The Skinny: Like The Tragically Hip, Blue Rodeo have enjoyed huge success in their native Canada, but the country rock act was only able to develop a cult following in the States. This album collects the highest-charting singles from their ’80s & ’90s albums.
Sounds like: The Tragically Hip, Cowboy Junkies, Chiliwack, REM, Indigo Girls, BoDeans, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Wilco
Deeper Thoughts: This album kicks off with a cover of “To Love Somebody” by The Bee Gees. Interesting choice of material for the featured single on a collection of powerhouse originals. But these guys own it, and the rest is non-stop hooky, strummy ’90s alt-country crunch. The adult album Americana format of their heyday was kind to them, but there are no radio edits here – you get the full 7+ minutes of “5 Days in May.” While the individual releases are all good, this set may be just the ticket to boost your BR cred.
The Sonics: This collection sounds very good. On disc, all the extra bits that separate Blue Rodeo from other country rockers offer a nice, rich enhancement to streaming versions of some of these tunes. The atmospheric stuff is rendered with restraint, creating plenty of space in the mix for Jim Cuddy and Greg Keelor’s crafty lead guitar lines and Cuddy and Keelor’s earnest vocals. The band ran through a number of stylistic shifts in this creative arc, and Rounder have done a nice job creating balance and cohesion.
Jim Cuddy – vocals, guitar
Greg Keelor – vocals, guitar
Bazil Donovan – bass
Cleave Anderson, Mark French, Glenn Milchem – drums
Bob Wiseman, James Gray – piano & organ
Kim Deschamps – pedal steel & mandolin
“To Love Somebody”
“Til I Am Myself Again”
“5 Days in May”
“Hasn’t Hit Me Yet”
“Side of the Road”
“It Could Happen to You”
“After the Rain”
“After the Rain,” from the album Casino, is included in a re-recorded version, featuring a horn section. This release contains the Palace of Gold single “Bulletproof,” whereas non-U.S. versions include “It Could Happen to You” instead.