It will go down in CBC Music history as the Great Gowan Debate of 2014: "Strange Animal" or "Criminal Mind"? Of course it depends on the context, which in this case was: what is the best, but also the "most '80s," Gowan song?
That question — what was the best, most '80s song? — was at the core of this list, in which we sifted through the biggest, most popular, best and even cheesiest songs in order to present to you a cohesive list that stands as a snapshot of what Canada sounded like for a decade. It was the '80s, so of course there's metal, but there are also timeless rock anthems. There are cheesy synths, sure, but there was also the daring new wave scene happening across the country. And at a time when a lot of major artists around the world were creating some pretty questionable content, Canadian superstars were shining brighter than ever.
To compile the list, we pooled our colleagues across the country and asked for top 10 lists, including our Quebec colleagues at IciMusique.ca, then debated the results, limiting it to only one song per artist, until we bled neon and agreed upon a list with which we were happy. So who won the Gowan debate? Check out the gallery above to find out, and don't forget to hit play below, as we've updated our '80s stream to count down the top 50 for you with one easy click.
Listen to CBC Music's Top 50 Canadian songs beginning at noon EST on Aug. 25 & 29, 4:00 EST on Sep. 1 & 5 and again at noon EST on Sep. 8 & 12.