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Canadian Bands: Best Canadian Rock Bands of All Time

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Ray has been an online music writer for over four years. Having sung in multiple competitions as a youth, he has a passion for the art.

Greatest Canadian Bands of All Time

Greatest Canadian Bands of All Time

1. Rush

Genres: Progressive Rock, Hard Rock

Year Formed: 1968

Members: Geddy Lee (bassist, vocals, keyboards), Alex Lifeson (guitar), Neil Peart (drums, percussion, lyricist), John Rutsey (drums), Jeff Jones (bassist), Lindy Young, Joe Perna, Mitchel Bossi

Facts About Rush

  • Rush is a Canadian rock band known for its musicianship, multifaceted compositions, and exceptional lyrical styles drawn from philosophy and science fiction.
  • The group started their musical style from hard rock to progressive rock over the years.
  • The group received 24 gold, 14 platinum, and three multi-platinum albums.
  • According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Rush sold 25 million copies in the United States alone.
  • Rush won a total of seven Grammy awards.
  • The band won several Juno Awards and an International Achievement Award at the 2009 SOCAN Awards.

Albums: Rush (1974), Fly by Night (1975), Caress of Steel (1975), 2112 (1976), A Farewell to Kings (1977), Hemispheres (1978), Permanent Waves (1980), Moving Pictures (1981), Signals (1982), Grace Under Pressure (1984), Power Windows (1985), Hold Your Fire (1987), Presto (1989), Roll the Bones (1991), Counterparts (1993), Test for Echo (1996), Vapor Trails (2002), Snakes & Arrows (2007), Clockwork Angels (2012)

2. The Band

Genres: Roots Rock, Americana, Folk Rock, Country Rock

Year Formed: 1968

Members: Rick Danko (bass guitar, vocals, fiddle), Garth Hudson (keyboards, accordion, saxophone), Richard Manuel (keyboards, drums, vocals), Robbie Robertson (guitar, vocals), Levon Helm (drum, vocals, mandolin, guitar), Jim Welder, Stan Szelest, Randy Ciarlante, Richard Bell

Facts About The Band

  • The Band is an American-Canadian rock band consisting of four Canadians and one American.
  • AllMusic describes The Band as one of the most popular and influential rock bands in the world.
  • The Band’s original group name was The Hawks. They have initially been a backing band for Ronnie Hawkins, an American-Canadian rock and roll musician.
  • They started to gain popularity when they backed-up Bob Dylan in his concert tours.
  • The group received the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1989 and the Rock, Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, and Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2014.
  • The Band ranked #50 on the Rolling Stone 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
  • In 2004, The Band received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • One of their greatest songs is “The Weight,” which ranked #41 on Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Albums: Music from Big Pink (1968), The Band (1969), Stage Fright (1970), Cahoots (1971), Rock of Ages (1972), Moondog Matinee (1973), Northern Lights – Southern Cross (1975), Islands (1977), Jericho (1993), High on the Hog (1996), Jubilation (1998)

3. The Guess Who

Genres: Hard Rock, Pop Rock, Psychedelic Rock

Year Formed: 1962

Members: Garry Peterson, Leonard Shaw, Derek Sharp, Will Evankovich, Rudy Sarzo, Chad Allan, Bob Ashley, Jim Kale, Randy Bachman, Burton Cummings, Bruce Decker, Stan Miczek, Carl Dixon, Greg Leskiw, Donnie McDougall, Domenic Troiano, Bill Wallace, Kurt Winter, Dale Russell, Mike McKenna, Vance Masters, Terry Hatty, Terry Read, Bobby Bilan, Laurie MacKenzie

Facts About The Guess Who

  • The Guess Who is a Canadian rock band originated from Winnipeg.
  • The band's songwriters received the Governor's Performing Arts Award in 2002.
  • Some of the notable singles by The Guess Who are "No Time," "American Woman," and "Laughing."
  • They performed in various Canadian live concert tours such as Together Again, Molson Canadian Rocks for Toronto, First Time Around, and Shakin' In Las Vegas.

Albums: Shakin' All Over (1965), Hey Ho (What You Do to Me!) (1965), It's Time (1966), A Wild Pair (with The Staccatos) (1968), Wheatfield Soul (1969), Canned Wheat (1969), American Woman (1970), Share the Land (1970), So Long, Bannatyne (1971), Rockin' (1972), Artificial Paradise (1973), #10 (1973), Road Food (1974), Flavours (1974), Power in the Music (1975), The Way They Were (1976)

4. The Tragically Hip

Genres: Alternative Rocks, Folk Rock

Year Formed: 1984

Members: Rob Baker (guitarist), Gord Downie (vocalist), Johny Fay (drummer), Paul Langlois (guitarist), Gord Sinclair (bassist)

Facts About The Tragically Hip

  • The Tragically Hip, often referred to as The Hip, is a Canadian rock band from Kingston, Ontario.
  • The band was Canada’s R.E.M. during their time.
  • The Tragically Hip was the best-selling Canadian band in Canada between 1996 and 2016.
  • Nine of the band’s albums peaked at #1 on the Canadian charts.
  • The band received 16 Juno Awards.
  • The Tragically Hip was the overall fourth best-selling Canadian artist in Canada.
  • Downie’s death was the indicator of the band’s retirement.

