#94: Roxy Roller | Sweeney Todd

Musings of a Zen Punk

We continue counting down the Huffington Post’s 100 Best Canadian Songs Ever, with Sweeney Todd’s “Roxy Roller” at #94.

Sweeney Todd promo shot Sweeney Todd, with Nick Gilder

Sweeney Todd was a short-lived mid-Seventies glam band formed in Vancouver, Canada’s response, perhaps, to T Rex.

The group’s origins are traced to 1973, when Nick Gilder, an English-born singer who grew up in Vancouver, paired with guitarist Jim McCullough to form a band called Rasputin. When bassist Budd Marr, keyboardist Dan Gaudin and drummer John Booth joined in 1975, Rasputin became Sweeney Todd, a name inspired the eponymous Stephen Sondheim play.

Sweeney Todd scored a massive national hit with this, its third single. “Roxy Roller” was a #1 hit in Canada, topping the RPM national singles chart for three weeks in 1976 and netting the band a Juno Award. It was enough to warrant attention from Chrysalis Records in the US, although…

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