Did you know? The Toronto Reference Library has its very own record collection, and they’ve just added one hundred albums, all of which you can listen to on their in-house turntables. Many music nerds insist that nothing beats the sound quality of vinyl, and this is your chance to hear for yourself. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
F***** Up - The Chemistry of Common Life
That Toronto punk band with the swear word in their name has a reputation for explosive live shows and equally explosive albums -- in fact, it was this LP that won them the 2009 Polaris Prize in an upset victory, beating out Metric, Joel Plaskett, K’naan and several other established Canadian acts. F***** Up is known for their elaborate concept albums, as well as being the reason why MTV Canada can’t have nice things.
Alanis Morissette - Jagged Little Pill
This breakout album -- which turns 22 years old this month -- was immensely successful, winning five Grammy Awards, including the big one, Album of the Year. To put the sheer magnitude of Jagged Little Pill into perspective for you, here’s another fun fact: it’s sold over 33 million albums worldwide, which is almost one copy for every person in Canada. Catch up on your Canadian essentials and keep your ears open for a Red Hot Chili Pepper or two.
Drake - Take Care
It’s Drake, it’s Toronto, and it’s the album that gave us #YOLO. Obvious choice.
Arcade Fire - Funeral
The big songs and big sound of Montreal’s Arcade Fire are perhaps the best known arguments against the adage “less is more” and it was on Funeral that the band grew away from the comparably quaint sonics of their debut EP. With a brand new album coming next month, there’s no better time to wear out the grooves on this all-time classic all over again.
By Sean Madigan