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CanCon hall of Shame
the banal
 
A step above the dreck. These people managed to craft some mediocre music that would be forgotten for the most part if not for beer commercials and hockey games. However, at times some actually showed signs of at professional polish. And some with their middling talent, would have achieved a level of success regardless of CanCon support. That doesn't necessarily mean I condone it (see Bryan Adams).
 
Also see the Dreck and the At Least They Tried sections.

Bryan Admas
 
Bryan Adams
I want so badly to put him in the dreck section, because of the sheer uselessness of his music. But grudgingly I have to admit his songs are so formulaic in their banal blue jean rock that he could have made it anyway. Still sucks though.
 
But here's another point that illustrates the stupidity of the CanCon system. Adams - born in Canada - didn't qualify as CanCon. Because he lives and records in England there technically isn't enough Canadiana on his albums to meet the standard. What the fuck?
 
This update submitted by happy reader:
"once the boneheads at the CRTC realised that they are in fact boneheads they made a change. This change was affectionatly (or not) dubbed "The Bryan Adams Rule". This allows for half credit in the Lyrics and Music part of the MAPL grading system. Thus, Bryan is now Cancon!!" Woohoo
Suckage rating CBC factor

Corey Hart
 
Corey Hart
Couldn't sing, couldn't dance, couldn't write, could sort of pout. Was backed by Much Music, looked good in a leather jacket, could sort of pout, chicks dug him.
Suckage rating CBC factor

Anne Murray
 
Anne Murray
Canadian icon. Elvis's favorite female singer. Awarded countless Juno awards because they couldn't find anybody else to give them to. Icon yes. Inspiring? Maybe to people over 60. Then there's all the hockey player rumours Bo always tells me about (Paul Rienhart? Really?).
Suckage rating CBC factor

Celine Dion
 
Celine Dion
Sure she can technically hit all the notes, but god there's more soul in my pudding. Banal to the extreme along with her lethario husband, Papa Smurf. Canada's answer to Streisand and I don't mean that as compliment. Becoming the most bovine of sacred cows.
Suckage rating CBC factor

Jann Arden
 
Jann Arden
She can be entertaining in interviews but the music? ZZZZZZZZZ. The next Anne Murray and that's not something to really aspire too.
Suckage rating CBC factor

Gino Vanelli
 
Gino Vanelli
Wild horses couldn't tear his mullet away. I guess he was sort of the Rex Smith of Canada with a little more talent. Although he didn't get to host Solid Gold or do dinner theatre in Calgary like Rex.
Suckage rating CBC factor

David Foster
 
David Foster
Pre-eminent Canadian producer of polished shlock. At the very least he does know a muzzak formula that will sell records by the millions. Destroyed my faith in pop when I discovered he produced Completion Backward Principle. Looks like Herb Tarlek. Ran over Ben Vereen.
Suckage rating CBC factor

the box
 
The Box
Forgettable French Canadian band that played MOR in english. Singer "dressed to the right" I believe.
Suckage rating CBC factor

Mitsou
 
Mitsou
Harmless pop diva from Quebec. At least she didn't take herself too seriously. Her success had more to do with the T&A factor than CanCon.
Suckage rating CBC factor

Tom Cochrane
 
Tom Cochrane
Granted the early Red Rider stuff was good for the time and would almost warrant moving Tom up a notch. Unfortunately, Tom then did the blue jeans t-shirt thing, started hanging with Terry David Mulligan, and doing Yosemite Sam imitations in his songs,"Life is a highway, DOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHH".
Suckage rating CBC factor

Headpins
 
Headpins
Or is that the Pinheads. I'm going to be lenient because they constitute a guilty pleasure. Gosh that Darby Mills had soft features.
Suckage rating CBC factor

Gordon Lightfoot
 
Gordon Lightfoot
Gordie One note. Because of him a generation grew up thinking the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald was this Titanic like event. Sure it was bad but it was no Titanic. Did I mention he has a one note range?
Suckage rating CBC factor

