Tom Cochrane Biography

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Born: Lynn Lake, Manitoba
Tom Cochrane is one of three children born to bush pilot Tuck Cochrane and wife Violet in Lynn Lake, Manitoba. The family later relocated to Acton, Ontario when Cochrane was 4 and eventually settled in Etobicoke, Ontario. Cochrane sold a toy train set at age 11 to raise money for his first guitar.
In the early '70's he pursued a folksinger existance by performing in coffeehouses across Canada gaining a steady reputation on the circuit through exposure in Yorkville Village.
By 1973 he had secured a record deal and released his first single, "You're Driving Me Crazy", under his surname Cochrane on Frank Davies' Daffodil Records. With a debut album, 'Hang On To Your Resistance', under his belt, Cochrane was still finding it tough to make ends meet.
He found his way to Los Angeles where he got a line on writing theme music for the Happy Hooker, Xavier Hollander, movie 'My Pleasure Is My Business'. Excerpts from the record, along with songs from 'Hang On To Your Resistance', were issued on Daffodil's 'Naturally' label sampler to help re-launch Cochrane as a premiere Canadian soloist.
Still, Cochrane needed to pay bills and took up a job driving a taxi in Toronto and eventually landing a job on a Caribbean cruise liner before returning to Los Angeles in 1976.
While pounding the pavement trying to peddle his songs to publishers he worked for a delivery company and also a dishwasher before returning to Toronto in 1977.
One fateful night after wandering into Toronto's infamous El Mocambo club, Cochrane stumbled across a group of locals calling themselves Red Rider. After ingratiating himself on them, they agreed to an audition and eventually took Cochrane on as lead singer/songwriter.
The band began demoing original material and Cochrane called on his old friend Deane Cameron, A & R at Capitol Records, who had previously drummed on Cochrane's 'Hang On To Your Resistance' album in 1974. Cameron suggested Rush manager Ray Danniels to represent the group professionally, but when Danniels made overtures of signing the act to his own Anthem Records, Cameron drafted the band onto Capitol's roster. Meanwhile, managerial guru Bruce Allen was looking for a new label for his rising stars Prism, so Cameron offered to sign Allen's act if he took Red Rider on as manager.
Red Rider's debut album for Capitol was 'Don't Fight It' which featured the hits 'White Hot' and the title track. The album sold an impressive 100,000 copies as a debut album which led to a string of successful albums and AOR hits across Canada -- most notably "Lunatic Fringe", from 'As Far As Siam', and "Power (Strength In Numbers)", from 'Neruda', the critically acclaimed progressively themed album about Pablo Neruda produced by David Tickle.
However, by the time of their fourth album, 1984's 'Breaking Curfew', the American market still hadn't been cracked and the pressure was beginning to destroy the band. A major US tour with Rush failed to yield any notable response in album sales or favourable press and a headline Canadian tour ended in a fist-fight between Cochrane, a road manager and bassist Jeff Jones.
Red Rider officially disbanded at this point and Cochrane left the fold of manager Bruce Allen. After a sufficient break to gain some personal perspective, Cochrane and Red Rider guitarist Ken Greer began recording the next album under the deal with Capitol Records at Dave Edmund's Rockfield Studios in Wales.
New bassist Ken "Spider" Sinnaeve (Streetheart) was added and the resulting album was titled simply 'Tom Cochrane & Red Rider'.
With the radio hits "Boy Inside The Man" and "The Untouchable One" (about Cochrane's wife) and a Juno Award for Group Of The Year behind them, Cochrane stepped sideways briefly to produce The Grapes Of Wrath's 'Treehouse' (having previously mixed two tracks for the group in 1983), while Ken Greer produced the debut EP for The Tragically Hip.
The new and improved Tom Cochrane & Red Rider -- featuring keyboardist John Webster and guitarist Ken Greer -- followed up with 1988's 'Victory Day' album produced by Don Gehman (Cutting Crew, John Cougar Mellencamp) and the group's live tour, in turn, resulted in the album 'The Symphony Sessions' - a reprise of some of Red Rider's finest moments with new orchestral arrangements. In 1989 Cochrane won a Juno Award for Composer Of The Year.
By this time the Red Rider concept had worn out its welcome and Ken Greer moved on to other interests as both a producer (World Gone Mad) and collaborator (Gowan, Myles Hunter) so Cochrane decided to go solo like he had during his formative years.
As research and new inspiration, Cochrane took his family to West Africa on a fact finding mission in 1990 for the famine relief organization World Vision. That experience, dealing with the starving masses, helped shape his next album - 'Mad Mad World' - and specifically it's international hit single "Life Is A Highway".
The song was nominated Song Of The Year by SOCAN in 1991 and the album spawned several more singles - eventually selling 1,000,000 copies in Canada and garnering Cochrane more Juno Awards.
In recent years Cochrane continues to travel (he even spent time travelling as his own pilot in a private plane) and helping famine relief with the 30 Hour Famine Relief effort by World Vision and participating in Molly Johnson's annual Kumbaya Festival.
1995 saw the release of 'Ragged Ass Road', a more production stripped album than previous albums. With the disc, Cochrane embarked on an acoustic tour in 1996 from Vancouver to Montreal. The result was the live acoustic disc and multi-media package 'Songs Of A Circling Spirit'.
Currently Cochrane is promoting his latest effort 'X-Ray Sierra' featuring the radio hit "I Wonder". He plans on hitting the road once more in early 1999.
DISCOGRAPHY

Singles
as COCHRANE
1973 You're Driving Me Crazy (Faith Healers)/Charly Was A Dancer (Daffodil/A & M)
1974 Gabriella/Gabriella's Walking Theme (Daffodil/A & M)
1975 Slowly Walk Away (Daffodil/GRT)
1976 Sail On/West Coast Saga (Daffodil/GRT)

with RED RIDER
1979 White Hot (Capitol)
1980 Don't Fight It (Capitol)
1981 What Have You Got To Do (To Get Off Tonight) (Capitol)
1981 Lunatic Fringe (Capitol)
1983 Light In The Tunnel/Human Race (Capitol)
1983 Power (Strength In Numbers) (Capitol)
1984 Young Thing, Wild Dreams (Rock Me) (Capitol)

as TOM COCHRANE & RED RIDER
1986 Boy Inside The Man [single edit]/Lasting Song (Capitol)
1986 The Untouchable One (Capitol)
1988 Victory Day (Capitol)
1989 Big League (Capitol)
1989 Good Times (Capitol)

as TOM COCHRANE
1991 Life Is A Highway (EMI)
1992 No Regrets (EMI)
1992 Sinking Like A Sunset (EMI)
1992 Mad Mad World (EMI)
1992 Washed Away (EMI)
1992 Bigger Man (EMI)
1995 I Wish You Well (EMI)
1996 Wildest Dreams (EMI)
1998 I Wonder (EMI)

Albums/CDs
as COCHRANE
1974 Hang On To Your Resistance (Daffodil/A & M)

with RED RIDER
1980 Don't Fight It (Capitol)
1981 As Far As Siam (Capitol)
1983 Neruda (Capitol)
1984 Breaking Curfew (Capitol)
1987 Over 60 Minutes With...(Capitol)
1987 Neruda [CD re-issue] (Capitol) [bonus tracks: Light In The Tunnel-Human Race/White Hot/Lunatic Fringe]
1994 Don't Fight It [CD re-issue] (EMI)
1994 Breaking Curfew [CD re-issue](EMI)

as TOM COCHRANE & RED RIDER
1986 Tom Cochrane & Red Rider (Capitol)
1988 Victory Day (Capitol)
1989 The Symphony Sessions (Capitol) [bonus tracks: Good Times/The Next Life]

as TOM COCHRANE
1987 Hang On To Your Resistance [CD re-issue] (Capitol)
1991 Mad Mad World (Capitol)
1992 Mad Mad World [vinyl re-issue] (EMI)
1993 Ashes To Diamonds: A Collection (EMI)
1995 Ragged Ass Road (EMI)
1997 Songs Of A Circling Spirit (EMI)
1998 X-Ray Sierra (EMI)

Other

as COCHRANE
1974 "Revelations: Views In A Dream", "Gariella Theme", "West Coast Saga" on 'Naturally' (Daffodil/A & M) - compilation
1976 cuts on 'My Pleasure Is My Business' (???) - soundtrack

1996 - By Jaimie Vernon, Canadian Music Encyclopedia





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-------- 07/27/2014
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