Albums: The Tragically Hip E.P. (1987), Up to Here (1989), Road Apples (1991), Fully Completely (1992), Day for Night (1994), Trouble at the Henhouse (1996), Phantom Power (1998), Music @ Work (2000), In Violet Light (2002), In Between Evolution (2004), World Container (2006), We Are the Same (2009), Now for Plan A (2012), Man Machine Poem (2016)

5. Saga

Genres: Progressive Rock, New Wave, Power Pop, Neo-Progressive Rock

Year Formed: 1977

Members: Michael Sadler, Ian Crichton, Jim Gilmour, Mike Thorne, Dusty Chesterfield, Jim Crichton, Brian Doerner, Rob Moratti, Steve Negus, Christian Simpson, Peter Rochon, Gregg Chadd, Glen Sobel

Facts About Saga

  • Saga is a multi-awarded Canadian rock band from Oakville, Ontario.
  • Saga was very successful in Germany and Puerto Rico.
  • The band received many golds and platinum albums worldwide.
  • Saga sold more than eight million albums.
  • Some of their charting singles were "Wind Him Up," "On the Loose," and "What Do I Know."

Albums: Saga (1978), Images at Twilight (1979), Silent Knight (1980), Worlds Apart (1981), Heads or Tales (1983), Behavior (1985), Wildest Dreams (1987), The Beginner's Guide to Throwing Shapes (1989), The Security of Illusion (1993), Steel Umbrellas (1994), Generation 13 (1995), Pleasure & the Pain (1997), Phase 1 (1998), Full Circle (1999), House of Cards (2001), Marathon (2003), Network (2004), Trust (2006), 10,000 Days (2007), The Human Condition (2009), 20/20 (2012), Sagacity (2014)

6. Arcade Fire

Genres: Indie Rock, Art Rock, Dance Rock, Baroque Pop

Year Formed: 2001

Members: Win Butler, Régine Chassagne, Richard Reed Parry, Tim Kingsbury, William Butler, Jeremy Gara, Josh Deu, Adam Etinson, Myles Broscoe, Brendan Reed, Dane Mills, Tim Kile, Howard Bilerman, Sarah Neufeld

Facts About Arcade Fire

  • Arcade Fire is one of the most successful Canadian indie rock bands founded in 2000.
  • All Arcade Fire’s albums received nominations for Best Alternative Music Album at the Grammys.
  • Neon Bible, the band’s second studio album, won the 2008 Meteor Music Award for Best International Album. The same album won the Alternative Album of the Year at the 2008 Juno Awards.
  • Arcade Fire’s third studio album The Suburbs was successful in 2010. The album received the Album of the Year at the 2011 Grammy Awards, Album of the Year at the 2011 Juno Awards, and the Best International Album at the 2011 Brit Awards.
  • The band’s fourth album Reflektor received a nomination for the Best Original Score at the 86th Academy Awards.
  • The band’s first studio album Funeral received positive critics and considered one of the greatest albums of the 2000s.
  • Arcade Fire is known for playing various musical instruments such as guitar, drums, bass guitar, piano, violin, viola, cello, xylophone, synthesizer, harp, mandolin, double bass, glockenspiel, French horn, etc.

Albums: Funeral (2004), Neon Bible (2007), The Suburbs (2010), Reflektor (2013), Everything Now (2017)

7. Nickelback

Genres: Post-Grunge, Hard Rock, Pop Rock, Alternative Metal, Alternative Rock

Year Formed: 1995

Members: Chad Kroeger (guitarist and lead vocalist), Ryan Peake (guitarist, keyboardist, and backing vocalist), Mike Kroeger (bassist), Daniel Adair (drummer), Brandon Kroeger, Mitch Guindon, Ryan Vikedal (drummer)

Facts About Nickelback

  • Nickelback is one of the most commercially successful Canadian rock bands formed in Hanna, Alberta.
  • The band sold more than 50 million albums worldwide.
  • Billboard ranked Nickelback as the most successful rock band in 2009.
  • Nickelback’s single “How You Remind Me” was the best-selling rock song and fourth best-selling song of the decade in 2009. The single reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Canadian Singles Chart.
  • Nickelback got four albums listed on the Billboard Top Albums of the Decade.
  • Billboard listed Nickelback #7 on the Billboard Top Artist of the Decade.
  • Nickelback won the Society of Authors, Composers, and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) International Achievement Award from 2003 to 2008.

