Red Rider

Canadian Classic Rock
Biography

Red Rider

Tom Cochrane

 

The story of Red Rider dates back to '78 when Ontario natives Tom Cochrane and Ken Greer did local coffeshops as a duo. Greer was a student in classical steel guitar, while Cochrane grew up with the likes of The Beatles and Otis Redding. Cochrane had already cut his teeth in the studios 4 years earlier when Dafodil Records released HANG ON TO YOUR RESISTANCE. Though it spawned 2 singles, poor marketing had it meet with lacklustre enthusiasm by the public. Critics however had an idea we had someone special.

After hooking up with drummer Rob Baker, Jeff Jones on bass and Peter Boynton on keyboards, RED RIDER was signed to Capitol Records and debuted with DON'T FIGHT IT in 1980. Easily one of Canada's best debut records ever, two singles hit the air-waves, "White Hot" and the title-track and quickly being certified gold.

The group quickly followed up their debut success with a strong contender for Top 10 of all time. AS FAR AS SIAM featured some of the most intricate layering of tracks rarely seen since. Featuring the classics "Lunatic Fringe' which stayed atop of Billboard for 6 weeks and was featured on Miami Vice, "What Have You Got To Do" and "Cowboys In Hong Kong", the record went platinum in near-record time.

1983 saw their third straight gold or better record in NERUDA. With new keyboardist Steve Sexton, it's now considered a modern art/rock classic. It contained "Light In The Tunnel/Power", "Human Race", "Can't Turn Back" and easily '82's best in "Napolean Sheds His Skin" . Constant touring across the globe helped solidify Red Rider as bona-fide superstars, and already "arrived" in the eyes of their peers as one of Canada's most musically-creative groups.

Sexton's stay with the group was short-lived and was replaced by John Webster when BREAKING CURFEW hit the stores a year later. And although it failed to build on the momentum they still enjoyed from NERUDA, it did contain some of the band's most under-rated material in the title-track and the rougher-edged "Young Things Wild Dreams" and "Whipping Boy".Disputes over where the band should be going resulted in Capitol dropping the group later that year.

By the release of their next record on their new label, RCA, in the spring of '86, the focus had pretty much shifted completely to Cochrane, evidenced by the title of the album TOM COCHRANE AND RED RIDER. (pretty good clue) . . . With Webster now replaced by session keyboardists which included Peter Wolf from The J. Geils Band, and Michael James Jackson (produced Kiss' CREATURES OF THE NIGHT) and a new focus, the album shifted from well-written pop to consciencious ballads like "Boy Inside The Man", which received extensive airplay on MuchMusic and MTV, and "The Untouchable One". Cochrane was also beginning what would become near-legendary exhaustive charity-work in third world countries lending itself naturally into his writing, evidenced by "River of Stone". The critic's rave, the record went on to become Cochrane and company's fifth straight gold record.

VICTORY DAY came out in the fall of '87 and featured the lead-off single "Big League". The harder-edged feel about a boy's dream of playing in the NHL marked a return to Cochrane's pop roots, in addition to a return of a more contributing role from Greer. The title-track still showcased Cochrane's penchant for writing tight thought-provoking pop ballads, while "Calling America" was heralded as one of his best social commentaries ever put on tape. Capitol issued a compilation of the group's material with them in the spring of '88 as part of their "Over 60 Minutes With ...) series. Highlighting the group's four records with the label. Packed with hits, it's a must for any serious music fan.

THE SYMPHONY SESSIONS was released in '89 and showcased the group's genius live, accompanied by the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. The haunting rendition of "Lunatic Fringe" only further proved Tom Cochrane and Red Rider's stature as superior muscians capable of blending their pop sound with the harmonies of a full-piece orchestra.

Cochrane's growing outside interests resulted in THE SYMPHONY SESSIONS being Red Rider's swan song, breaking up shortly after its release. Though Ken Greer still contributes to Cochrane's solo work, it's unlikely the name "Red Rider" will resurface on a new record, as the group was, in all honesty, Cochrane with Greer as a supporting role anyway. Canadian charts were dominated by Red Rider for the better part of a decade and always garnered rave reviews from the critics, and only helped cement them into the foundations of Canadian rock, still influencing artists world-wide.

