Celebrate Record Store Day Toronto style

Searching for ­iconic albums by T.O.’s best local bands in the bins can be fun and rewarding


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Blue Rodeo turned Canada on its ear with its Toronto-made alt-country tunes

There is history of incredible music in this city, and what better time to explore it than in celebration of Record Store Day on April 22?

Although once ignored, vinyl continues to make a comeback in Canada and around the world as music fans have come to appreciate the ritual of spinning a disc and the esthetic value of a good old-timey album cover. 

Just recently, it was announced the vinyl-first music store Sunrise is set to massively expand operations and make records a priority. 

So it is time to take the plunge. But where to start?

Try considering a look back at the city’s most memorable albums. It’s like a history lesson on every album cover from Blue Rodeo to Alannah Myles. 

For instance: Barenaked Ladies’ debut album Gordon, which we know wasn’t really its first. That’s reserved for the legendary, and hard-to-come-by, Yellow Tape. But Gordon is when the band really established itself as the next big thing in Canadian music. 

Or Neil Young’s Harvest. Some people don’t even know that Young grew up in the Lawrence Park neighbourhood of  Toronto and played in a band called the Mynah Birds with soul legend Rick James. 

What about Feist? She has a new album on the way, but looking back to her roots you can find some real gems like The Reminder. And you might dig deeper and find out that she was part of the band By Divine Right. Check out the video for the song “Come for a Ride.” You’ll see. 

And, it’s hard to look at Toronto music history without bumping into a boatload of Rush — easily the most influential band to come out of Willowdale.

What about Lowest of the Low? Never heard of them? You’re not alone. But many rabid fans still haven’t taken their debut album, Shakespeare My Butt, off the turntable. 

If you find one, let us know, the publisher might just pay you handsomely for it.

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