Speaking of Canadian classic rock, April Wine is one of the best bands we ever created.
Similar to other Canadian classic rock bands, April Wine in the current day is a group that primarily tours Canada playing their classic hits, of which they have many. I grew up with April Wine being mentioned in the same breath as Rush and the Guess Who, but when I reflect on it now maybe they have more in common with Chilliwack and Prism. All five bands mentioned in this paragraph are freaking awesome, so no insult is intended, or even possible, by any comparison, and while Rush and the Guess Who are celebrated as cultural icons, Chilliwack and Prism are great gems unjustly mostly forgotten, and maybe April Wine is somewhere in the middle.
April Wine formed in 1969 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Forty-nine years and twenty studio albums later, it is probably safe to say April Wine is a legendary Canadian rock band. Like any band that survives so long there is a single man driving the dream onward into eternity, and that man is Myles Goodwyn. Goodwyn functions as guitarist, lead singer, primary song writer and leader of April Wine. He is the only remaining original member of the band, and it is probably safe to say that April Wine is his band, his dream.
Of all the albums April Wine has produced, the only one I actually own is “Stand Back” (1975) their forth studio album, I also own their greatest hits, and god I am such a poser sometimes. The principle reason I sought out a copy of “Stand Back” was that it contains a hit song “Tonight is a Wonderful Time to Fall in Love.”
There is a instant charm to “Tonight is a Wonderful Time to Fall in Love,” the opening chords are immediately catchy, and that initial rhythm carries the song through out. Like many radio perfect rock songs, “Tonight is a Wonderful Time to Fall in Love” is a three-chord song. There is a many a joke about how three chord songs are cheap, and easy to play, but like anything, and everything, in life, just because something is not high level deep art does not diminish it’s quality or it enjoyment level. The sad truth that the technically talented and critically analytic must accept is that three chord songs are fucking catchy, and some of them are simply, perhaps by their simplicity, really good songs. The three chords in question for ““Tonight is a Wonderful Time to Fall in Love” are G, C, and D.
I sat down to learn how to play “Tonight is a Wonderful Time to Fall in Love” and god am I rusty. In theory it is an easy song to play, what being three chords and all, and I used to be really good at moving from G to C to D, but I will need to practice getting back into the groove of it. Alternatively, I could learn the bar chords that are correctly being used, but I was never good at those, so I do not know about that.
So “Tonight is a Wonderful Time to Fall in Love” open with Goodwyn hitting us with the iconic three chord guitar rhythm and then he hits us with the iconic opening verse:
“Red and yellow, seasons changing gear,
Giving her all I am, reaching out with loving care.
You know she can feel it, oh yeah, she never has to try,
Going on forever, oh yeah, knowing that's the reason why.”
Maybe this verse is not as iconic for others as it is for me, but for me, it is very special. I believe I heard “Tonight is a Wonderful Time to Fall in Love” once a day for most days of my childhood when I used to listen to the radio, exactly the right amount of times to fall deeply in the love with the song and not become overplayed to me.
As stated at the beginning of this ramble, I mentioned that I do not know how well known, or remembered, April Wine is outside of Canada. Perhaps they benefitted from the Canadian content laws like Chilliwack, and like Chilliwack, April Wine is a good enough band they should not have to rely on the governmental assistance to be heard, classic rock stations the world over should be including April Wine songs in their repertoire.
Of all the many April Wine songs I know, when I sat down to write this up a review about the band, the song that first came to mind was “Tonight is a Wonderful Time to Fall in Love.” Sweetly upbeat and wonderfully catchy, it is a perfect radio friendly classic rock song, and that is probably why it has stayed with me, and so many other Canadian’s for so long.
Until next month, keep on rocking in the free world.
- King of Braves