Albums: Curb (1996), The State (1998), Silver Side Up (2001), The Long Road (2003), All the Right Reasons (2005), Dark Horse (2008), Here and Now (2011), No Fixed Address (2014), Feed the Machine (2017)

8. Heart

Genres: Rock, Hard Rock, Folk Rock, and Pop Rock

Year Formed: 1973

Members: Ann Wilson (lead vocals, flute, and guitar), Nancy Wilson (vocals, guitar, and mandolin), Denny Fongheiser, Craig Bartock, Ryan Waters, Dan Walker, Andy Stoller

Facts About Heart

  • The band Heart is an American rock band originally formed in Seattle, Washington, who became famous when moving to Canada.
  • The group started their comeback when they began releasing hard-rock songs and ballads.
  • The group sold more than 35 million album copies worldwide.
  • Heart ranked #57 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.
  • The group had albums that ranked top 10 on the Billboard 200 in the 70s, 80s, 90s, and 2000s.
  • They included Heart in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.

Albums: Dreamboat Annie (1975), Magazine (1977), Little Queen (1977), Dog and Butterfly (1978), Bébé le Strange (1980), Private Audition (1982), Passionworks (1983), Heart (1985), Bad Animals (1987), Brigade (1990), Desire Walks On (1993), Heart Presents a Lovemongers' Christmas (2001), Jupiters Darling (2004), Red Velvet Car (2010), Fanatic (2012), Beautiful Broken (2016)

9. Three Days Grace

Genres: Post-Grunge, Hard Rock, Alternative Metal, Alternative Rock, NU Metal

Year Formed: 1997

Members: Neil Sanderson (drummer and backing vocalist), Brad Walst (bassist), Barry Stock (lead guitarist), Matt Walst, Adam Gontier (guitarist and lead vocalist)

Facts About Three Days Grace

  • Three Days Grace had 15 songs that peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks Chart, and three songs peaked at #1 on the Alternative Songs Chart.
  • The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified the band’s first three albums as 2x platinum, 3x platinum, and platinum.
  • The Music Canada certified the band’s first three albums as platinum, double platinum, and platinum.
  • Mediabase ranked Three Days Grace as the top artist in airplay across all rock formats in the United States and Canada in 2007.
  • Three Days Grace won four out of six New Group of the Year nominations at the 2004 Juno Awards.
  • Three Days Grace’s first single One-X was Canada’s most-played rock song in 2006.
  • Three Days Grace won the Rock Artist of the Year at the iHeartRadio Music Awards in 2019.

Albums: Three Days Grace (2003), One-X (2006), Life Starts Now (2009), Transit of Venus (2012), Human (2015), Outsider (2018)

10. Sum41

Genres: Punk Rock, Pop Punk, Skate Punk, Alternative Metal, Alternative Rock, Melodic Hardcore

Year Formed: 1996

Members: Deryck Whibley, Dave Baksh, Jason McCaslin, Tom Thacker, Frank Zummo, Steve Jocz, Jon Marshall, Richard Roy, Mark Spicoluk

Facts About Sum41

  • Sum41, originally called Kaspir, is a Canadian rock band formed in Ajax, Ontario.
  • Sum41 signed an international deal with Island Records, a British-Jamaican record label, in 1999.
  • They won the Group of the Year Award at the Juno Awards and the Rock Album of the Year for Chuck in 2005.
  • Sum41 became the 31st best-selling Canadian artist in Canada.

Albums: All Killer No Filler (2001), Does This Look Infected? (2002), Chuck (2004), Underclass Hero (2007), Screaming Bloody Murder (2011), 13 Voices (2016), Order in Decline (2019)

11. Blue Rodeo

Genres: Pop Rock, Country, Alternative Country, Roots Rock, Folk Rock, Americana

Year Formed: 1984

Members: Jim Cuddy, Bazil Donovan, Greg Keelor, Glenn Milchem, Mike Boguski, Colin Cripps, Cleave Anderson, Bob Wiseman, Mark French Kim Deschamps James Gray, Bob Packwood, Bob Egan

Facts About Blue Rodeo

  • Blue Rodeo is a Canadian country rock band from Toronto, Ontario.
  • The group won twelve awards from Jun Awards and seven SOCAN Awards.
  • Blue Rodeo received a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2009.
  • Blue Rodeo established itself as one of the premier groups in Canadian music garnering 11 Juno Awards.
  • The band received the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award (GGPAA) in 2014.

