I just heard yesterday that Deane Cameron died of a heart attack while walking through the woods. Many people would not know who he was. He was only ever featured as a musician on 2 albums, Cochrane’s soundtrack album to the movie My Pleasure Is My Business, and the album I chose to review here. The reason I chose to mention Deane is that even though he may not have been on many recordings, he was an instrumental part of Canadian music for over 50 years. Deane worked his way up from a teenage job in the warehouse at EMI to the president of the company, a job he held for 25 years. Among the bands EMI signed under his direction were April Wine, Corey Hart, Tom Cochrane (his old friend from the Harvest and Cochrane days), Anne Murray, Buffy Sainte-Marie (he was a proponent of indigneous music in Canada before mostly anyone else), Glass Tiger, Stompin’ Tom Connors (Deane along with Rheostatics convinced Tom to come back to music after he retired), Rita MacNeil, The Moffatts, Helix, Econoline Crush, The Tea Party, Moist, Prism, Zappacosta, Luba, Nickelback, Serena Ryder and many others. In 2010 he was made a Member of the Order of Canada, and in 2011 the Canadian Academy of Recorded Arts and Sciences awarded him the Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award. More recently he had taken over as president and CEO of Massey Hall (of which he had been overseeing the massive renovation) and Roy Thomson Hall . He was great for Canadian music, and as it turns it, a pretty damn good drummer.
Hang On To Your Resistance – Jangly guitar sounds start this one off, then it morphs into a 70’s country rock feel good song. It has sort of a Jackson Browne feel. Deane has a breezy sort of jazz feel to his drumming. You can tell he was having fun while playing.
West Coast Saga – Great harmonies start this one off in the vein of a certain band The Dude hates. It almost pre-dates itself though as it has a certain late 70’s rock band feel. The guitar work is really great, the drumming airy and Tom Cochrane’s vocals are even higher pitched than we are used to.
Charlie Was A Dancer – Tom sings this one with a whispery softness that grips you. The vocal harmonies are wonderful and the quiet, but powerful guitar gets the point across.
Didn’t I Lorraine – This one seems like a timeless song that could fit into the 60’s (Byrds, Crosby Stills & Nash), the 80’s (REM), and the 90’s (Sloan, Blue Rodeo). It just shows that a really good song can fit into any era.
You’re Driving Me Crazy (Faith Healers) – This one has a Jackson Browne feel and the orchestral arrangement sets it apart from the normal 70’s songs. Tom Cochrane hits the high notes on this one very well.
I wish That I Could See You Now – Tom Cochrane’s voice sounds a little more like we are accustomed to here. Again the vocal harmonies are great and the instrumentation is really good too.
Revelations: Visions In A Dream – This one starts off like an early Yes song, then seems to turn into an early Red Rider song. I bet Tom used this song as a baseline years later for Don’t Fight It.
What’s In You – Dave Cooper (Ian Thomas Band) adds some sweet guitar licks. It has a southern rock feel and is a real toe tapper.
When I’m With You – A really nice number with guest Allan Booth contributing some amazing piano playing. As good as any Elton John or Billy Joel hit from back in the day.
Another Page – A quote from Youtube explains this song better than I can “WOW!! That was staggeringly fantastic. I’m blown away because i didn’t know anything existed from Tom before Red Rider’s debut in ’79. Tom was only 21 here in ’74. Wisdom, and maturity already. Very impressed with the entire album. Thank You!!!”
A really nice album. If you are a Tom Cochrane/Red Rider fan or a fan of great 70’s music, you owe it to yourself to seek this one out. R.I.P. Deane Cameron. We wish you well.