April Wine is a Canadian rock band formed in 1969. The band has been through many changes, with Myles Goodwyn as the only constant member. They were inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2013. The band’s origins can be traced to a backyard cover band called “Ripple,” formed in the late Sixties by Myles Goodwyn and Larry “Supercharge” Wagar in Waverley, Nova Scotia. The lineup consisted of Goodwyn on lead vocals and guitar, Wagar on drums, Brian Greenway on lead guitar, Jerry Mercer playing bass, and Jim Clench on rhythm guitar. After a few years of playing backyard parties and other small gigs, they caught the attention of a radio DJ in 1969 who sent out some copies of their single “I Think I Love You” on the Atlantic Canadian indie label Aquarius Records. Columbia Records signed them to a global deal, so the song garnered enough attention. It wasn’t long before April Wine started appearing on international charts as they were now called. In 1971, their debut album was released, with the single “Fast Train.” In 1972 they released three albums that charted as follows: On Record as #32 in Australia; Electric Jewels at #33; and Stand Back at No. 1 in Canada.
10. Just Between You And Me (1981)
Just Between You And Me was released as a single in 1981 on the album The Nature of the Beast and reached No.8 on Billboard’s Album Rock Tracks and #30 on Billboard’s Top 40 Mainstream chart. The song is about a businessman who finally finds a woman he can fall in love with and his feelings of uneasiness when she is late for their date. The lyrics describe his hidden fears of her not showing up, but when she finally does, he feels relief.
9. Roller (1978)
Roller is a single in 1978 on the album First Glance and reached No.9 on Billboard’s Album Rock Tracks and #59 in Canada. The song is about friends who go out partying and drinking throughout the evening in Montreal, looking for women to take back to their hotel room with them. They eventually find two sisters and take them back to their hotel room for a wild night of entertainment.
8. Enough Is Enough (1982)
Enough Is Enough is a song about the end of a relationship. It was released as a single in 1982 on the album Power Play and reached No.16 on Billboard’s Album Rock Tracks Chart and #32 on Canada’s CHUM40 Chart. The song starts with “Enough is enough, I’ve got to tell you what I feel.” The lyrics continue to say that “the love we had is dying” and that the singer must “face the truth before I lose you.”
7. Sign Of The Gypsy Queen (1981)
Sign of the Gypsy Queen was released as a single in 1981 on the album The Nature of the Beast and reached No.8 on Billboard’s Album Rock Tracks Chart and #83 on Canada’s CHUM40 Chart. The song is about an adventurer who leaves his job behind to follow his dreams to go out into the world. He sits in a seedy bar and falls in love with the waitress. They go back to her place to make love all night long.
6. You Could Have Been A Lady (1972)
This song is about a man who is in love with a prostitute. Throughout the song, he pleads with her to give up her profession and live with him instead. The lyrics say, “I’m not just some john, I need you so desperately” and “if you don’t turn tricks tonight, we’ll find a way somehow.” It is from the album On Record, which was released in 1972. The lyrics go on to say, “I know you’re worth more than any other whore, don’t sell yourself at any price.”
5. I Like To Rock (1980)
I Like to Rock was released as a single in 1980 on the album Harder Faster and reached No.24 on Billboard’s Album Rock Tracks Chart and #46 in Canada. The song is about the singer saying that he likes rock and that rock is his life. He can’t get enough of it and says that he loves “rock music when it’s loud.” The song is also about choosing to rock over anything else.
4. Rock Myself To Sleep (1985)
April Wine continued to evolve toward a more radio-friendly wall of sound with their 1985 release, “Walking Through Fire,” Their second highest-charting single in the United States. This song features a prominent synthesizer played by Myles Goodwyn. The song itself is about the act of pleasuring oneself before one falls asleep. The single reached #1 on the Mainstream rock charts.
3. So Bad (1976)
This is a song that April Wine recorded in 1976. The first single from their album titled “The Whole World’s Goin’ Crazy” was the first single. This song reached #34 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and it hit the top ten on the Canadian Singles Chart. The song peaked higher in Canada than in America on both the Canadian singles chart and the Billboard Hot 100. It was also April Wine’s first #1 song in Canada.
2. This Could Be The Right One (1984)
April Wine kept making fantastic rock songs throughout the ’80s, but much of their later work failed to live up to the standards set by their catalog from 1970-1979. “This Could Be the Right One” is one of their strongest songs from this period. Goodwyn shines on lead vocals, and the keyboards add a welcome sense of drama to the verses without dominating them. The song’s music and lyrics work perfectly together, and the band (and Goodwyn) perform it with real conviction. That makes all the difference in a tune that could have been just another hard rocker but turned out to be an engaging, stand-out track from an era where so many of their songs sound similar.
1. Tonight Is A Wonderful Time To Fall In Love (1975)
It is a classic power ballad, the best song on their breakthrough album, and one of the most enduring songs in April Wine’s history. The band shines musically and lyrically with a smooth yet funky feel that showcases their skills as musicians, but the star here is Goodwyn’s emotive vocal performance. It’s hard not to be moved by his sincerity and by the song’s earnest desire to make people happy in love. The synthesizer solo further drives home the emotional impact of the lyrics, providing a sense of hope that enhances rather than detracts from them, building slowly but beautifully toward an unforgettable conclusion.
The ten songs above represent some of April Wine’s best work. More than three decades after “Tonight Is a Wonderful Time to Fall in Love,” ” the band is still going strong, touring across Canada and the United States while occasionally releasing new music (their most recent album was 2015’s “Animal Grace”). Their catalog of hits stands as one of the finest bodies of work by any Canadian rock band.