Albums: Outskirts (1987), Diamond Mine (1989), Casino (1990), Lost Together (1992), Five Days in July (1993), Nowhere to Here (1995), Tremolo (1997), The Days in Between (2000), Palace of Gold (2002), Are You Ready (2005), Small Miracles (2007), The Things We Left Behind (2009), In Our Nature (2013), A Merrie Christmas to You (2014), 1000 Arms (2016)

12. Broken Social Scene

Genres: Indie Rock, Experimental Rock, Soul Music, Noise Pop, Post-Rock

Year Formed: 1999

Members: Ohad Benchetrit, Torquil Campbell, Brendan Canning, Jason Collett, Evan Cranley, John Crossingham, Kevin Drew, Ariel Engle, Leslie Feist, Sam Goldberg Jr., Jo-ann Goldsmith, Emily Haines, Martin Davis Kinack, Lisa Lobsinger, Adam Marvy, John McEntire, Amy Millan, David Newfeld, Andrew Neville, Julie Penner, Justin Peroff, Elizabeth Powell, Bill Priddle, James Shaw, Charles Spearin, Jason Tait, Andrew Whiteman

Facts About Broken Social Scene

  • Broken Social Scene is a Canadian indie rock band from Ontario, Canada, formed in 1999.
  • The group’s musical style includes grand orchestrations, including guitars, woodwinds, violins, experimental, etc.
  • Broken Social Scene won the Alternative Album of the Year in 2003 and 2006 at the Juno Awards.

Albums: Feel Good Lost (2001), You Forgot It in People (2002), Broken Social Scene (2005), Forgiveness Rock Record (2010), Hug of Thunder (2017)

13. Death from Above

Genres: Dance Punk, Noise Rock, Punk Rock, Hard Rock

Year Formed: 2001

Members: Jesse F. Keeler, Sebastien Grainger

Facts About Broken Social Scene

  • Death from Above, often referred to as Death from Above 1989, is a Canadian rock duo consisting of a bassist and drummer-vocalist.
  • The band broke up in 2006 after releasing their first album but reformed in 2011.
  • The group's musical style is more of a dance-punk and punk rock vibe.
  • Rolling Stone described the group as a DIY dance-punk aesthetic and noisy hardcore.

Albums: You're a Woman, I'm a Machine (2004), The Physical World (2014), Outrage! Is Now (2017)

14. Metric

Genres: Indie Rock, New Wave, Synth-Pop

Year Formed: 1998

Members: Emily Haines (lead vocals), James Shaw (lead and rhythm guitars), Joshua Winstead (bass guitar and backing vocals), Joules Scott-Key (percussion)

Facts About Metric

  • Metric is a multi-awarded Canadian rock band formed in 1998 in Ontario, Canada.
  • Metric performed live at Coachella in April 2013.
  • The group won the Favorite New Album and NXNE Favorite New Indie Release at the CASBY Awards in 2009.
  • Metric received the Group of the Year Award and the Alternative Album of the Year at the 2010 Juno Awards.
  • Their album Synthetica won the Alternative Album of the Year and Recording Package of the Year at the 2013 Juno Awards.
  • Overall, their fifth album Synthetica won the most awards among their studio albums.

Albums: Old World Underground, Where Are You Now? (2003), Live It Out (2005), Grow Up and Blow Away (2007), Fantasies (2009), Synthetica (2012), Pagans in Vegas (2015), Art of Doubt (2018)

15. Barenaked Ladies

Genres: Alternative Rock, Jangle, College Rock, Folk rock, Pop Rock, Comedy Rock, Geek Rock

Year Formed: 1988

Members: Ed Robertson, Jim Creeggan, Tyler Stewart, Kevin Hearn, Steven Page, Andy Creeggan

Facts About Barenaked Ladies

• Barenaked Ladies is a Canadian rock band from Scarborough, Ontario.

• The group initially started making acoustic music until they progress to encompass a mixture of pop, rock, hip-hop, and rap.

• The group won various Juno Awards and got nominated two times at the Grammy Awards.

• Barenaked Ladies sold over 15 million copies of their albums and singles.

• The group won the Best Clip and The Maximum Vision Award at the Billboard Music Awards for their single "One Week."

Albums: Gordon (1992), Maybe You Should Drive (1994), Born on a Pirate Ship (1996), Stunt (1998), Maroon (2000), Everything to Everyone (2003), Barenaked for the Holidays (2004), As You Like It (2005), Barenaked Ladies Are Me (2006), Barenaked Ladies Are Men (2007), Snacktime (2008), All in Good Time (2010), Grinning Streak (2013), Silverball (2015), Ladies and Gentlemen: Barenaked Ladies and The Persuasions (2017), Fake Nudes (2017)

16. Bachman - Turner Overdrive

Genres: Rock, Hard Rock, Boogie Rock, Blues Rock

Year Formed: 1973

Members: Randy Bachman, Robbie Bachman, Fred Turner, Tim Bachman, Blair Thornton, Jim Clench, Garry Peterson, Billy Chapman, Randy Murray

Facts About Bachman - Turner Overdrive

• Bachman - Turner Overdrive is a Canadian rock band from Winnipeg, Manitoba.

