Kim Mitchell

Canadian Classic Rock
Biography

Kim Mitchell

Kim Mitchell

 

Leaving one of Canada's most under-rated, yet talented groups to go it on his own was probably one of Kim Mitchell's hardest tasks. But the freedom to experiment with things outside of Max Webster's realm also proved to be his best commercial decision. Originally quoted as simply needing a break from Max, Mitchell released his self-titled debut solo effort in 1982. Though in all honesty nothing ground-breaking, the 5 song ep did serve notice he was capable of putting out radio-friendly pop tunes outside the Max Webster umbrella. "Miss Demeanor" and "Kids In Action" were released as the singles. This ep is considered collectable as it's no longer in circulation. However cheesy tactics on the part of MCA saw the inclusion of "Kids" on their "Best of Max Webster" disc in '89.

"Akimbo Alogo", his first lp came out in '84. "Go For Soda", the record's first single, was instantly adopted by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) in the US as their rallying cry. The record seemed, more than anything, like a natural evolution from the Max Webster sound, not the drastic change of direction some expected. Part of what erked the critics was the fact Pye Dubois wrote all the lyrics. If he was to shed the label of "that Max Webster singer", it was thought he should've had someone besides Max's lyricist helping out. All criticism aside, the pounding rhythm of "Lager and Ale" quickly made it the second single and most bar dj's favourite anthem. On the lighter side, "Feel It Burn" and "All We Are" showed the diversity of Mitchell and helped push "Akimbo Alogo" double platinum.

"Shakin' Like A Human Being" came out a year and a half later and was instantly met with rave reviews from the public, but still failed to impress the critics. 4 singles were released and the airplay given "Patio Lanterns", "Alana Loves Me", "In Your Arms" and "Easy To Tame" showed that sometimes critics don't know a thing. Keeping true to the frantic heavy sound he was known for, "That's The Hold" and "Get Lucky Boys and Girls" again showed why Mitchell and Dubois were one of Canada's, if not rock and roll's best song-writing duos. Further proven by the eclectic "Cameo Spirit" and down-right catchy "City Girl".

"Rockland Wonderland" hit the shelves in '89 and made it three straight double platinum records. Backed by the first single "Rock and Roll Duty", the record showed a maturity in writing without straying from his roots. The title-track and "Lost Lovers Found" further cemented the fact that someone can sell an awful lot of records without gaining the respect of critics. The ensuing tour provided the material for 1990's "I Am A Wild Party". Though a live album, the title track and "Deep Dive" were studio tracks included for radio purposes. The record showcased Kim's live magnetism, especially highlighted on "Lager and Ale". And though he rarely perorms Max material live, he payed homage to what brought him to the dance with "Battle Scar", guitar improvisations and all, also allowing Peter Fredette to showcase his talents as a superb all-round musician and fine vocalist in his own right.

1991's "Aural Fixations" was a definite change for MItchell. This was the first solo effort without Pye Dubois. Only one single came from the disc. "America" was a sarcastic view of the States by one of Canada's most low-keyed spokesmen. "World's Such A Wonder" and "Big Smoke" though also fine songs, also helped re-affirm the critics when they said Mitchell was without Dubois as salt-water is without the salt ... boring and tasteless. A far cry from the schtick they stuck to earlier.

Partially due to poor management decisions, '94's "Itch" failed to recapture the attention Mitchell apparently lost over the previous record, despite the return of Dubois as lyricist. Four singles came from the disc, "Acrimony", "Your Face Or Mine", "Wonder Where and Why" and "Lemon Wedge". Critics still didn't care for him, now laying in on him for hooking up with Dubois again and this time the fans weren't listening as much either.

A greatest hits package came out the next year and saw the two new tracks released as singles. "Rainbow' and "No More Walking Away" seemed like marketing more than anything else and Mitchell was now without a label.

The recent Max Webster reunion has kept Mitchell pretty busy lately. In between gigs they've found time to record enough new material for a new disc once a new deal is found. Kim has also put together a collection of tunes he's planning to release as a new solo record early in '99. He proved with Max Webster the sum is not always more than the individual parts. As a solo artist or as a frontman, with Pye Dubois or not, Kim Mitchell proves the rock and roll duty is sometimes a wild party ... enjoy ....

Kim Mitchell

Written by Dan Brisebois of
CanConRox


Discography

Kim Mitchell
Kim Mitchell (1982)

Miss Demeanor
Big Best Summer
Tennessee Water
Chain Of Events

Akimbo Alogo
Akimbo Alogo (1984)

Go For Soda
That's A Man
All We Are
Diary For Rock n Roll Man
Love Ties
Feel It Burn
Lager And Ale
Rumour Has It
Caroline
Called Off

Shakin' Like A Human Being
Shakin' Like A Human Being (1986)

Get Lucky
In My Shoes
Alana Loves Me
Patio Lanterns
That's The Hold
In Your Arms
City Girl
Easy To Tame
Cameo Spirit
Hitting The Ground

Rockland
Rockland (1989)

Rockland Wonderland
Lost Lovers Found
Rock n Roll Duty
Tangle of Love
Moodstreet
The Crossroads
Expedition Sailor
O Mercy Louise
This Dream
The Great Embrace

I Am A Wild Party
I Am A Wild Party (1990)

I Am A Wild Party
That's The Hold
Battle Scar
Lager and Ale
Deep Dive
All We Are
Rock n Roll Duty
Go For Soda

Aural Fixations
Aural Fixations (1992)

World's Such A Wonder
Pure As Gold
Big Smoke
America
Some Folks
Find The Will
There's A Story
Dreamer
Dog and a Bone
Flames
Hullabaloo
Honey Forget Those Blues

Itch
Itch (1994)

Wonder Where & Why
Acrimony
Lick Yer Finger
The U.S. Of Ache
Lemon Wedge
Heartbreakbustop
Your Face Or Mine
Human Condition
Stand
Karaoke Queen
Cheer Us On

Greatest Hits
Greatest Hits (1995)

Transcendental Soda
Rock & Roll Duty
That's the Hold
Go for Soda
No More Walking Away
Lager and Ale
Rocklandwonderland
Easy to Tame
Rainbow
All We Are
Patio Lanterns
Acrimony
World's Such a Wonder
Expedition Sailor
Battle Scar
I Am a Wild Party [live]
Hare Soda

Kimosabe
Kimosabe (1999)

Monkey Shine
Stickin My Heart
Cellophane
Two Steps Home
Kimosabe
Blow Me A Kiss
Cold Reality
Over Me
Get Back What's Gone
Skinny Buddah


See Also
Max Webster


Other Biographies

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