Monday, July 8, 2013

Alannah Myles: Influences

One of the hottest female rockers ever! I also think she is one of the most underrated singer, songwriter and performer in the music industry. I remember the first time i saw her on MTV, in her first music video for the song "Black Velvet". I was sitting in a bar having a drink with a friend. I nudged him jokingly and pointed up at the TV. I said to him, "If I don't marry that girl then I will never get married."

Who have thought I would never get married? LOL

Okay, so maybe I didn't really mean it and maybe me never getting married is just a strange coincidence. But I still said it. And no, I never did get married.

I remember the first time I heard her CD "Rockinghorse". I was blown away. From the very first song on that album, "Our World, Our Times" right to the last song, "Rockinghorse" - nothing but incredible writing. (It inspired one of my stories which I plan to publish someday.) I was hooked. Alannah Myles is one of my favorite female entertainers. She ranks right up there with Kylie Minogue, Miley Cyrus, Pat Benatar, Reba McEntire, Tina "freaking" Turner and Tanya "freaking" Tucker. (That is how I have to say those two ladies names, with the "freaking" in between. That's how amazing they are.) And now, let's get to know her a little more, shall we?

 Alannah Myles was born December 25th, 1958 in Toronto, Ontario. She is a Canadian singer-songwriter. She is the daughter of Canadian broadcast pioneer William Douglas Byles (1914-1988), who was inducted into the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' Hall of Fame in 1997. After deciding to pursue a career in entertainment at the age of 19 she changed her last name to Myles. After more than a decade of modelling and acting in TV commercials to pay for music demos, she weathered countless rejections in her home country of Canada before recording masters for three songs which included "Who Loves You" accompanied by a video of "Just One Kiss" directed by photographer, Deborah Samuel and matched financing from songwriting collaborator and Much Music (City TV), DJ and program director, Christopher Ward (songwriter) and FACTOR. They were no longer an item prior to their search for major label support, signing her first record contract with Atlantic Records in 1987.

In the early fall of 1987 Warner Music Canada's director of A&R Bob Roper sent the three song video package to all the U.S. affiliates under the Warner Music Group and sight unseen, was offered a coveted seven year contract (option for eight) from one of America's oldest and wealthiest rock and R&B labels, Atlantic Record's (WMG) by head of A&R, Tunc Erim and Atlantic label founder, Ahmet Ertegun opting out of a lucrative acting career by co-writing and recording the remainder of her first album with collaborator, Christopher Ward and producer, David Tyson. In 1989, she released her self titled debut album touring internationally for eighteen months. Her first album was awarded the Diamond Award for sales of over one million units. She is the only Canadian debut artist to attain that title. Her first album was reported to have sold upwards of six million internationally and it remains a classic selling album to date.

Her first record, Alannah Myles was met with top ten hits in several countries around the world beginning with "Love Is", "Still Got This Thing For You" and her only number one 1990 hit in Canada "Lover Of Mine". Her entire repertoire spanning sixty multi-faceted recordings have been unable to outshine the phenomenal popularity of her fourth American 1990 single release, "Black Velvet" which remained at number one for two weeks (with a bullet) on the U.S. Billboard Top 40 Chart, became a worldwide hit and won the1990 Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance Female.

In 1992 Alannah was nominated for a second Grammy award for "Best Rock Vocal Performance Female" in 1992 for the title track,"Rockinghorse" which was on the flip side of her first single, "Song Instead of a Kiss" from her second CD "Rockinghorse". "Song Instead Of A Kiss" was a sixty piece orchestrated ballad that went to number one on several radio stations around the globe that was met with little response in America who may have grown accustomed to the slow, southern style of Black Velvet.

 Alannah began writing songs around the age of 9. She performed in a songwriting group for the Kiwanis Music Festival in Toronto at 12 years of age and by the time she was a teenager, began performing solo gigs in Southern Ontario, eventually meeting Christopher Ward, a WMG recording artist and songwriter who helped her to form her own band where she performed cover versions of rock and blues based bands while grooming her own material. By the time she was in her mid-twenties she and Christopher began collaborating with David Tyson to produce her self-titled, debut album, "Alannah Myles." She appeared in a 1984 episode of the television series "The Kids of Degrassi Street," in which she played the role of an aspiring singer and single mother. She was featured in several other TV and film productions as a guest host and actor prior to, and after her success as a recording artist.

In May 1989, Warner Music in Canada released Alannah Myles. It produced four Top 40 selections, including "Love Is", "Lover of Mine", and "Still Got This Thing", and the number-one hit "Black Velvet". In early 1990 Atlantic Records released "Black Velvet" in the U.S., making her first album ineligible for possible Grammy nominations. For Myles, "Black Velvet" became a number one hit worldwide and was named the most played song on radio for 1989 & 1990. By 2000 it had received the ASCAP Millionaire Award for having received over five million airplays at radio. "Black Velvet" won Myles a Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Performance in 1991, and three Juno Awards.