• The band sold nearly 30 million albums worldwide garnering five Top 40 albums and six U.S. Top 40 Singles.

• The group won the Most Promising Group of the Year at the 1974 Juno Awards.

• Bachman - Turner Overdrive won the Group of the Year at the Juno Awards in 1975 and 1976.

• Bachman - Turner Overdrive was an inductee at the 2014 Canadian Music Hall of Fame.

Albums: Bachman - Turner Overdrive (1973), Bachman-Turner Overdrive II (1973), Not Fragile (1974), Four Wheel Drive (1975), Head On (1975), Freeways (1977), Street Action (1978), Rock n' Roll Nights (1979), Bachman - Turner Overdrive (1984), Trial by Fire: Greatest and Latest (1996)

17. April Wine

Genres: Hard Rock

Year Formed: 1969

Members: Myles Goodwyn, Brian Greenwa, Richard Lanthier, Roy Nichol, Jim Henman, David Henman, Ritchie Henman, Gary Moffet, Steve Lang, Steve Segal, Carl Dixon, Jim Clench, Jerry Mercer, Breen LeBoeuf, Blair Mackay

Facts About April Wine

• April Wine is a Canadian rock band formed in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

• The band became successful during the 1970s and 1980s where they released over 20 studio albums.

• The band did not receive any win from Juno Awards despite 11 nominations.

• April Wine was an inductee in the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame.

• The group got the CMW Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009.

Albums: April Wine (1971), On Record (1972), Electric Jewels (1973), Stand Back (1975), The Whole World's Goin' Crazy (1976), Forever for Now (1977), First Glance (1978), Harder Faster (1979), The Nature of the Beast (1981), Power Play (1982), Animal Grace (1984), Walking Through Fire (1986), Attitude (1993), Frigate (1994), Back to the Mansion (2001), Roughly Speaking (2006)

18. Loverboy

Genres: Rock, Hard Rock, Synth-Rock

Year Formed: 1979

Members: Mike Reno, Paul Dean, Doug Johnson, Matt Frenette, Ken "Spider" Sinnaeve, Scott Smith

Facts About Loverboy

• Loverboy is a Canadian rock band based in Vancouver, British Columbia.

• Two of the songs popularized by Loverboy were "Turn Me Loose" and "Working for the Weekend."

• Loverboy's songs became arena rock staples and received longer playtime on radio stations in Canada and the United States.

Albums: Loverboy (1980), Get Lucky (1981), Keep It Up (1983), Lovin' Every Minute of It (1985), Wildside (1987), Six (1997), Just Getting Started (2007), Rock 'n' Roll Revival (2012), Unfinished Business (2014)

19. Finger Eleven

Genres: Alternative Rock, Alternative Metal, Post-Grunge, Hard Rock, NU Metal

Year Formed: 1990

Members: Scott Anderson, James Black, Rick Jackett, Sean Anderson, Steve Molella, Rob Gommerman, Rich Beddoe

Facts About Finger Eleven

• Finger Eleven is a Canadian alternative rock band from Burlington, Ontario.

• The band's first single to place on the U.S. Hot 100 Chart reaching #16 was "One Thing."

• The band's self-titled album achieved the Gold status in the U.S. and Platinum status in Canada.

• The group received the Rock Album of the Year Award at the 2008 Juno Awards.

• Finger Eleven was among the 75 best-selling Canadian artists and 25 best-selling Canadian bands.

• Finger Eleven won the International Achievement Award at the 2006 SOCAN Awards.

Albums: Letters from Chutney (1995), Tip (1997), The Greyest of Blue Skies (2000), Finger Eleven (2003), Them vs You vs Me (2007), Life Turns Electric (2010), Five Crooked Lines (2015)

20. Alexisonfire

Genres: Post-Hardcore, Emo, Melodic Hardcore, Screamo

Year Formed: 2001

Members: George Pettit, Dallas Green, Wade MacNeil, Chris Steele, Jordan Hastings, Jesse Ingelevics

Facts About Alexisonfire

• Alexisonfire is a multi-awarded Canadian post-hardcore band from Catharines, Ontario.

• Their self-titled album gained platinum certification in Canada.

• The group won the New Group of the Year at the 2005 Juno Awards.

• Alexisonfire performed their farewell tour in Vancouver, Canada.

• The band received the NXNE Favorite Indie Band and the Favorite New Indie Release at the 2004 and 2006 CASBY Awards, respectively.

Albums: Alexisonfire (2002), Watch Out! (2004), Crisis (2006), Old Crows / Young Cardinals (2009)

21. The New Pornographers

Genres: Indie Rock, Power Pop, Post-Punk Revival

Year Formed: 1997

Members: Kathryn Calder, Neko Case, John Collins, Todd Fancey, Carl Newman, Joe Seiders, Simi Stone, Blaine Thurier, Dan Bejar, Kurt Dahle, Fisher Rose

Facts About The New Pornographers

• The New Pornographers is a Canadian indie rock band from Vancouver, British Columbia.

