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Subject: Tom Cochrane

Written By: whistledog on 07/12/06 at 11:10 pm

Tom Cochrane is a Canadian Musician, Singer and Songwriter from Manitoba


Tom Cochrane is one of three children born to bush pilot Tuck Cochrane and wife Violet in Lynn Lake, Manitoba. The family later relocated to Acton, Ontario when Cochrane was 4 and eventually settled in Etobicoke, Ontario. Cochrane sold a toy train set at age 11 to raise money for his first guitar.

In the early '70's he pursued a folksinger existance by performing in coffeehouses across Canada gaining a steady reputation on the circuit through exposure in Yorkville Village. By 1973 he had secured a record deal and released his first single, "You're Driving Me Crazy", under his surname Cochrane on Frank Davies' Daffodil Records. With a debut album, 'Hang On To Your Resistance', under his belt, Cochrane was still finding it tough to make ends meet. He found his way to Los Angeles where he got a line on writing theme music for the Happy Hooker, Xavier Hollander, movie 'My Pleasure Is My Business'. Excerpts from the record, along with songs from 'Hang On To Your Resistance', were issued on Daffodil's 'Naturally' label sampler to help re-launch Cochrane as a premiere Canadian soloist. Still, Cochrane needed to pay bills and took up a job driving a taxi in Toronto and eventually landing a job on a Caribbean cruise liner before returning to Los Angeles in 1976.

While pounding the pavement trying to peddle his songs to publishers he worked for a delivery company and also a dishwasher before returning to Toronto in 1977. One fateful night after wandering into Toronto's infamous El Mocambo club, Cochrane stumbled across a group of locals calling themselves Red Rider. After ingratiating himself on them, they agreed to an audition and eventually took Cochrane on as lead singer/songwriter. The band began demoing original material and Cochrane called on his old friend Deane Cameron, A & R at Capitol Records, who had previously drummed on Cochrane's 'Hang On To Your Resistance' album in 1974. Cameron suggested Rush manager Ray Danniels to represent the group professionally, but when Danniels made overtures of signing the act to his own Anthem Records, Cameron drafted the band onto Capitol's roster. Meanwhile, managerial guru Bruce Allen was looking for a new label for his rising stars Prism, so Cameron offered to sign Allen's act if he took Red Rider on as manager.

Red Rider's debut album for Capitol was 'Don't Fight It' which featured the hits 'White Hot' and the title track. The album sold an impressive 100,000 copies as a debut album which led to a string of successful albums and AOR hits across Canada -- most notably "Lunatic Fringe", from 'As Far As Siam', and "Power (Strength In Numbers)", from 'Neruda', the critically acclaimed progressively themed album about Pablo Neruda produced by David Tickle.

However, by the time of their fourth album, 1984's 'Breaking Curfew', the American market still hadn't been cracked and the pressure was beginning to destroy the band. A major US tour with Rush failed to yield any notable response in album sales or favourable press and a headline Canadian tour ended in a fist-fight between Cochrane, a road manager and bassist Jeff Jones. Red Rider officially disbanded at this point and Cochrane left the fold of manager Bruce Allen. After a sufficient break to gain some personal perspective, Cochrane and Red Rider guitarist Ken Greer began recording the next album under the deal with Capitol Records at Dave Edmund's Rockfield Studios in Wales. \

New bassist Ken "Spider" Sinnaeve (Streetheart) was added and the resulting album was titled simply 'Tom Cochrane & Red Rider'. With the radio hits "Boy Inside The Man" and "The Untouchable One" (about Cochrane's wife) and a Juno Award for Group Of The Year behind them, Cochrane stepped sideways briefly to produce The Grapes Of Wrath's 'Treehouse' (having previously mixed two tracks for the group in 1983), while Ken Greer produced the debut EP for The Tragically Hip. The new and improved Tom Cochrane & Red Rider -- featuring keyboardist John Webster and guitarist Ken Greer -- followed up with 1988's 'Victory Day' album produced by Don Gehman (Cutting Crew, John Cougar Mellencamp) and the group's live tour, in turn, resulted in the album 'The Symphony Sessions' - a reprise of some of Red Rider's finest moments with new orchestral arrangements.

In 1989 Cochrane won a Juno Award for Composer Of The Year. By this time the Red Rider concept had worn out its welcome and Ken Greer moved on to other interests as both a producer (World Gone Mad) and collaborator (Gowan, Myles Hunter) so Cochrane decided to go solo like he had during his formative years. As research and new inspiration, Cochrane took his family to West Africa on a fact finding mission in 1990 for the famine relief organization World Vision -- he would make two more trips just like it to raise awareness and money. That experience, dealing with the starving masses, helped shape his next album - 'Mad Mad World' - and specifically it's international hit single "Life Is A Highway". The song was nominated Song Of The Year by SOCAN in 1991 and the album spawned several more singles - eventually selling 1,000,000 copies in Canada and garnering Cochrane more Juno Awards.