The year 1992 brought the follow-up album, Rockinghorse, which included the hit singles "Song Instead Of A Kiss," which was written and composed by Myles, Nancy Simmonds and Canadian poet Robert Priest, "Our World, Our Times", and "Sonny, Say You Will." She received a Grammy nomination for Rockinghorse and several global awards, including a Juno and Much Music's people's choice award for "Our World, Our Times."

The year 1995 produced Myles's final album on Atlantic Records before being released from the label, granting Warner/Atlantic a Best Of CD after only 3 records. The A-lan-nah album, which contained no Top 40 singles, included two tracks which made it into the Top 100: "Family Secret" and "Blow Wind, Blow."

In 1997, she managed to terminate her eight-record contract with Atlantic Records with the help of her then-manager, Miles Copeland III, who immediately signed her to his Ark 21 Records. There she released A Rival, which had the Top 40 hit "Bad 4 You," written and recorded by Myles, Desmond Child and Eric Bazilian at Copeland's castle songwriting retreat at Grand Brassac, France.

In February of 2005, together with the Swedish band Kee Marcello's K2, she participated in the third semi-final of Melodifestivalen, the Swedish national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest. Their selection, "We Got It All," scored very few points and finished seventh out of eight songs, yet it managed to dominate the leading newspaper and media headlines in Sweden.

In April of 2009, she released her 5th studio album Black Velvet, which featured a new recording of her song of the same name in addition to ten new studio recordings. She discussed the subject of financing and co-producing her own album in May 2008 in an interview with Evan Solomon on the TV program CBC News: Sunday Night.   

In the spring of 2009, Myles released the CD Black Velvet on Linus Entertainment, which resulted in a staggered release internationally while her indie label merged with Canada's True North Records to release the album in America in the spring of 2010. This was followed by a video for the song "Trouble" that features a jug band performance. "Trouble" was awarded an 'Honourable Mention' as a finalist in the blues category at the 2009 International Songwriting Contest. Myles won the 15th annual USA Songwriting Competition for both best rock/alternative song as well as grand prize finalist for a selection, written and composed jointly with Nancy Simmonds for her "Black Velvet" CD, titled "Give Me Love."

With plans to record a vintage blues CD and release an autobiography entitled, "Alannah Myles - The Black Velvet Story" when the appropriate publisher and label have been secured, Myles now tours in support of her Black Velvet CD beginning with European dates in March 2011 and 2012. Her song Black Velvet was one of four selected to be covered on the CBC Television reality television show Cover Me Canada.  

In my book, she will always be one of the most beautiful, sexiest, and talented female rockers that ever lived. She gives everything she has when she is up on stage. More importantly, she made the 1990's more bearable for me where music was concerned. Because as we all know, by the end of the 1990's, music has pretty much gone to crap. With only a small percentage of it as "exceptions".

Sources used in this article: Wikipedia

This work is released under CC 3.0 BY-SA - Creative Commons



  1. Ah, Alannah Myles. Found a very interesting opinion on her guestbook page awhile back before it got removed. Here's what it said:

    *start message*


    Alannah, I like you and your music, but that right there makes you look like a complete control freak asshole that is yet just another reason of what's wrong with the music industry and why it's off to hell!

    It doesn't help that you are cocky and Britney Spears as pointed out perfectly by! Obviously, you let the success get to your head and yet you can't/don't realize that your popularity flamed out in the 1990's.

    And what's up with disabling the ability to see how many thumbs up/down on your videos but yet allow ANYBODY to comment? So seeing how many thumbs up is a no-no, but allowing the occasional hater to flame you to pieces is? So sad.

    Perhaps it's time to have one of those NoDQ or ACWL video game wrestling leagues to book a match with you fighting Freddy Krueger and Freddy makes you his bitch! In fact I could see Freddy's promo now...

    "Alannah Myles, when you stuck your nose in my business you committed a Deadly Sin! On, (insert date of the match) whether it takes fire, lightning or the kiss of death, you will be my bitch! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha!...HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!"

    PS - On the bright side, you are nowhere as bad as these "people":

    These no talent, waste of space dipshits who can't tell their assholes apart deserve to have their heads blown off even more so than the Rodney King protesters!

    *end message*

    Wow. Just wow.

    1. Wow indeed.

      I love Alannah. She was one of the best female rockers I ever saw. Don't know her personal side, but her songwriting and voice were right there with the best of them IMO. She flew under the radar after her breakthrough hit, "Black Velvet", but that's okay because she never flew under my radar.

  2. Alannah Myles not only was/is intensely beautiful on the outside she also has it on the inside some of the photo's of her are so beautiful it's REALLY SO SO DIFFICULT to look away from them!!!!!!!!!!that grey streak in her long black hair only makes her all the more appealing and makes her all the more's hard to believe that she has never been married but perhaps she is happier on her own and she really has put down some timeless music through her career with a unique voice that is up there with the best of them.
    Ashley Martin


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