While it’s easy to dismiss Canadian rock bands as an extension of what’s going on across the border in the United States, the country has created some of the best artists of the last five decades. The likes of Neil Young and Bryan Adams are world legends, but there has also been a flood of influential and successful bands from the country.
A Toronto trio that never really captured the imagination in the UK, Triumph often suffered unfair comparisons to Rush, but they had their own sound. This combination of technique, power, and melody. The ubiquitous brilliance of albums like Allied Forces and Progressions Of Power earned them enormous success in the United States, aided by a huge stage.
The Toronto band that arguably created progressive metal as we know it, Rush has never stood still. From their roots & sword wizardry to a more electronic approach, the band has constantly evolved, successfully taking on the challenge of staying at the forefront of rock. True visionaries.
Bachman – Turner Overdrive
Born from the remnants of The Guess Who, another fine group of Canadians, Bachman-Turner Overdrive were among the masters of anthem rock. From Winnipeg, they came up with a timeless roller coaster of songs on the air, from You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet to Takin ‘Care Of Business. However, Randy Bachman and Fred Turner were far from shallow roster commandos. Albums like Not Fragile and Four Wheel Drive are full of diversity and attitude.
Yes, there was an American element in this batch, but Steppenwolf was formed in Toronto, and they have always been considered pioneers of Canadian Rock. Of course, whenever the band’s name is mentioned, Born To Be Wild comes to the fore. But when you enter the den of albums like Steppenwolf and The Second, you realize that “Wolf bit hard and often. They really had a steady hand in laying the foundations for hard rock.
The Montreal band gained a reputation in the 1970s, mainly due to Frank Marino’s extraordinary guitar skills. Often compared to Jimi Hendrix, Marino developed his own fluid style, which helped make albums like Mahogany Rush IV and World Anthem among the best releases of the day. The band’s progressive blues approach remains compulsive.