International Women’s Day

It’s International Women’s Day and I thought i’d mention one of the most underrated female Canadian artists of all time, Lubomyra Kowalchyk – Also known as Luba.

Outside of Canada Luba is primarily known for her works on the “9 ½ Weeks” film soundtrack, namely “Let It Go” and “The Best Is Yet To Come”. But she has had numerous hit singles in Canada from January 1983 to May 2000, including “When a Man Loves a Woman”, “Giving Away A Miracle”,  “How Many (Rivers To Cross)”, “Little Salvation”, “Storm Before The Calm”, “Everytime I See Your Picture” and “Innocent (with an explanation)”. 

From 1985 to 1990 she was nominated for 11 Juno Awards, winning three consecutive Juno Awards for Female Vocalist of the Year from 1985 to 1987 and a Juno Award for Best Video in 1986 for “How Many (Rivers to Cross)“.

She also won two Casby Awards for Female Vocalist of the Year in 1986 and 1987, a Félix award for Dance Record of The Year for “Let It Go” and a Black Music Association Award for Female Entertainer of the Year. And she also  received two gold singles, four gold albums and three platinum albums from the Canadian Recording Industry Association for physical album sales in Canada from February 1985 to November 1991, which includes a platinum award for “Over 60 Minutes With“, one of the first compact discs I had purchased in the late 80’s.

This 16 track greatest hits compilation featured all of my favourite tracks from her previous two Capital/EMI Music Canada albums and both “The Best Is Yet To Come” and cover of Percy Sledge’s “When A Man Loves A Woman” so it had become one of my favourite albums from the period. 

Her subsequent Capital/EMI Music Canada album, 1989’s “All Or Nothing“, also had a few great tracks, mainly her singles from the album (“Giving Away A Miracle”, “Little Salvation” and “No More Words”). But this was her last studio album release for a decade, other that the 1995 re-release of “Chain Reaction“, her pop rock debut from 1980.

This re-release has some good tracks, my favourites tracks being “I Stand Alone” and “Seems Like A Dream” (which reminds me of Pat Benatar’s recordings from the early 80’s).  But I preferred her next release, 2000’s “From The Bitter To The Sweet“, which was released on an indie label and included “Is She A lot Like Me”, “Let Me Be The One”, “Sorry” and title track.

Unfortunately of all of her albums only two remain in print on compact disc, “Chain Reaction” and “Icon“, a 12 track greatest hits package that was released in 2014 by Universal Music Canada. But these can be downloaded legally from iTunes Canada and Google Play or streamed legally from Apple Music and Spotify, although it should be noted that Luba’s official web site claims the “Ten Best” release available on Google Play and Spotify is unauthorized and should not be purchased or streamed.

Personally, if I would choose 20 of my very favourite Luba tracks from the Spotify catalog i’d choose the ones i’ve compiled in this Spotify Playlist, adding a few more tracks from her “From The Bitter To The Sweet” album to complete the collection. But if you have a chance to buy her albums on compact disc or vinyl, I highly recommend it.

Free Shipping & More

I’ve just updated my free shipping listings and added freebie links. More will be added a.s.a.p.

New Vinyl Pressing Facility

A new vinyl pressing plant will be opening in Richmond, BC this spring according to the Vancouver Courier.

Clampdown Record Pressing will be pressing 7″, 10″, and 12″ records, the first to offer this service in the Vancouver area in 27 years.

Au Revoir MusiquePlus

Quebecois music video broadcaster MusiquePlus will go off air in August.

This is one the channels I use to watch alternatively with Much Music in the 80’s and 90’s, which introduced me to francophone rock and pop from Quebec/Canada, France and Belgium, through music videos and live performances.

Unfortunately, like most music channels they started diversifying their content in the late 90’s, slowly leaving music videos behind and i’ve stopped watching it because it had been flooded with “reality” programs.

When Youtube came along in 2005, this was the beginning of the end for these stations, the coup de grace being Vevo, which came online in December 2009.

I will miss it, especially Claude Rajote’s “Le Cimetière des CD”, one of the channel’s longest running music critique program.

Canadian Buys HMV

The Guardian reports that Doug Putman of Sunrise Records is the new owner of HMV and that 100 of the 127 stores will remain open in the United Kingdom, saving 1500 jobs.

Sunrise Records, a record store chain that was founded in Toronto in 1977, had taken over several HMV stores in Canada shortly after HMV Canada had closed their stores by April 30th, 2017.

Ultraviolet Closing

The UltraViolet digital locker service will be going offline on July 31st, 2019. And Canadians may encounter issues when attempting to download their library off this service.

I’ve personally tried to access my library via the Sony Picture Store and Flixster but was only able to access and view a few of my films. But the Official UltraViolet site states that “movies and TV shows will remain accessible at previously-linked retailers” after the cutoff date, “in the majority of cases“.

Yes, those last few words do make me nervous.

I’d seriously hate loosing access to my films, four of which I consider to be my very favourites. But I guess all we can do is wait as they work things out.

I will of course keep an eye on the issue and post updates, if need be.