Frankly, this was a really tough project. My musical tastes range from rock to hip-hop to blues, from Pink to Ottmar Liebert to Kendrik Lamar. My background music playlist is jazz. When my wife travels and it’s just the kids, I play Canadian bands, Springsteen, and music from the 80’s-2000’s, mostly so they can hear something different (my daughter loves Plastic Bertrand). In the car, we listen to hip-hop and rap. I like to remind my kids that they have an obligation to bring new and interesting music into the house. If I’m listening to “lame music,” I blame them.
The list includes songs from almost five decades, with a significant Canadian component. I run into a disproportionate number of Canadians in the IP business. (At the start of a significant patent licensing engagement, we learned that one of the licensing executives had been a newspaper delivery boy to my grandparents in Edmonton, Alberta.) Disclaimer: Nickelback and Justin Bieber are not my fault.
I like Victor Hugo’s view on the topic, “Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” I hope you have a wonderful fourth of July.
|Rock||The Tragically Hip||Up to Here||New Orleans Is Sinking||The Tragically Hip somehow captured what it is to be Canadian.|
|Soul||Amy Winehouse||Back to Black||Back to Black||The entire album is worth listening to.|
|Punk||The Clash||London Calling||London Calling||A shout out to my brother who lives in London. He and I went to their concert.|
|Cuban||Beuna Vista Social Club||Candela||Buena Vista Social Club opened a whole new world of music for me. It’s what we play on a Sunday afternoon.|
|Flamenco||Ottmar Liebert||Nouveau Flamenco||Barcelona Nights||Ottmar Liebert changed my view on what you can do with a guitar.|
|Indie Pop||The xx||xx||Intro||The entire album is worth listening to.|
|Jazz||Sade||Smooth Operator||I saw her at Wembley Arena in 1985 at Live Aid. She is one of the few performers still working from that lineup.|
|EDM||Avicii||TRUE||Wake Me Up||For 10 years, we’ve been lucky enough to be involved with CIP and had a number of excellent student interns from the Intellectual Asset Management programs offered by universities in Sweden. Avicii created his own style of EDM by combining it with Country. His albums were great and his death was a loss to the music world.|
|Rockabilly||Stray Cats||Built for Speed||Stray Cat Strut||This is just fun music.|
|Rock||Bryan Adams||Reckless||Summer of 69||Quintessentially Canadian and part of my youth. Also, a friend’s sister used to date him so we got good tickets.|
|Rock||The Tragically Hip||Phantom Power||Bobcaygeon||Quintessentially Canadian|
|Rock||The Tragically Hip||Wheat Kings – Remastered||Fully Completely||Quintessentially Canadian|
|Rock||Rush||Moving Pictures||Tom Sawyer||As a high school English project, we analyzed the lyrics from Rush songs. Until then, I had not considered that rock music could simply be read as poetry.|
|Rock||Bruce Springsteen||Born to Run||Born to Run||Much of my family are coal miners, welders, heavy-duty mechanics and do jobs that would win approval from Mike Rowe. Even though we were Canadian, much of Bruce Springsteen’s music resonated.|
|Rap||Drake||Nice for What||For my wife, for all the hard work and struggles. I’m very proud or her.|
|Country||Blue Rodeo||Five Days in July||5 Days in May||Quintessentially Canadian|
|Rock||The Cowboy Junkies||The Trinity Session||Sweet Jane||Although originally a Lou Reed/Velvet Underground song, I think the Cowboy Junkies did it better and made it theirs.|
|Rap||Kendrick Lamar||DAMN||DNA||This album crushed it. If you wonder where the modern poets are, look for them in rap.|
|Rap||B.o.B.||B.o.B. Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray||Don’t Let Me Fall||Change a few words and you would have the anthem for Silicon Valley. Also, if you aren’t a fan of rap, this is a great place to start.|
|Rock||The Black Keys||Brothers||Tighten Up||This is my ringtone.|
|Rap||Eminem||The Marshall Mathers LP2||The Monster||The entire album is worth listening to.|
|Rock||Sam Roberts Band||We Were Born in a Flame||The Canadian Dream||Quintessentially Canadian|
|Grunge||Nirvana||Nevermind||Come as You Are||This album is now 27 years old and it still matters. It also reminds me of visits to the Experience Music Project. If you are in Seattle, it’s a worthwhile visit.|
|Rock||Linkin Park||Hybrid Theory||In the End||For fun, I used to downhill race. This album was on repeat. So was Lady Gaga, but we’re not going to talk about that.|
|Rock||Queen||A Night at the Opera||Bohemian Rhapsody||I saw them live at Live Aid – I have no words.|
Image Source: Deposit Photos.