• The band's musical style features elements of power pop.

• The band's name came from the Japanese film The Pornographers.

• The group's highest-charting album was Brill Bruisers reaching #13 on the Billboard 200.

Albums: Mass Romantic (2000), Electric Version (2003), Twin Cinema (2005), Challengers (2007), Together (2010), Brill Bruisers (2014), Whiteout Conditions (2017), In the Morse Code of Brake Lights (2019)

22. Voivod

Genres: Progressive Metal, Thrash Metal, Alternative Metal, Speed Metal, Avant-Garde Metal

Year Formed: 1982

Members: Michel "Away" Langevin, Denis "Snake" Bélanger, Daniel "Chewy" Mongrain, Dominic "Rocky" Laroche, Denis "Piggy" D'Amour, Jean-Yves "Blacky" Thériault, Pierre St. Jean, Gilles Brisebois, Eric "E-Force" Forrest, Jason "Jasonic" Newsted

Facts About Voivod

• Voivod is a Canadian heavy metal band from Quebec.

• The band started their career as a speed metal band and transitioned into progressive and thrash metal.

• Voivod is one of the four biggest Canadian thrash metal bands along with Razor, Annihilator, and Sacrifice.

• The band received the Visionary Award at the 2017 Progressive Music Awards.

• The band's album The Wake won the Heavy Metal Album of the Year on the Juno Awards.

Albums: War and Pain (1984)m Rrröööaaarrr (1986), Killing Technology (1987), Dimension Hatröss (1988), Nothingface (1989), Angel Rat (1991), The Outer Limits (1993), Negatron (1995), Phobos (1997), Voivod (2003), Katorz (2006), Infini (2009), Target Earth (2013), The Wake (2018)

23. Simple Plan

Genres: Pop Punk, Alternative Rock, Pop Rock, Power Pop, Emo

Year Formed: 1999

Members: Pierre Bouvier, Chuck Comeau, Jeff Stinco, Sébastien Lefebvre, David Desrosiers

Facts About Simple Plan

• Simple Plan is a Canadian rock band from Montreal, Quebec.

• The band's musical features classic punk energy and modern pop sonics.

• The group won the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award in 2012.

• Some of the notable nominations of the band were the Favorite Pop Act on the MTV Asia Awards and the MTV Europe Music Award on the 2014 MTV Europe Music Awards.

• The band won multiple MuchMusic Video Awards in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2009.

Albums: No Pads, No Helmets Just Balls (2002), Still Not Getting Any (2004), Simple Plan (2008), Get Your Heart On (2011), Taking One for the Team (2016)

24. Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Genres: Post Rock, Space Rock, Experimental Rock, Drone

Year Formed: 1994

Members: Efrim Menuck, Mauro Pezzente, Mike Moya, Sophie Trudeau, Thierry Amar, David Bryant, Karl Lemieux, Aidan Girt, Tim Herzog, John Littlefair, Thea Pratt, Bruce Cawdron, Norsola Johnson, Roger Tellier-Craig, Grayson Walker, James Chau, Peter Harry Hill, Fluffy Erskine

Facts About Godspeed You! Black Emperor

  • Godspeed You! Black Emperor is a Canadian experimental music collective from Quebec.
  • The band's album Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven was one of their most successful albums claimed as one of the best albums of the decade.
  • The group's song "East Hastings" appeared in the film 28 Days Later.

Albums: F♯ A♯ ∞ (1997), Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven (2000), Yanqui U.X.O. (2002), 'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend! (2012), Asunder, Sweet, and Other Distress (2015), Luciferian Towers (2017)

25. Annihilator

Genres: Thrash Metal, Speed Metal, Heavy Metal

Year Formed: 1984

Members: John Bates, Randy Rampage, Ray Hartmann, Coburn Pharr, Dave Scott Davis, Wayne Darley, Neil Goldberg, Mike Mangini, Aaron Randall, Randy Black, Joe Comeau, Dave Padden, Tony Chappelle, Ryan Ahoff, Mike Harshaw

Facts About Annihilator

  • Annihilator is a Canadian thrash metal band from Ontario.
  • The group is the highest-selling Canadian thrash metal group in history.
  • The band sold over three million albums worldwide.
  • Annihilator is one of the “big four” Canadian bands.