Payolas
 
Payola$
I really loved the first 2 albums when they came out, and for those 2 I'd rate them higher. But for some inexplicable reason Bob Rock caved to Paul Hyde's lameness. Whatever the result Bob Rock at least knows production.
Suckage rating CBC factor

alanis
 
Alanis Morissette
Admit it, her work really isn't all that adventurous. P.J.Harvey, Cat Power, and Danielle Dax all blow Alanis out their ass. Consider the fact that she's basically just a Tiffany (or Britney Spears for the younger set) that managed to change her image at the right time. And her sexual inuendo goes soft when you realise she might be singing about Dave Coulier of Full House fame (you know the guy that makes funny voices).
Suckage rating CBC factor

Loverboy
 
Loverboy
As musicians, they were no virtuosos. But they did know a good hook when they heard one. Paul Dean and Matthew Frenette must have played in every hard rock band in Canada. Banal as they really are, it can't be disputed that they could have made it anywhere.
Suckage rating CBC factor

April Wine
 
April Wine
They had a couple of good hooks when the likes of Trooper and Prism were being flogged. That's the best I can say.
Suckage rating CBC factor

Shania Twain
 
Shania Twain
Proof that: A) Country music is a diseased ridden corpse with no original ideas. B) Lap-dancing can make you millions
Suckage rating CBC factor


 
Saga
Okay okay it is questionable to put them here. This is the one and only reason why. I remember when they first came out and they sounded like nothing out of Canada.
Suckage rating CBC factor


 
Chiliwack
Right up there with Toto. SCTV did the best rendition of "My Girl (gone so long)" with their PreTeen World skit.
Suckage rating CBC factor


 
K.D. Lang (1988 - present)
The K.D. Lang robot replacement from Nashville/via LA. No more Patsy Cline just a hunger for Anne Murray.
Suckage rating CBC factor


 
BTO
Better Turned Off...
Suckage rating CBC factor


 
Sarah McLachlan
Hides the fact that she has nothing to say behind a pretty voice and careful arrangements. Gets more suckage points for making horrible imitations of Klimt paintings.
Suckage rating CBC factor


 
Joni Mitchell
A sacred cow of a different variety. Was there ever a need to unleash Big Yellow Taxi on the unsuspecting public? Oh lord the vomitting that song induces.
Suckage rating CBC factor


 
Kim Mitchell
Need music for a beer commercial? I guess this is kind of inoffensive rock but it was bludgeoned to death by CanCon.
Suckage rating CBC factor


 
Blue Rodeo
Pointy nose dude has a good voice but can't write anything interesting. Goofy looking guy can't sing but can write the odd good lyric. Eh what the hell they do have considerable polish, I just can't bring myself to elevate them higher.
Suckage rating CBC factor


 
Skydiggers
Kind of alright folk rockers. I have a weak spot because there's something about the singer that reminds me of an old picture of my uncle George (I never claimed this was a scientific survey).
Suckage rating CBC factor


 
Robert Goulet
Useless carnival act in Vegas. But god bless him for slaughtering national anthems.
Suckage rating CBC factor


 
Tragically Hip
I can see having one Tragically Hip album, but is there any reason to have more?
Suckage rating CBC factor


 
Cowboy Junkies
Guilty on inducing musical snooze-fests.
Suckage rating CBC factor


 
Steppenwolf
Two songs have sustained a 4 decade career.
Suckage rating CBC factor


 
Nelly Furtado
Every once in a while, Canada produces someone who somehow manages to suck internationally thereby bypassing the need of CanCon to further their career. Whoa Nelly - with your shrill voice that's you.
Suckage rating CBC factor


 
More still to come...

 

 
The Dreck | The Banal | At Least They Tried
 
 

Background
*Main Argument
*Rating System
*Rate Your Own!
 
Band Listings
*The Dreck
*The Banal
*At Least They Tried
 
Reading Material
* I Hate Music
* I Hate You and Your So-called Taste in Music
* Have Not Been the Same: The Canrock Renaissance 1985-1995
[by Michael Barclay, Jason Schneider, Ian Andrew Dylan Jack]
 
 
* Last Call: Vancouver Independent Music, 1977-1988
Overlooked Canadian music most Canadians never heard during the heydays of the CanCon 80s



 
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