Stranded’s Awesome: American Bands

Heard someone talking about the Spice Girls at the Olympic closing ceremonies and how they looked so good that whether they were lip synching or not didn’t matter.  My mind immediately went to the response of:  Dude (yes, I thought the word “Dude”)…sorry, start over…Dude, my favourite band is Rush.  Do you really think eye candy in music matters to me?

Anyone who has read a few of my posts gets that I really like Rush.

So…this time, thought I would create a list of music that they cannot win…being Rush are good Toronto boys (aka Canadian)…

Now, I complain about the US a lot…mostly it is political and I try to keep it humorous…having lived in both countries, I expect my perspective is unique.

“We’re bigger, and we’re on top. If this was prison, they would be our bitch.” – Rick Mercer, This Hour Has 22 Minutes on Canada-US relations

The United States of America, however, has given us some wonderful music.  Without the US influence, jazz and rock would not be the musical genres that they are.

Admittedly, rock n’ roll seems to be on a walking cane at this point.  Looks as though it has started to seep into the history books and may never be what it was in the 1980s…

Sorry…digressing there and talking about a British band.

One more quick aside here…my daughters and I are writing a review for their community theatre group…the working title is “It’s Still Rock n’ Roll To Me…Rock n’ Roll is Now a Senior”.  Looking through rock historically, it peaked from the mid-1980s into the early 90s.  I almost align it with the peak of the Genesis/Phil Collins era, when it seemed to hit it really big about the time of the Genesis release of “Invisible Touch” and then fall off when Phil left the band.  One further irony…the #1 band example song I use…being it is a drug song (don’t kid yourself)…I so want to write it into the show but I simply cannot and instead had to put in “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?”…one of many other great Chicago tunes.

Another digression…please, continue…

There have been, however, some damned fine American bands…key term here is “bands” so forget the “solo” acts like Bruce Springsteen or Billy Joel (a real fav of mine as I lost my virginity the night I saw him perform at Maple Leaf Gardens in the late 80s during his “Storm Front” tour…we did start a fire that night).

As for the bands, I would like to share five of my favourites…

5.  REO Speedwagon

I first linked into the REO boys in…and I could have the year wrong, but 1984.  Some of their stuff is simply pop-rock arrogance…I admit…but they have had some flashes of brilliance.  Two, specifically come to mind…one of the newer tunes, “Everything You Feel” gets turned up whenever my cd player finds it…let me be honest about this song in that I have an entire story, yet to be printed anywhere other than on my own hard drive that this song inspired.

If only this song had a video…

However, the tune that really caught my attention is, luckily, one the cast of Glee has not redone so far as I know…this particular tune was the first one I ever slow danced to in high school…literally.  Considering the thought behind the lyrics, strikes me as ironic now.

4.  Heart

Heart is…well…Heart is proof of so many things.  First, not all good rock bands are fronted by men…second, not all good female vocalists are slim…nor skinny…and third, even before the grunge era, Seattle has a brilliant music heritage.  The Wilson sisters are awesome…truly.  Let’s be honest…Anne Wilson is, perhaps, the best rock n’ roll female singer on the planet and, bbw or not, has no comparison.  Her sister, Nancy, is a damned fine guitar player…and even vocalist, herself (google “These Dreams” as Nancy has a gorgeous voice, just not the power of Anne).

I, as most of the 70s kids would have, first discovered Heart with their mid-80s self-titled release that re-introduced them with tunes like “What About Love”.  However, I must go back to an early classic with my example of why they are in my top five…

3.  Styx

Styx is…welllllll…they’re funny for me.

Everyone knows them from the 1970s and 80s when they really hit it big with, say, “Mr. Roboto”…for me, however, their CD Edge of the Century which became a US included the anthem song from the first Iraq invasion, “Show Me The Way” from the Edge Of The Century release…and don’t get me wrong, the invasion had nothing to do with Styx…that is when they caught my eye.  The fact that, after the aforementioned Edge of the Century release, the band replaced long time singer Dennis DeYoung with a good Canadian boy (though Scottish born) Lawrence Gowan helped…

…for the record, my first concert at 17 years old was Gowan during his “Great Dirty World” tour at Massey Hall in Toronto…

For the record…I absolutely adore this concert on the attached that they did with the Liza Grossman’s CYO.

2.  Foo Fighters

All hail the mighty Grohl!…a Twitter friend (@venusdemileage) once said something in this regard to me.  It is odd…I say my fav band is Rush…I list Chicago as my fav US band, but then the Foos are something of a 1(a) in both cases.

My favourite Foo tune is “What if I Do“…but I mentioned earlier writing a review “history of rock” show with my daughters and this song, due to my young Scarlett’s love for super heroes, wants to sing this song as it was on the soundtrack for the film Thor…so for her, and it is a damned fine tune…

1.  Chicago

I have seen Chicago perform live…in various combinations of original members…okay, allow me to rephrase here…I have seen Robert Lamm perform live 13 times along with various original members of the band Chicago under the name of the original band, Chicago.

This band’s most memorable tune is, perhaps, four months older than I am, being 25 or 6 to 4 was released in June of 1970….and I was “released” in October of 1970…


One comment

  1. Excellent.Took me away from the thinking about my spelling mistakes for a while;)For me it has to be Chicago.I took me back to when I was 16 and my first boyfriend (BTW I lost my virginity to him and listening to that group:-)).At the moment my favourite has to be Angus Stone.Mind you I’m not the one type of music girl.Well I’m not one type of girl in anything really.


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