Albums: Alice in Hell (1989), Never, Neverland (1990), Set the World on Fire (1993), King of the Kill (1994), Refresh the Demon (1996), Remains (1997), Criteria for a Black Widow (1999), Carnival Diablos (2001), Waking the Fury (2002), All for You (2004), Schizo Deluxe (2005), Metal (2007), Annihilator (2010), Feast (2013), Suicide Society (2015), For the Demented (2017), Ballistic, Sadistic (2020)

26. Skinny Puppy

Genres: Industrial, Electro-Industrial, Industrial Rock, EBM

Year Formed: 1982

Members: Cevin Key, Nivek Ogre, Mark Walk, Dwayne Goette, Dave "Rave" Ogilvie, Al Jourgensen, Bill Leeb, William Morrison

Facts About Skinny Puppy

  • Skinny Puppy is a Canadian industrial music band from Vancouver, British Columbia.
  • The group is one of the founders of the industrial rock and electro-industrial genres in Canada.
  • During their career, the band experimented on different recording techniques such as analogue and digital, putting up different layers of music with synthesizers and other instruments.
  • The group is popular with their unique theatrical and controversial live performances blending art with music.

Albums: Bites (1985), Mind: The Perpetual Intercourse (1986), Cleanse Fold and Manipulate (1987), VIVIsectVI (1988), Rabies (1989), Too Dark Park (1990), Last Rights (1992), The Process (1996), The Greater Wrong of the Right (2004), Mythmaker (2007), hanDover (2011), Weapon (2013)

27. Strapping Young Lad

Genres: Industrial Metal, Extreme Metal, Thrash Metal

Year Formed: 1994

Members: Devin Townsend, Jed Simon, Byron Stroud, Gene Hoglan, Adrian White, Chris Bayes, Chris Meyers, Ashley Scribner, Mike Sudar

Facts About Strapping Young Lad

  • Strapping Young Lad is a Canadian extreme metal band from Vancouver, Canada.
  • Townsend was the band’s primary writer, who wrote the group’s first two albums.
  • The band’s musical style features the use of polyrhythmic guitar riffing, drumming and energetic production perfect for live performances.

Albums: Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing (1995), City (1997), Strapping Young Lad (2003), Alien (2005), The New Black (2006)

28. Silverstein

Genres: Emo, Post-Hardcore, Screamo, Hard Rock

Year Formed: 2000

Members: Paul Koehler, Josh Bradford, Billy Hamilton, Shane Told, Paul Marc Rousseau, Richard McWalter, Neil Boshart

Facts About Silverstein

  • Silverstein is a Canadian rock band formed in Burlington, Ontario.
  • The band’s name came from Shel Silverstein, a famous American writer known for his cartoons, songs, and children’s books.
  • The group released a total of ten studio albums whereas their second album gained the most attention.
  • The band’s second studio album Discovering the Waterfront was a moderate success for the group getting nominated for a Juno Award and peaked at #34 on the Billboard 200 Charts.

Albums: When Broken Is Easily Fixed (2003), Discovering the Waterfront (2005), Arrivals & Departures (2007), A Shipwreck in the Sand (2009), Rescue (2011), Short Songs (2012), This Is How the Wind Shifts (2013), I Am Alive in Everything I Touch (2015), Dead Reflection (2017), A Beautiful Place to Drown (2020)

29. Billy Talent

Genres: Punk Rock, Alternative Rock, Post-Hardcore, Pop Punk

Year Formed: 1993

Members: Benjamin Kowalewicz, Ian D'Sa, Jonathan Gallant, Aaron Solowoniuk, Jordan Hastings

Facts About Billy Talent

  • Billy Talent is a multi-awarded Canadian rock band from Ontario.
  • The group sold more than 900,000 physical albums in Canada alone.
  • They sold approximately three million album copies worldwide.
  • Billy Talent was the best-selling Canadian artist and band in Canada positioning at #27 and #10, respectively.
  • The band won ten awards from MuchMusic Video Awards and seven awards from Juno Awards.
  • The group's single "Devil on My Shoulder" peaked at #1 on the Much Music Holiday Charts.

Albums: Billy Talent (2003), Billy Talent II (2006), Billy Talent III (2009), Dead Silence (2012), Afraid of Heights (2016)

30. Odds

Genres: Alternative Rock

Year Formed: 1987

Members: Craig Northey, Doug Elliott, Pat Steward, Murray Atkinson, Steven Drake, Paul Brennan

Facts About Odds

  • Odds are a Canadian alternative rock band from Vancouver, British Columbia.
  • The band received six nominations at the Juno Awards but won nothing.
  • The group’s single “Someone Who’s Cool” was the theme song of Love Monkey, an American comedy-drama television series.

