, Not Fragile, which also topped U.S. charts. It sprung from a simple guitar riff and melody the band had used as a “work song” to check amp levels and equipment while tuning up. While Randy’s brother Robbie was still drumming, another brother, Tim, who’d been a second guitarist had left the family business, as it were. Rather bad timing on his part! There was yet another Bachman family tie to the hit. The distinctive stuttering in the chorus was something of an in-joke for them (of dubious taste perhaps) as they had another brother, Gary, who had a noticeable stutter. Randy cut a vocal singing the chorus more normally, but the producer evidently thought the stutter stood out. Whether or not it mattered much to Randy was probably moot at the time; he didn’t especially like the song to begin with and wasn’t thrilled Mercury Records chose it as a single. Until it became a #1 hit, that is.

Rolling Stone wasn’t the only one who considered the song less than entirely original. They called it a “direct steal from The Who, but an imaginative one.” They thought the song structure similar to “Baba O’riley” and the stutter and obvious imitation of Roger Daltrey on “My Generation.” Whether highly original or not, the public loved it. It spent three weeks at #1 in Canada, winning the Juno for best-selling single the next year and was also the biggest-selling single of the year in South Africa. Although, as it turned out, we probably had seen nothing yet, or everything as it were from BTO. While they stayed hot through 1975, their career took a quick downturn after that . They called it quits before the end of the decade, although they have reunited several times as a popular touring act.

November 5 – It’d Be Almost Reckless Not To Celebrate Today, Bryan

A two-caker! Happy birthday Bryan Adams!  Today is not only his 63rd but also marks the 38th anniversary of his biggest album. Reckless came out this day in 1984 his 25th birthday, as it turned out.

Far from a reckless career move, the fourth album for the B.C. rocker was likely aimed at advancing his career quickly and significantly, and that it did. While he’d had some decent success the previous album with Cuts Like A Knife and that record’s title track, this album elevated him into the Springsteen-like rock stratosphere. Not only did it earn the first domestic diamond album in Canada and spend beyond a year in the top 10 there; it was massive in the States and Europe too. In the U.S., it managed to tie other ’80s monster hits Thriller and Born in the U.S.A. by notching six top 20 singles.

Adams and his usual songwriting partner, Jim Vallance, wrote the record earlier in the year and recorded it in his hometown of Vancouver, with Bob Clearmountain producing. That was a savvy move, even if Clearmountain had limited experience producing albums. He had been a sound engineer on big hits for several years in a row, including the Stones’ Tattoo You, Roxy Music’s Avalon, David Bowie’s Let’s Dance and right before this one, Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A. Rolling Stone, the magazine, would make note of that and suggest Clearmountain made some of the record, like “She’s Only Happy When She’s Dancing” sound rather like Tattoo You outtakes. They further thought “Kids Wanna Rock” was a weaker version of Billy Joel’s “Still Rock and Roll to Me” and that all in all, Adams had created “generic rock and roll, long on formal excellence but short on originality.”

Sounding a bit like the Rolling Stones, or Springsteen for that matter, might not have appealed to critics looking for something new, but it was just fine with the listening public. The album had a conventional mix of Adams’ rockers like “Run to You”, “Kids Wanna Rock” and most notably, the duet with Tina Turner, “It’s Only Love” as well as a couple of slower love songs, including “Heaven” which became his first U.S. #1. He’d go on to score three more the next decade, with songs from three different movies!

With those hits as well as the suggestive “Summer of ’69”, Reckless hit #1 in North America and #2 in Australia (in the UK it topped out at #7 but still went triple platinum) and ended up being 5X platinum in the States, 10X (ergo, “diamond”) in his home country. Chartmasters list it at about 14 million in sales so far between physical hard copies and downloads, best-ever by a Canadian male singer (although interestingly lagging far behind a number of albums by Canadian females like Shania Twain and Alanis Morissette).

Not all critics thought the album as bad as Rolling Stone in the long run. The 2007 book Top 100 Canadian Albums consider it the 12th best and internationally, Classic rock include it among their top 100 greatest rock albums of all-time.

October 27 – The Return Of Robbie Robertson Resonated

There can be a downside to being the frontman of a highly-successful band, and a musician dubbed a “genius” by Bob Dylan. It can raise the bar pretty high for your work, and make it a tad intimidating should that band disappear behind you. Such was the case in the ’80s for Robbie Robertson, former lead guitarist and primary writer for The Band.

“”It’s easy to be a genius in your 20s,” he told Rolling Stone , perhaps a bit tongue in cheek. “In your 40s, it’s difficult.” So it was perhaps not a huge surprise he waited over a decade after the Band’s Last Waltz to put out another record. To many, Robbie Robertson, the man and the first solo album, were worth the wait. It came out this day in 1987. “I wasn’t so sure I had something to say,” he said by way of explanation for the time between records.

