Music’s finest moments are often in those unassuming blips of life where you’re in unassuming places, taking care of the mundane, and a song sends your heart soaring to the depths of nostalgia, forcing you to rewind to a memory. Light Organ Records has captured that very sentiment in a 14-song strong compilation album that seeks to recreate what you used to know and bring it back to the forefront of your consciousness.
The release is the reimagining of CanCon radio hits of the 70s — each delicately restructured and performed by new-age Light Organ recording artists, and their varieties of styles and eclecticisms. The first five tracks of Light Organ Records Presents Push Button Radio: CanCon AM Radio Hits From the 70’s as Covered by Light Organ Artists, featuring Hotel Mira, The Shilohs, Mounties, Tara Holloway, and The Fugitives are available now; the full LP is available December 10, 2021.
“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,” he continues, “just to refresh my memory.”
That’s what each of us are dared to do when we push play on the album; listeners are introduced to each new artist, and their take on classics that drudge up the feel-goods from years gone by. “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 says about putting his dream in motion. “I set certain parameters: The song had to be released between January 1st, 1970, and December 31st, 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, performed by the Zolas and Lousie Burns respectively. From there, the songs range from the legendary Andy Kim’s “Baby I Love You” as performed by The Shilohs, to Hotel Mira taking on The Band’s “Out of the Blue” from The Last Waltz, and even Bruce Cockburn’s “Wonder Where The Lions Are” as selected by The Mounties.
“Their version is a weird and wonderful marvel,” Simkin laughs of the latter.
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 station wagons with wood panel doors, bell bottoms and plastic wrapped floral living room decor.
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.
Says Jonathan Simkin, today’s professor on the glory and excitement of 70s vinyl: “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!
“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.”
Light Organ Records Presents Push Button Radio: Cancon AM Radio Hits From the 70’s as Covered by Light Organ Artists is partially available now, with the full album up December 10th.
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