Albums: Neopolita (1991), Bedbugs (1993), Good Weird Feeling (1995), Nest (1996), Singles: Individually Wrapped (2000), The Essentials (2005), Cheerleader (2008), Noise Trade EP (2009), The Most Beautiful Place on Earth (2013), Game Face On (2014), Party Party Party (2014), The Odds (2019)

31. Cowboy Junkies

Genres: Americana, Alternative Country, Country Rock, Folk Rock, Blues Rock

Year Formed: 1986

Members: Alan Anton, Margo Timmins, Michael Timmins, Peter Timmins

Facts About Cowboy Junkies

  • Cowboy Junkies is a Canadian alternative country and folk-rock band from Toronto.
  • The group started gaining recognition with their second album entitled The Trinity Session. The band’s musical style is a mixture of blues, country, folk, rock, and jazz music.
  • The Los Angeles Times, a daily newspaper based in Calfornia, named the band’s second album one of the best albums of 1988.

Albums: Whites Off Earth Now (1986), The Trinity Session (1988), The Caution Horses (1990), Black Eyed Man (1992), Pale Sun, Crescent Moon (1993), Lay It Down (1996), Miles from Our Home (1998), Open (2001), One Soul Now (2004), Early 21st Century Blues (2005), At the End of Paths Taken (2007), Nomad Series, Vol.1 Renmin Park (2010), Nomad Series, Vol.2 Demons (2011), Nomad Series, Vol.3 Sing in My Meadow (2011), Nomad Series, Vol.4 The Wilderness (2012), All That Reckoning (2018), Ghosts (2020)


Genres: Dance-Punk, Electro House

Year Formed: 2005

Members: Jesse Keeler, AI-P

Facts About MSTRKRFT

  • MSTRKRFT, pronounced as master craft, is a famous Canadian electronic music duo known for their remix songs.
  • The group produced multiple singles that peaked at different chart positions on different countries such as Australia, Belgium, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Albums: The Looks (2006), Fist of God (2009), Operator (2016)

33. Triumph

Genres: Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Progressive Rock

Year Formed: 1975

Members: Rik Emmett, Mike Levine, Gil Moore, Phil X

Facts About Triumph

  • Triumph is a successful Canadian hard rock band which received 18 gold and nine platinum awards both in Canada and the United States.
  • The band is popular with their guitar-driven rock songs and alternative Canadian rock trio vibe.
  • Some of their popular songs are “Lay It on the Line,” “World of Fantasy,” and “Magic Power.”

Albums: Triumph (1976), Rock & Roll Machine (1977), Just a Game (1979), Progressions of Power (1980), Allied Forces (1981), Never Surrender (1982), Thunder Seven (1984), The Sport of Kings (1986), Surveillance (1987), Edge of Excess (1992)

34. Steppenwolf

Genres: Psychedelic Rock, Blues Rock, Acid Rock, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal

Year Formed: 1967

Members: John Kay, Jerry Edmonton, Goldy McJohn, Michael Monarch, Rushton Moreve, Nick St. Nicholas, Larry Byrom, George Biondo, Kent Henry, Bobby Cochran, Andy Chapin, Wayne Cook, Michael Palmer, Steve Palmer, Danny Ironstone, Kurtis Teel, Chad Peery, Brett Tuggle, Welton Gite, Rocket Ritchotte, Les Dudek, Steve Fister, Michael Wilk, Gary Link, Ron Hurst, Danny Johnson

Facts About Steppenwolf

  • Steppenwolf is a Canadian rock band from Toronto, Ontario.
  • The band sold more than 25 million album copies worldwide.
  • The group produced 12 singled that ranked on the Billboard Hot 100.
  • Some of the band’s most famous singles are “Born to Be Wild,” “Magic Carpet,” and “Rock Me.”

Albums: Steppenwolf (1968), The Second (1968), At Your Birthday Party (1969), Monster (1969), Steppenwolf 7 (1970), For Ladies Only (1971), Slow Flux (1974), Hour of the Wolf (1975), Skullduggery (1976)

35. Arkells

Genres: Alternative Rock

Year Formed: 2006

Members: Max Kerman, Mike DeAngelis, Nick Dika, Tim Oxford, Anthony Carone, Dan Griffin

Facts About Arkells

  • Arkells is a Canadian rock band under Dine Alone Records.
  • The group won multiple Juno Awards in Canada.
  • Most of Arkells’ albums receive gold certifications from Music Canada.

Albums: Deadlines (2007), Jackson Square (2008), Michigan Left (2011), High Noon (2014), Study Music (2015), Morning Report (2016), Rally Cry (2018), Campfire Chords (2020)

Other Great Canadian Bands

Continuation List of Great Canadian Bands

Canadian BandYear Formed

Tegan and Sara


Bran Van 3000


Hot Hot Heat


July Talk


Marianas Trench


Rough Trade


Great Big Sea


Protest the Hero


Theory of a Deadman








Do Make Say Think


Thousan Foot Krutch




Despised Icon


The Agonist








The Tea Party


Honeymoon Suite








Front Line Assembly


3 Inches of Blood


Crash Test Dummies


Wolf Parade


Tokyo Police Club


Art of Dying


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