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The Top 100 Canadian Singles

In 2007, CBC arts reporter and music columnist Bob Mercereau created a national debate with his book, The Top 100 Canadian Albums. Now Bob's done it again with The Top 100 Canadian Singles.<br /><br /><br />

Everyone likes lists. Most lists are designed to keep things organized and on schedule. Others are intended to create debate and discussion. Lists that rank music on some kind of scale of “best-ness” fall firmly into the latter category.

In 2007, CBC arts reporter and music columnist Bob Mercereau created a national debate with his book, The Top 100 Canadian Albums.

That list — topped by Neil Young’s Harvest —was the result of a survey of 600 DJs, record store people, musicians and music journalists (including me) from across the country.

Now Bob’s done it again with The Top 100 Canadian Singles.

“With the first book,” he says, “I found that people were thrilled with an all-Canadian look at music. I don’t know if it’s so much a question of national pride as it is one of fond memories and personal connections to the music. People really reacted to the fact that this was their music, our music."

“I think the reaction to this one will be similar. Plus, this time the stories behind the songs are so fun. I think people will really enjoy reading how Bryan Adams came to write Summer of ’69 [I KNEW it!-AC] or the true meaning of A Foot in Cold Water’s (Make Me Do) Anything You Want.”

I agree wholeheartedly with Bob when he says that Canada has, in general, not done a very good job documenting its music history.

“Most pop histories are written with an American or British slant, so [our] stories haven’t been repeated as much. I tried to get each musician to dig deep and give us a surprising story that will help you hear the song in a while new light.”

Looking though the rankings — I won’t spoil anything for you here other than to say Neil Young, The Band nor Anne Murray finished at number one — you’ll be amazed at the breadth and scope of our musical heritage.

And you’ll be surprised at how well (or how poorly) some well-known artists did. Leonard Cohen will feel more vindication over Hallelujah. Not that he needs it, of course.

Sadly, a couple of these songs are unavailable through iTunes or on CD. Can someone please fix that?

The Top 100 Canadian Singles by Bob Mercereau is available now through Goose Lane.

 
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