Written by Dan Brisebois of
CanConRox


Discography

Hang On To Your Resistance
Hang On To Your Resistance (1974)

Hang On To Your Resistance
West Coast Saga
Charlie Was A Dancer
Didn't I Lorraine
You're Driving Me Crazy (Faith Healers)
I Wish That I Could (See You Now)
Revelations: Visions In A Dream
What's In You?
When I'm With You
Another Page

Don't Fight It
Don't Fight It (1980)

Don't Fight It
Little Girl
Iron In The Soul
Make Myself Complete
Good News
White Hot
Talkin'
Just The Way It Goes
Lookout Again
Avenue "A"

As Far As Siam
As Far As Siam (1981)

Lunatic Fringe
Cowboys In Hong Kong
Only Game In Town
Thru The Curtain
What Have You Got To Do
Ships
Caught In The Middle
Don't Let Go Of Me
Laughing Man

Neruda
Neruda (1983)

Light In The Tunnel
Power
Human Race
Can't Turn Back
Napolean Sheds His Skin
Walking The Fine Line
Winner Takes All
Sight's On You
Crack The Sky
Work Out

Breaking Curfew
Breaking Curfew (1984)

Whipping Boy
Young Thing, Wild Dreams
One Way Out
Among The Ruins
Breaking The Curfew
Someone's Watching
Shake Monster
Beacon Hill
Hold Tight

Tom Cochrane & Red Rider
Tom Cochrane & Red Rider (1986)

Boy Inside The Man
Love Under Fire
The Untouchable One
Lasting Song
Citizen Cain
Ashes To Diamonds
The Loading
Ocean Blues
River Of Stone
One More Time

Victory Day
Victory Day(1987)

Big League
Victory Day
Sons Beat Down
Good Times
Saved By The Dawn
Calling America
Vacation
Good Man
Not So Far Away

Over 60 Minutes With...
Over 60 Minutes With... (1987)

Light In The Tunnel
Power
Human Race
Can't Turn Back
Napolean Sheds His Skin
Walking The Fine Line
Winner Take All
Crack The Sky
Lunatic Fringe
Cowboys In Hong Kong
Thru The Curtain
What Have You Got To Do
White Hot
Don't Fight It
Avenue "A"
Young Thing, Wild Dreams
Breaking Curfew

The Symphony Sessions
The Symphony Sessions (1989)

Light In The Tunnel
Human Race
Can't Turn Back
Napoleon Sheds His Skin
White Hot
Big League
Calling America
Avenue
Bird On A Wire
Boy Inside The Man
Lunatic Fringe
Good Times
The Next Life

Mad Mad World
Mad Mad World (1991)

Life Is A Highway
Mad Mad World
No Regrets
Sinking Like A Sunset
Washed Away
Everything Comes Around
The Secret Is To Know When To Stop
Brave And Crazy
Bigger Man
Friendly Advice
Get Back Up
Emotional Truth
All The King's Men

Ashes To Diamonds
Ashes To Diamonds: A Collection (1993)

White Hot
How's My Little Girl Tonight
Make Myself Complete
Avenue A (Demo Version)
Don't Fight It
Charlie Was A Dancer
Lunatic Fringe
Cowboy's In Hong Kong (Unreleased / Alternate Version)
You're Going To Haunt Me (Previously Unreleased)
What Have You Got To Do (To Get Off Tonight)
Thru The Curtain
Avenue A - Live
White Hot - Live
Light In The Tunnel
Power (Strength In Numbers)
Human Race
Can't Turn Back - Live
Napoleon Sheds His Skin
Lunatic Fringe - Live
Walking The Fine Line
Sight's On You (Demo Version)
Neruda (Prev Unreleased)
Breaking Curfew
Among The Ruins (I'll Be Here)
Ocean Blues (Emotion Blue)
Time For A Change (Unreleased / Demo Version)
Bird On A Wire - Live
Boy Inside The Man
Ashes To Diamonds
The Untouchable One
Love Under Fire
Citizen Kane (Dance Version)
Boy Inside The Man - Live
Victory Day
Son's Beat Down
Good Times - Live
Not So Far Away
Big League - Live
Sinking Like A Sunset - Live
The Secret Is To Know When To Stop - Live
Life Is A Highway

Ragged Ass Road
Ragged Ass Road (1995)

I wish you well
Wildest dreams
Just scream
Paper tigers
Crawl
Ragged ass road
Flowers in the concrete
Dreamer's dream
Message
Best waste of time
Will of the gun
Song before I leave

Songs Of A Circling Spirit
Songs Of A Circling Spirit (1997)

Lunatic fringe
Paper tigers
Good man, feeling bad
Brave and crazy
All the king's men
Dreamer's dream
Human race
Napoleon sheds his skin
White hot
Boy inside the man
Washed away
I wish you well

X-Ray Sierra
X-Ray Sierra (1998)

I wonder
Stonecutter's arms
Art of listening
Heartbreak girl
Willie Dixon said
Marianne and Lenny
Beautiful day
Windy night in fall
Piece of your soul
This is the world
Northern fontier


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