Canada is marking its 145th year today (July 1), and we've rounded up some fine Canadian albums to help you celebrate our home and native land. We all know that our country has a rich history when it comes to music -- from Neil Young to the Band to Rush to Joni Mitchell and Gordon Lightfoot -- but this year, the aforementioned greats are being left on the shelf to make room for some more recent aural awesomeness.
The following ten albums are still quintessentially Canadian, but none of them precedes 1989. Read on to check out which albums make us truly proud to be Canadian. And of course, there are even more great Canadian albums than those listed below, so feel free to share which records you would have included in the comments.
And if you're curious, yes, it was heartbreaking to leave off classic albums like New Pornographers' Mass Romantic, D.O.A.'s Hardcore '81 and Godspeed You! Black Emperor's Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven, among many, many others.
Exclaim!'s 10 Quintessentially Canadian Albums for Canada Day:
Quebecois thrash troupe Voivod have been pushing the boundaries of heavy metal since forming 30 years ago. It was on their 1989 album Nothingface, however, that they took a turn for the more progressive with excellent results. And nothing says prog rock like a Pink Floyd cover, which Voivod delivered with "Astronomy Domine" on this record. The original material still stands up, and while asking for another 30 years of Voivod might be a bit ambitious, at least we know Nothingface isn't going anywhere.
Psychedelic electro master Caribou (Dan Snaith) may have picked up the Polaris Music Prize for Andorra, but instead of resting on his laurels, he gave us something even better when he dropped Swim in 2010. Opener "Odessa" is giant, and the album gives us a strong, experimental blend of electronic, pop and folk right through to the Luke Lalonde-assisted finale "Jamelia." For pushing genre boundaries and remaining ever-innovative, Caribou's Swim is a quintessential album for any Canadian's collection.
Less Talk, More Rock (1996)
Always outspoken Winnipeg punks Propagandhi make the list with their classic 1996 LP Less Talk, More Rock. Shooting off 14 songs in 25 minutes, it's fast and fun Canadian punk at its best. It's also the last album the band put out with bassist John K. Samson before he left to wax poetic as the frontman of the much-loved Weakerthans. Aggressive tunes about class war and animal rights from Chris Hannah drive home the band's political agenda, while "Gifts" and "Anchorless" are little pop punk gems courtesy of Samson. For managing to make a point without sacrificing the rock, Less Talk, More Rock makes the cut.