In recent years Cochrane continues to travel (he even spent time travelling as his own pilot in a private plane) and helping famine relief with the 30 Hour Famine Relief effort by World Vision and participating in Molly Johnson's annual Kumbaya Festival. 1995 saw the release of 'Ragged Ass Road', a more production stripped album than previous albums. With the disc, Cochrane embarked on an acoustic tour in 1996 from Vancouver to Montreal. The result was the live acoustic disc and multi-media package 'Songs Of A Circling Spirit'. Currently Cochrane is promoting his latest effort 'X-Ray Sierra' featuring the radio hit "I Wonder". He hit the road in early 1999 to promote the recording. "Stonecutter's Arms" has been getting extensive airplay in the second half of the year. In June 1999 Cochrane was in a second light plane crash after the wing of the plane he was piloting came off in a grove of trees shortly after leaving Montreal. No one was injured and Cochrane resumed touring

-- ALBUMS --

Year 1974 1980 1981 1983 1984 1986 1987 1988 1989 19911993 1995 1997 1998 2002 2003

Album Title Hang on to Your Resistance Don't Fight It As Far As SiamNerudaBreaking CurfewTom Cochrane and Red RiderOver 60 Minutes With Red RiderVictory DayThe Symphony SessionsMad Mad WorldAshes to Diamonds <Box Set> Ragged Ass Road Songs of A Circling Spirit Xray Sierra Trapeze: The Collection Anthology (1980-1987)


Year 1973 1974 1974 1975 1975 1976

Song Title You're Driving Me Crazy I Wish That I Could See You Now Gabriella Hang on to Your Resistance Slowly Walk Away Sail On

Canada #71 -- -- -- -- --

United States -- -- --------

(Red Rider)
Year 1980 1980 1981 1981 1982 1983 1983 1983 1983 19841984

Song Title White Hot Don't Fight It What Have You Got to Do (to Get Off Tonight) Lunatic Fringe The Only Game in Town Human Race Can't Turn Back Napoleon Sheds His Skin Power (Strength in Numbers) Young Thing, Wild Dreams (Rock Me) Breaking Curfew

Canada #16 #78 #42 -- -- #26 -- -- --#34#93

United States #48 -- --------------#71--

(Tom Cochrane and Red Rider)
Year 1986 1986 1987 1987 1988 1989 1989 1989 1989 1990

Song Title Boy Inside the Man The Untouchable One One More Time Ocean Blues (Emotion Blue) Big League Good Times Victory Day Different Drummer White Hot <Symphony Sessions> Bird on A Wire <Symphony Sessions>

Canada #25 #70 #85 #88 #8 #13 #32 #67 #28 #88

United States -- -- -------------- --

(Tom Cochrane)
Year 1991 1991 1992 1992 1992 1992 1993 1995 1996 19961996 1997 1997 1997 1998 1999 1999 1999 2002 2002

Song Title Life is A Highway Brave and Crazy No Regrets Sinking Like A Sunset Mad Mad World Washed Away Bigger Man I Wish You Well Wildest Dreams Dreamer's Dream Crawl Good Man Lunatic Fringe <Live> Good Man, Feeling Bad I Wonder Stonecutter's Arms Willie Dixon Said Heartbreak Girl Just Like Ali Pictures From the Edge

Canada #1 -- #3 #2 #25 #7 #45 #1 #5#4#11 -- #70 #46 #86 -- #30 -- ?? ??

United States #6 -- ------88---------- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --


Life is A Highway | Lunatic Fringe

Subject: Re: Tom Cochrane

Written By: JamieMcBain on 07/14/06 at 9:59 am

Great job, WD!

Subject: Re: Tom Cochrane

Written By: whistledog on 07/15/06 at 8:02 pm

Great job, WD!

Thanks Jamie :)

It took me about 3 days to compile all of the chart positions.  I knew he had alot of hits, but I never thought he had that many ;D

Subject: Re: Tom Cochrane

Written By: nally on 07/17/06 at 12:42 am

Thanks Jamie :)

It took me about 3 days to compile all of the chart positions.  I knew he had alot of hits, but I never thought he had that many ;D

Neither did I...until I saw your list. However, the only song of his that I know is "Life Is A Highway." :-\\

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