Robertson took his time to put together his self-titled album. It took over a year, and he worked away at it in studios from L.A. to Ireland, with many points in between. It’s rumored to have cost $750 000 to record, not quite Queen territory, but a lofty amount for a “folk musician.” He got help from another Canadian with a global reputation on it. Daniel Lanois produced the record, and introduced Robbie to some of his friends (that is if Robertson didn’t already know them) including Peter Gabriel and U2, who were wrapping up work on a little thing called The Joshua Tree with Lanois at the time. They appear in essentially an outtake of their massive album, a song called “Sweet Fire of Love”, while Gabriel plays keyboards and adds impressive backing vocals on “Fallen Angel.” Among the other friends Robertson turned to for a bit of help were Maria McKee of Lone Justice and Rick Danko and Garth Hudson, former The Band bandmates.

If it took awhile, Robertson certainly had found something to say. “Fallen Angel” was about his friend and former bandmate Richard Manuel, who’d died around the time Robbie had begun working on the album. “Showdown at Big Sky” touched on environmental themes, according to him, “I feel very strongly about this stuff but (in the past) I felt like I’d be jumping on the bandwagon. Now I felt I couldn’t help it.”

American Roulette” looks at the double-edged knife that is fame in America, singing about James Dean, Elvis and Marilyn Monroe.

The songs were strong and compelling, but not Band clones in any way. First, Robertson rarely sang their tunes, so that was a notable change although one that leads us to think he could have sung “The Night They Drove Ol’ Dixie Down” or “Stage Fright” and things would’ve still been ok. Then, as allmusic note, he “didn’t care to revisit the country – and blues – flavored roots rock” The Band had made him famous with. Instead, there was a fine mix of well-produced FM rock of varying tempos. He called it a “personal statement.”

Rolling Stone , which rate him among the 100 best guitarists of all-time, considered the album a triumph and “ample proof Robertson’s abilities are still very much intact”. Billboard listed it among the ten best albums of the year (note: that was a list of best, not their best-selling albums) . Later, allmusic gave it 4-stars, despite having a few reservations about his voice and the relative throwaway U2 song. They found the LP “highly ambitious” and able to “stand alongside his legendary earlier work.”

The public weren’t quite as sure, it seems. It sold decently, but wasn’t a smash. It got to #23 in Britain and only #38 in the U.S. and was certified platinum there and in Canada. No physical singles off it hit the main charts, but “Showdown At Big Sky” did get to #2 on Billboard‘s mainstream rock chart and “American Roulette” , “Somewhere Down the Crazy River’ and “Fallen Angel” also got their share of radio play through ’88.

Robertson has put out five subsequent albums, seemingly still only working when he knows he has something to say His most recent was Sinematic in 2019, eight years after its predecessor.

October 26 – The Pursuit Of Happiness Captured Some Great Riffs

A few years before Kurt Cobain gave a voice to the generation experiencing teen angst, another singer and band eloquently voiced what comes after – young adult angst! Canada’s The Pursuit of Happiness never got recognition even close to that which Nirvana would enjoy but probably did at least as good a job in putting life’s frustrations into music with their debut album, Love Junk, out this day in 1988.

The Pursuit of Happiness was, and always has been, the band of and vehicle for Moe Berg’s musical imagination. Berg not only is the lead vocalist and a guitarist for them but the only songwriter. And while not exactly punk in sound or sneer, Moe definitely learned from the punk movement when it comes to having a DIY attitude. He’d started the band about three years earlier after moving from Alberta to Canada’s musical mecca, Toronto.

Debuts often don’t live upto the band’s full promise or to future works, but in The Pursuit’s case, it probably did. The witty power-pop single “I’m An Adult Now” contains a great guitar riff tailor-made to be an earworm and some of the wryest lyrics about growing up in any song – “I can sleep in til noon any day I want, but there’s not many days that I do/ Gotta get up and take on that world, when you’re an adult it’s no cliche, it’s the truth” and so on. The band really went the DIY route with it, filming a low-fi video on the streets of Toronto for it and rounding up the money to press 1500 copies of it as a single. The video took off on Canada’s version of MTV, Much Music, and the very indie single got played on Toronto’s FM alt-rock station, CFNY. Its popularity in those two outlets got Warner Brothers interested, and they signed the band briefly and put “I’m An Adult Now” out nation-wide. It hit the Canadian top 40 in ’86, but then inexplicably, Warner bid them adieu. Enter Chrysalis Records, which signed them and financed a whole album – this one. It contained a re-recorded version of their single and several other catchy reflections on the voyage from kid to adult, most notably “Hard to Laugh” and  “She’s So Young”, which getting to #20 technically made it their biggest hit at home.

