Growing up in Toronto in the late 70s early 80s we would cruise Yonge Street hitting up the record stores for the coolest sounds and head shops for punk buttons and patches to adorn our denim. All the while we were on the look out for a sighting of hometown heroes like The Viletones, Teenage Head (well, Hamilton is close) and The Diodes.
The Diodes hit the new wave/punk rock scene in 1977 with their debut album and a groovy cover of The Cyrkle’s – Paul Simon/Bruce Woodley penned “Red Rubber Ball“. Signed to a major label desperate to capitalize on the success of “punk” they quickly found themselves supporting bands like the Talking Heads, The Cramps, U2, Split Enz, Ultravox, and Gary Numan, while being being touted as the next big thing.
Their second record “Released” came out in 1979 with the classic “Tired of Waking Up Tired” – still listed as one of the greatest songs in Canadian music, it is a power pop gem! They put out one more studio record in 1980 – the noticeably more power pop leaning “Action/Reaction” and had a major hit single with “Catwalker” no wonder it’s chorus is a killer. However record company issues and lack of traction eventually spelled their demise.
Long out of print Artoffact Records had reissued all three plus a rarities collection on remastered coloured vinyl; although it looks like the first two records are only available as part of a boxed set. You can now get your hands on some of the best power pop punk rock to come out of this country.