Toronto’s Max Webster blended metal, prog, and rock elements into a genre-defying blend that won the group a cult following in the mid- to late ’70s. Formed in 1973, the band’s sound focused on the contrast between vocalist/guitarist Kim Mitchell’s aggressive attack and vocalist/keyboardist Terry Watkinson’s more melodic approach, with drummer Gary McCracken and bassist Mike Tilka providing a propulsive backdrop. Additional lyricist Pye Dubois was considered the band’s fifth member, adding extra theatrical flourishes to Max Webster’s concerts.
Their self-titled 1976 debut, the following year’s High Class in Borrowed Shoes, and 1978’s Mutiny Up My Sleeve sold well and scored the group several hits, despite their somewhat iconoclastic sound. With 1979’s A Million Vacations, Max Webster presented a slightly more polished accessible version of their style and added a new bassist, David Myles. However, the group still found little success in the U.S., and after the release of 1981’s Universal Juveniles, which featured “Battle Scars,” a collaboration with their longtime friends and tour mates Rush, Max Webster disbanded. Mitchell pursued a solo career, and The Best of Max Webster arrived in 1989.