By Alex HudsonBack in the June, authors Michael Barclay, Jason Schneider and Ian A.D. Jack released a tenth anniversary edition of their book Have Not Been the Same: The CanRock Renaissance 1985-1995. Now, that tome has spawned a star-studded covers album that features some of Canada's finest talent covering songs from decades past.
Barclay curated the compilation, and he recruited a cast of contributors that includes (deep breath): Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene, Snailhouse, the Hidden Cameras, Neil Haverty of Bruce Peninsula, Great Lake Swimmers, Bry Webb of Constantines, Light Fires (Gentleman Reg and Ohbijou's James Bunton), Cuff the Duke, Jim Bryson, Little Scream, the Burning Hell, Owl Mountain Radar (Jim Bryson and Chris Page), Richard Reed Parry of Arcade Fire, and Jill and Matthew Barber.
They covered tunes by classic acts like the Tragically Hip, Al Tuck, Rheostatics, Men Without Hats, the Grapes of Wrath, Sloan, Eric's Trip and many others.
Much like the recent reissue of the book, this covers collection is intended to help 21st century listeners rediscover the music of 1985 to 1995.
"In order to breathe new life into this music, I decided to put the material in a contemporary context," Barclay tells Exclaim!, "because the last ten years of Canadian music have been so amazing on every level."
So how did Barclay chose which artists should be involved in the project?
"These people made some of my favourite records of the last ten years," he explains. "I could have asked older artists who are still active, but it was important to me to have this current generation paying their respects to those who came before them."
Barclay gave all of the artists involved a list of the bands featured in the book. The performers then used this list as a reference point to help them chose their cover song.
"There would be no point in covering Bryan Adams or Alannah Myles, because they're not part of the thesis," Barclay notes. "I didn't really direct anyone in terms of what was covered geographically or in terms of specific genres, gender or time periods, and I'm really happy that all the cards fell where they did -- I think it's a broad representation of the music discussed in the book."
The Have Not Been the Same compilation comes out on Tuesday (November 15) exclusively through Zunior.com. All proceeds go to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto.
Have Not Been the Same:
1. The Burning Hell - "Pop Goes the World" (Men Without Hats) 2. Corb Lund - "In Contempt of Me" (Jr. Gone Wild) 3. Great Lake Swimmers - "What Was Going Through My Head" (The Grapes of Wrath) 4. Owl Mountain Radar - "Daylight" (The Nils) 5. Bry Webb - "I Will Give You Everything" (Skydiggers) 6. Forest City Lovers - "The Lines You Amend" (Sloan) 7. Light Fires - "Happens All the Time" (Eric's Trip) 8. Selina Martin with the Faceless Forces of Bigness - "Grace, Too" (The Tragically Hip) 9. Mark Davis and Lorrie Matheson - "Too Cool to Live, Too Smart to Die" (Deja Voodoo) 10. Jill and Matthew Barber - "Your Sunshine" (Hardship Post) 11. Cuff the Duke - "North Window" (The Inbreds) 12. The Hidden Cameras - "Throw Silver" (Mecca Normal) 13. Snailhouse - "Buddah" (Al Tuck) 14. Veda Hille - "Odette" (Circle C) 15. Andrew Vincent - "Teenland" (Northern Pikes) 16. Geoff Berner - "Bound for Vegas" (Art Bergmann) 17. Neil Haverty - "Shaved Head" (Rheostatics) 18. Little Scream and Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire, Bell Orchestre) - "When You Know Why You're Happy" (Mary Margaret O'Hara) 19. Kevin Drew - "We Got Time" (Bob Wiseman)