Can-Con 45 Of The Day - November 25

Can-Con 45 Of The Day - November 25

Postby radiofan » Sat Nov 24, 2018 7:52 pm

Today's Can-Con 45 is from 1983 ... The Parachute Club and "Rise Up" ...

Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who couldn't hear the music.
User avatar
Advanced Member
Posts: 9578
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 1:24 pm
Location: Pitt Meadows

Re: Can-Con 45 Of The Day - November 25

Postby Richard Skelly » Sun Nov 25, 2018 3:10 am

No doubt a lengthy list could be made of significant Canadian hits by domestic artists that failed to even chart on the lower rungs of the Billboard Hot 100 despite getting released stateside.

Take Rise Up, for example. An anthem for individual freedoms and sexual diversity without being risqué let alone crude. With the steel drum rhythms, soaring harmonies, tasteful synths and Daniel Lanois' fabulous production, Rise Up was catchy as hell.

Rise Up ranked on RPM Weekky as the 9th biggest single of 1983. But it did not make even a token appearance on that august Billboard chart. Despite RCA America releasing it twice, Rise Up only ever grazed the Billboard Dance Music/Club chart, peaking at #26.

Parachute Club co-founder Billy Bryans has passed away. Gord Downie, too. But there are four surviving members of Billboard-neglected The Tragically Hip who could share thoughts with former Club lead vocalist Lorraine Segato. If the table was big enough others could join the discussion.

A few come to mind: Kelly Jay of Crowbar (Oh What A Feeling), surviving alum from A Foot In Coldwater (Make Me Do Anything You Want) and Fludd (Turn 21 and Cousin Mary), Tom Northcott (1941 reached #88 but nada for Sunny Goodge Street and Girl From The North Country), surviving members of The Collectors (Looking At A Baby, Lydia Purple and Early Morning) and Trooper (only Raise A Little Hell ever charted, reaching a modest #59. It and other Trooper hits compiled as Hot Shots sold 400,000-plus in Canada.)

No doubt, RadioWest readers could weigh in with their recollections of Canadian classics that "woulda, shoulda" enjoyed at least a modicum of American success.
Richard Skelly
Advanced Member
Posts: 430
Joined: Mon May 11, 2015 4:52 pm

Re: Can-Con 45 Of The Day - November 25

Postby paterson » Sun Nov 25, 2018 8:26 pm

It always interesting why some songs or groups become popular and others with solid material never seem to catch the public's attention.

There are lots of good cancon songs that did well here but never saw the light of day in the US. But on the other side of the coin there also are American or British songs that were popular in those markets that never really were that popular here. Just listen to XM Sirius, especially 80's on 8 and 90's on 9 and you will hear songs that received little or no airplay here and were much more popular in the USA. In the 70's remember Funkadelic or Parliament? Big in the US on radio but not much here.

In the early days of cancon many Canadian artists were signed to small start up Canadian record labels- Ampex, Attic, Daffodil, Much, Axe, Tuesday, Aquarius etc. These labels were distributed by one of the majors-RCA, Columbia, A&M, Warner Bros. etc. Mushroom Records and Quality were the only Canadian independent labels that I am aware of that handled their own distribution. In the case of Mushroom this only lasted for a few years and they even attempted to handle their own distribution in the US.

These small labels were mostly run on a shoestring and they didn't have the promotion budgets necessary to properly promote most of their artists. When an artist did get a deal in the US it was often on an American independent label or secondary label of one of the majors. This was part of the problem, not enough hype and actual money to properly promote new artists. And the major labels are naturally going to focus more on their artists that one from a small independent.

In the 70's English Canada had very few television programs to showcase groups and artists that were being played on the radio. And I don't mean an artist showing up on Canada AM and lip singing their song to an empty news studio at 7 in the morning. Other than a couple of American shows that were shot in Canada (Kenny Rogers Rollin on the River) there wasn't that many national programs that showcased Canadian artists. CBC's Music Machine was one of the few.

What shows we had were often more talk than music- 90 minutes live, Alan Thicke Show, Bob Maclean, the Tommy Banks Show which featured some music but wasn't seen nationally. Quebec had music shows with studio audiences, talk shows with house bands and audiences that would interview and feature artists. Both TVA and Radio Canada had popular late night shows similar to the US all through the 70's-2000's

I think it is bit of an embarrassment that we don't even have a late night talk show with a studio audience, houseband, entertaining host with produced bits or features in the show. Once saw an interview with Nelly Furtado on an Australian late night talk show with all of the above. Why not here?? Even once per week? The closest we had was Mike Bullard's show which ran for about 7 years starting in 1997. Canadian media seems to have an attitude of "we tried that, didn't work.." Well try it again and if that doesn't work try it again...and again. Guess it is easier just to simulcast Fallon or Colbert. Lazy Canadian media!

Did Canadian A&R folks and artists back in the day do the necessary legwork of visiting radio stations big and small in the US for interviews or to talk to music directors to give the song a listen? Whether we like it or not we are foreigners to them and need to have someone down there totally on our side or excited about the song to help hype the material. And you need to work that much harder. I am not sure that this happened back then, since it many cases it didn't even happen here.
Advanced Member
Posts: 98
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2016 6:23 pm

Re: Can-Con 45 Of The Day - November 25

Postby Richard Skelly » Sun Nov 25, 2018 9:56 pm

Probably would've been bad manners for a Canadian indie label to intrude into the US to augment PR of whatever US label had the rights. No pun intended, but Bad Manors by Crowbar (plus the band's earlier LP with 'King Biscuit Boy' Richard Newell) were released on the most godawful label for any rock band, Paramount. Home of soundtracks such as Paint Your Wagon and Love Story (Francis Lai just passed away).

No matter the US label, Daffodil artists had consistent bad luck. A Foot In Cold Water was licensed to Elektra. Both singles under that deal, including Make me Do Anything You Want, whiffed. Fludd released Cousin Mary on Sire. And suffered the same American indifference as when they released Turn 21 on mighty Warners on both sides of the border.

As I recall, Quality Records briefly attempted to establish a corporate presence in the U.S. Quality US released Billboard-charting Hit The Road Jack and non-charting Sweet Love Bandit. Mushroom Records went all in to break Heart. They established a Los Angeles beachhead and hired a network of independent promo reps across the US. Even after losing Heart, Mushroom carried on trying to break Chilliwack and Doucette. That expensive American marketing network may have accelerated the demise of Mushroom which sought creditor protection in early 1980.
Richard Skelly
Advanced Member
Posts: 430
Joined: Mon May 11, 2015 4:52 pm

Return to Can-Con 45 Of The Day

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests