Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Art Bergmann - Best Canadian Songs of All Time No. 2

This series of posts will be offering the definitive list of the best Canuck tunes ever recorded, scientifically tabulated, collated and obfuscated by the Brain of Scruff, in absolutely-not numerical order.

Art Bergmann walked slowly into the record store where I was toiling, his eyes focused on something no one else could see. He trailed behind the record company man as my friend and I, Bergmann fans both, looked at each other with our faces lit up like little kids on Christmas morn.

We followed them to the office in the back, where Art sat down, crossed one leg over the other, and fished in his pocket. He produced the world's most raggedy cigarette, crumpled and torn and exceptionally sad-looking. Our boss offered him a less violated smoke, but he just replied, "No thanks." My record store pal proceeded to tell him how we played the album in the store every day, to which Art scowled, rolled his eyes and grumbled, "Yeah, but did you sell any?"

Notwithstanding Art's cantankerous nature, he was a songwriting force to be reckoned with. I hope one day someone gets together a tribute album with others covering his tunes. It's probably the only way he will ever get recognition for his body of work.

The following song originally appeared on Sexual Roulette (1990), but this version is taken from Design Flaw (1998). Design Flaw is a testament to the man's songcraft, with Bergmann's spare vocals and guitars adorned with nothing but tasteful Chris Spedding six-string accents.

Photo at top of post by photographer Alex Waterhouse-Hayward.

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