Greatest Un-Hits: Toronto’s “Your Daddy Don’t Know” (1982)

Written by Greatest Un-Hits, Music

The sad tale of one more Canadian rock classic unjustly ignored in America.

Some songs are timeless, and some songs you can pin down exactly to a specific year. “Your Daddy Don’t Know,” by the Canadian rock band Toronto is one of those songs. It’s so extremely, so exquisitely 1982 this song. It’s got the swagger and unbridled enthusiasm of a bluesy bar band, along with that “we came here to rock!” motif which is charmingly dorky with the passage of time. It’s just so damn catchy; far catchier than anything Styx or Journey ever put out. And even more so than those bands, “Your Daddy Don’t Know” conjures up images of Newport menthols magazine ads, styrofoam coolers full of Shasta, and dirtbags with mustaches hanging out at a lake.

Just look at the video. It feels exactly like the kind of semi-obscure, pure rock song with a low-budget video that MTV would have played 50 times a day in 1981 or ’82 because it was one of the few videos they had. This band had some presence, though. Singer Holly Woods has some killer pipes. Toronto was the Canada’s answer to Scandal! Wait, there’s a female guitar player. Toronto was Canada’s answer to Heart, I guess.

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Despite all these things working for it, Toronto couldn’t break through much in the U.S. In the alternate dimension that is Canada, however, it’s a rock classic and was covered by present-day awesome Canadian band New Pornographers in 2003. But while lesser Canadian talents like Chilliwack, Loverboy, and Bryan Adams found varying levels of stateside success, “Your Daddy Don’t Know” peaked on the Billboard pop chart at #77.