The album hit the Canuck top 30 with its clean yet rocking sounds, polished up by producer Todd Rundgren. By the end of the decade, it was platinum in the Great White North. Elsewhere, success was harder to come by, even with a famous name in the studio for it. The album didn’t do much anywhere else, but at least “I’m An Adult Now” got them heard in Australia (top 40 there) and in the all-important U.S. market, where it got to #6 on Billboard‘s alternative rock chart early in 1990.

Allmusic graded it 4-stars, suggesting “it set a standard for Canadian pop/rock… tight arrangements, self-deprecating lyrics and a bitter yet funny cynicism.”

Berg looked back at the record this year and figures the secret to its success lay in the fact “we weren’t following any trends… also, Todd Rundgren had his own sonic perception that was different from what many producers were doing.” He was surprised that the reflective singles like “I’m An Adult Now” “feel more true to me now than when I wrote them.”

Moe and his band, in various incarnations, has been going ever since, although they’ve not put out any albums of new material since the late-’90s and now are typically restricted to just a few shows around Canada a year. But who’s to say he won’t get up and take on that musical world one more time?

October 13 – Forgotten Gems : Treble Charger

Morale is low, the weather is good…”. With it being baseball playoff time and the Cardinals and Blue Jays both being knocked out of competition unexpectedly early, that could be a reference to the sports fans of St. Louis and Toronto. But instead it’s really the opening of this month’s Forgotten Gem, “Morale” by Treble Charger.

Falling somewhere between Shoegazing and Grunge with just a dash of pure pop thrown in , Treble Charger were (and still are for that matter) a foursome out of the Ontario port city of Sault Ste. Marie (which sits across a bridge from the similarly named city in Michigan.) Begun in 1992 by friends Bill Priddle and Greg Nori – both singers and guitarists – under the name NC17, they changed names but kept the NC17 to name their first indie album in ’94. It contained the melodic “Red”, which got them a little attention on MuchMusic TV and a few alt rock stations around Canada. In 1995, they followed it up with Self = Title, on the indie, but better-known Sonic Unyon label. “Morale”, with Priddle’s distinctive weary, nasal voice and its chippy guitars and slow building sonic approach fit the times perfectly and just missed the Canadian top 40, getting to #41. However, it was a major hit on both alt rock and mainstream rock radio stations in the land, setting them up well to sign to a bigger label in 1996, releasing three-straight gold or platinum albums, with one more “near-hit” single, “Friend of Mine”, before they split up briefly in 2006. Priddle started a new band, the Priddle Concern, while Nori did well becoming a manager and producer for the bigger-selling surf-punk band Sum 41. In recent years, they’ve been playing now and again with the pair as well as original bassist Rosie Martin. So perhaps morale isn’t so low after all!

October 10 – Band Didn’t Feel Rush-ed By Four Minute Cutoff

When you think of Rush, you probably don’t think of a lot of spontaneity, musically. But there were surprising exceptions to that rule, and their most successful of those hit the charts 40 years ago. “New World Man” made the American top 40 on this day in 1982.

It was spring of the year and they’d almost got their ninth album, Signals, ready. But they were sticklers for consistency and there was about four minutes of space left on the LP, and they didn’t want to put out something that came in noticeably shorter than other releases by them. So they decided on one more song. Singer Geddy Lee says “we were all in the mood to put something down that was real spontaneous.” They began the song using the title “Project 357” because they felt they had to come up with something snappy that ran no more than 3:57”. They succeeded…and made it fit the album very well to boot.

Signals was loosely a concept album about a life cycle. Drummer Neal Peart confirmed that, but noted “it’s so unfashionable these days to construct grand concepts. We were being closed-mouthed about it.” “New World Man” fit the theme with the life coming into its own, summing up young adulthood quite aptly: “he’s a rebel and a runner…a restless young romantic” who was “old enough to know what’s right and young enough to choose it.”

Musically, the album was to many “signaling” a new direction for the band, with more compact songs and more synthesizers and electronics on it than their ’70s albums had featured (although certainly they’d turned the corner on recent albums like Moving Pictures and songs like “Tom Sawyer”). As Cashbox put it, it was a “pulsing change of pace” for them, with this song and it’s vague reggae-influence sounding “almost Police-like.” Its pop-beat and at times jangly Alex Lifeson guitars sounding a bit reminiscent of Andy Summers, it’s an understandable comparison.

The single had almost Police-like popularity too. It helped the album go platinum in the U.S. in under two months and on its own, rose to #21 – surprisingly their highest chart position for a single. (They, like Led Zeppelin had a tendency to be an album band with fans often eschewing singles in favor of buying the LP right away.) At home in Canada, it hit #1 for two weeks, making it not only their only #1 single but the only homegrown chart-topping song of the year there.

Rush continued to evolve and remain popular on both sides of the border through the ten studio albums which followed until they sadly ended in 2020 after the passing away of Peart.