Before the keytar-weilding hordes of synth-pop took over in the early ’80s, AOR (Album-Oriented Rock) artists like Ian Thomas, Loverboy and Triumph ruled the airwaves in Canada. One of those who aspired to the AOR throne was Toronto singer Garnett Ford, who had cut his teeth playing with Tom Cochrane, Edward Bear and Klaatu and his own band named Pinball before striking out as a solo artist.

1978’s Under The Influence, which was produced by the aforementioned Ian Thomas (of “Painted Ladies” fame), was Ford’s first (of two) albums. “Hustler” is a pop-rock monster with a solid drum groove (courtesy of CanRock standby Bucky Berger, who has played with everyone from Rough Trade to Raffi) and particularly nice work on keyboards.

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