This year marks the 25th anniversary of the 1991 release of Tom Cochrane’s album, Mad Mad World, which accelerated the Canadian singer-songwriter’s already upward trajectory into the stratosphere. To celebrate this milestone, Universal Music Canada, is reissuing Mad Mad World in remastered deluxe edition October 28, complete with the previously unreleased original demo recording of Love Is A Highway, from which grew the career-defining single Life Is A Highway, still in heavy rotation around the world a quarter-century later. The 2-CD set also includes a 1992 concert performance from Chicago which features key tracks from the album alongside Red Rider classics. The anniversary celebrations will further be supported by a special exhibition at the National Music Centre in Calgary, opening on October 28, and also a full Canadian tour, crossing Canada in the customary fashion – in winter – come early 2017.
Mad Mad World remains among the top-selling albums in Canadian music history, achieving rare Diamond-certified status (Cochrane is one of only three Canadian males to reach this plateau) on the strengths of such hit singles as the title track, No Regrets, Washed Away, Sinking Like A Sunset, and, of course, Life Is A Highway, which reigned at #1 for six weeks in Canada, reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100, and went on to become recognized the world over.
Tom Cochrane’s highway originates in Lynn Lake, Manitoba: the most northerly town accessible by road in the province. Selling a train set to buy his first guitar at age 11, Cochrane’s shrewd investment in his own musical talents would put him on the Canadian circuit of coffeehouses, pubs, roughneck bars – a time-tested road performance and songwriting apprenticeship that would lead to his first solo album, Hang On To Your Resistance, in 1974. A few years and many road miles later, Cochrane would become frontman for Red Rider, enjoying a great ten-year run during which they graduated to larger halls, arenas, and festivals stages and released a string of now-classic Canadian albums including Don’t Fight It (1980), As Far as Siam (1981, featuring the worldwide hit, Lunatic Fringe) and Neruda (1983). Within and without Red Rider, Cochrane has released 17 albums, most recently 2015’s Take It Home. He says, “The early days never leave you though, they get etched on your soul like a tattoo.”
Tom Cochrane is recipient of eight Juno Awards plus multiple songwriter awards from SOCAN, CAPAC, and ASCAP. Cochrane is a GRAMMY nominee, a member of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Music Industry Hall Of Fame. He holds an honorary doctorate, has a place on Canada’s Walk of Fame, and has been honoured with both the Order of Manitoba and the Order of Canada. He is recipient of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and is a former Honorary Air Force Colonel in the 409 squadron. Cochrane has also been tireless in his philanthropic works for decades, working with World Vision, War Child, Waterkeeper Alliance, Amnesty International, Médecins Sans Frontières, Make Poverty History, World Animal Protection, The United Way, Tree Canada, Unison and Tempo, to name a few. He has and continues to lend his support to several other causes, including helping spearhead the Canada for Asia initiative, entertaining our troops in Afghanistan, and raising money for Parkinson’s research. He was a performer at Live 8, and in both Tears Are Not Enough and Young Artists for Haiti.
For all the artistic satisfaction, commercial success, and accolades, Tom Cochrane remains a humble and proud Canadian. As he puts it, “The thing is I’ve been extremely blessed in my life and career, I’ve had the good fortune of having some good people around me over the years, I’ve put one foot ahead of the other to see where the road would take me and providence has been kind…so from time to time I’ve happened to or tried to do the right thing. The biggest reward though is when someone comes up and says this song or that song got me through some tough times or was part of the best times in my life, or when I fell in love that was our song.”
Tom Cochrane presently divides his time between the tour bus, the city, and his beloved studio/retreat ‘Layastone’ on the shores of Georgian Bay. He continues to inspire and to be inspired, with passion for life and interest in global issues and music. Music is always at the centre of the action: upon finishing touring for 2016, he and his reunited Red Rider bandmates Kenny Greer and Jeff Jones will return to the road in 2017, touring Mad Mad World 25. “We’re extremely excited to play MMW25 in its entirety live – along with some of the other songs people want to hear in the set as well of course,” he says. Tom Cochrane will also have an eye down the highway, on his documentary film project, a MMW25 coffee table book, and then music for his next release.
MAD MAD WORLD DELUXE EDITION TRACKLISTING
Life is A Highway
Mad Mad World
Sinking Like A Sunset
Everything Comes Around
The Secret Is To Know When To Stop
Brave and Crazy
Get Back Up
All The King’s Men
Love Is A Highway (Original version of “Life Is A Highway”)
CD2 (Recorded 14 May 1992 live in concert from Westwood One, Chicago, IL. Produced and mixed by Bob Shindle, mastered by Joao Carvalho.)
Sinking Like A Sunset
Get Back Up
Brave And Crazy
Life Is A Highway
Mad Mad World
Boy Inside The Man