- 🇨🇦 Toronto, Ontario
- Years Active
1975 - Now
Canadian rockers Red Rider drew on elements of New Wave and progressive rock to create a modern, radio-ready sound that achieved considerable chart success throughout the 1980s.
Singer/keyboardist Peter Boynton, guitarists Ken Greer and Arvo Lepp, bassist Jon Checkowski and drummer Rob Baker founded Toronto-based Red Rider in 1975. Singer/guitarist Tom Cochrane joined the lineup in 1978 at the urging of Capitol Records; Lepp and Checkowski exited soon after, and with the addition of bassist Jeff Jones (who co-founded iconic Canadian power trio Rush in 1968, stepping aside a few months in to make way for Geddy Lee), Red Rider issued its debut LP Don't Fight It in the autumn of 1979, highlighted by the single "White Hot."
Red Rider's second album, 1981's As Far as Siam, brought them widespread attention and spawned the hit single "Lunatic Fringe," which attacked rising antisemitic violence and vitriol. Neruda followed in 1983 and featured the singles "Human Race" and "Power (Strength in Numbers)," which both received significant Canadian radio airplay. With 1986's Tom Cochrane & Red Rider, Cochrane assumed even greater control of the group's musical direction, culminating in the smash single "Boy Inside the Man." Following the 1989 release of The Symphony Sessions, Red Rider disbanded, and Cochrane went on to achieve great success as a solo artist with hits like "Life is a Highway." Cochrane and Red Rider reunited in 2002, and toured annually for decades to follow.