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Red Rider

From Academic Kids

Red Rider was a Canadian rock band which was most popular in the 1980s. While the band had large successes in the Canadian market, Red Rider never managed to really break through in the United States.

In 1978, Tom Cochrane and Ken Greer were performing in local coffee shops in Ontario. They hooked up with Rob Baker on drums, Jeff Jones on bass and Peter Boynton on keyboards to form Red Rider in 1979. They were signed to Capitol Records and released their first album Don't Fight It in 1980. With the singles "White Hot" and "Don't Fight It", the album quickly reached gold status. Their second album As Far as Siam was released in 1982 and featured the hit "Lunatic Fringe". Two other tracks "Cowboys in Hong Kong" and "What Have You Got To Do" were featured in an episode of Miami Vice which helped push the album to platinum. Boynton was replaced by keyboardist Steve Sexton on Red Rider's third album Neruda, released in 1983. The track "Napoleon Sheds His Skin" was easily one of the most popular on the album.

For their 1984 album Breaking Curfew, John Webster replaced Sexton on keyboards. The album did not sell as well as Neruda and a dispute with Capitol Records over the future direction of the band resulted in Red Rider being dropped from the record label later in 1984.

The band subsequently signed with RCA. In what became a strong signal regarding the future of the band, they officially became known as Tom Cochrane and Red Rider, and released their self-titled fifth album in 1986.

In 1987, Capitol released a compilation CD titled Over 60 Minutes with Red Rider, covering the band's first four albums.

In the fall of 1988, the band released their sixth album Victory Day which contained the track "Big League", about a boy's dream of playing in the National Hockey League. The song was featured in a segment on the CBC's Hockey Night in Canada.

Red Rider's final album, The Symphony Sessions, was released in 1989 and performed with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. Cochrane's solo career was taking off and the band broke up shortly after the album was released. Greer still plays on some of Cochrane's solo projects.

The three-CD box set Ashes to Diamonds, including material by both Red Rider and Cochrane as a solo artist, was released in 1993.

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