Push Button Radio combines CanCon classics with contemporary stars in a nostalgically novel new compilation — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
Released by Light Organ Records, the 14-song compilation features Canadian radio hits of the ’70s like The Poppy Family’s Where Evil Grows, The Stampeders’ Sweet City Woman, Michel Pagliaro’s What The Hell I Got — each delicately restructured and performed by artists like The Zolas, The Manitee, The Mohrs and others who add their own stylistic embellishments eccentricities to the proceedings.
“When I agreed to write the liner notes to Push Button Radio, I visualized it as a simple, pleasurable, and easy trip down memory lane,” recalls Jonathan Simkin, president of 604 / Light Organ Records in Vancouver. “I did not anticipate the intense mental journey that would ensue. I started by listening to the songs — both the covers, and the originals, just to refresh my memory.
“I emailed the bands on our Light Organ imprint to see who wanted to cover AM CanCon hits from the 1970s, conscious that some of these artists were not even alive in the 1970s, let alone listening to music,” Simkin continues. “I set certain parameters: The song had to be released between Jan. 1, 1970, and Dec. 31, 1979; it had to have been a legit radio hit; and it had to satisfy CanCon requirements — meaning two of either the lyrics, production location, music, and performer had to be Canadian. We ended up breaking some of those rules, but that’s OK. In spirit, all of the songs satisfy the criteria. I sent around a few suggestions, but left it up to the artists to choose.”
Terry Jacks endorses the record, which features two Poppy Family covers. Other songs include Andy Kim’s Baby I Love You as performed by The Shilohs, Hotel Mira’s take on The Band’s Out Of The Blue, and even Bruce Cockburn’s Wondering Where The Lions Are, as selected by indie supergroup Mounties. “Their version is a weird and wonderful marvel,” Simkin laughs.
For the kids that spent their ears glued to the pop culture of the ’70s, Push Button Radio delivers a steady flow of premade classics that will send you back to the days of wood-panel station wagons, bell bottoms and plastic-wrapped furniture. And for those who entered the chat late into the 21st century, the album becomes a history lesson on the music that shaped your parents, your grandparents; leaving behind a lasting imprint into the psyche of music fans and lovers alike.
“To those of you for whom these songs are new, I sincerely hope you enjoy them and dig back into the originals! You won’t be sorry!” Simkin says. “And for those who were alive when the original songs were huge, I hope this music jogs your mind awake and takes you on a safe and comforting trip to your musical past and youth.”