Reason #225-221: It Came From Canada!
There were three major outlets for kids to find out about new bands before the internet: friends, magazines and compilation albums. I relied most heavily on the first two, but occasionally I would buy a neat looking compilation album to see if anything jumped out at me. It often did. This is how I found out about The Gruesomes (see Reason #226), and a whole slew of great underground bands, and this compilation series was not only first rate it was also patriotic! 100% Can-Con (“Canadian Content”, for all you non-Canucks) and chock full of interesting, up and coming garage/punk/underground bands.
Some of the more recognizable bands that got their start from the It Came From Canada series were Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet (who you might recognize as the guys who provided the theme for Kids In The Hall–incidentally, a great live act!) and the now world famous Cowboy Junkies.
The series ran from 1985-1989, one release a year, and all were uniformly excellent. If you are a vinyl aficionado, I mean, good luck finding a copy for a decent price. Maybe Discogs will have a reasonably priced copy, I haven’t checked. But there are none on Ebay, and none on Amazon, I know that for certain.
But if you are lucky enough to live in Canada, specifically in Ontario, and have a favorite record store with a good selection of used vinyl you may just get lucky!