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Books: The Top 100 Canadian Singles by Bob Merserau

By Sagar Jha, Arts Contributor


In 2007 Bob Merserau released a national bestseller: “The Top 100 Canadian Albums”. It got so much attention it was ridiculous. The book was the subject of most of my arguments that year. I was worried to hear a new collection similar to the first was to be released.

However, in the opening pages of Merserau’s new book, “The Top 100 Canadian Singles,” which was released on Sept. 30, he discusses how generating some controversy and disagreement is his goal. He has crafted this book based on thousands of different opinions. If you disagree with any part of the list, then more power to you. Mersereau explains that if you argue over this book you are only manifesting the fact that there is a copious amount of amazing music produced by our true north country.

I won’t spoil who wins the whole thing, but I will tell you that the usual suspects of Canadian greats made the list. The book is a neat blend of artists both young and old. Artists like Neil Young, The Guess Who, and Joni Mitchell are, of course, on the list. But I was thrilled to see more recent artists like Wintersleep, Arcade Fire and K-os on there, too. Mersereau has masterfully crafted an incredibly diverse list as he interviewed such a variety of music buffs to help him put the list together.

Overall, the book is really well laid-out. At least an entire page is devoted to each single, while four pages are dedicated to the top ten singles. The number of new interviews and perspectives inside this collection make it a must-read. The book also contains personal top ten lists from some current Canadian icons like Buck 65, Bubbles, and Joel Plaskett, to name a few. The book also contains a two-page spread with a list of the top 100 French-Canadian singles. This list was necessary as francophone music is not as popular as it should be in Canada. With this book, Mersereau will definitely generate some heated arguments as well as some interest. I found a few Canadian music gems that I would have never heard of before. Thanks, Bob.


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