A native of Mississauga, Lydia Taylor spent her years in High School playing in different local bands before taking her show to Toronto in ’78. She was seen on stage by Clifford Hunt that year and was soon signed to Hunt Management. She continued honing her chops and quickly became known as one of Ontario’s hottest new singers. A deal was struck with Falcon Records the next year, and while working on her debut record, was asked to do a cameo on Helix‘s BREAKING LOOSE album, singing back up on “You’re A Woman Now”.
The final touches were put on her debut and the self-titled album hit the stores the summer of ’79. Recorded at Toronto’s Phase One Studios, the album featured a variety of session musicians, as well as the beginning of a musical relationship with guitarist Richard Zwicewicz, who co-produced the record with Robert Leth, and co-wrote the majority of the material with Taylor. From the opening riffs of the lead off track “You’ll Like It”, the first single, Taylor showed that she could hold her own in a predominately male hard rock forum, with a twist. Utilizing sax solos throughout, the record showed a versatility uncommon for a debut hard rock album. Other noteable tracks included “Dreamer”, the record’s second single, “I’m A Woman” and a revved up version of Manfred Mann’s “Do Wah Diddy”.
A cross-Canada tour now complete, Taylor was set with a regular band which included Zwicewicz, Dan Donovan on bass, who’d played on her first record, Andy Artfield on keyboards and drummer Gibby Lacasse, who’d previously worked with The Stampeders. They returned to Phase One in late 1980 and began work on the next record. Now dubbed The Lydia Taylor Band, they released the self-titled album on new label Passport Records the following spring.
Produced by Bob Gotto & Don Larusso, gone was the attempted sophistication of saxaphones – replaced bya more modern keyboard-oriented rock sound. Taylor collaberated again with Zwicewicz for the bulk of the album, which featured two singles, “Miracles” and “Some Guys”. Also featured were a remake of “Dreamer” from the previous record and a cover of Ac/Dc’s “Highway To Hell”. Donovan was replaced on bass by Warren Toll in time for another cross Canada tour.
The band returned to Phase One in the fall of ’82 to fulfill Taylor’s contractual obligation with the financially-troubled Passport, releasing BITCH early the next year. The 5-song EP would turn out to be her swan-song. The bluntness of the title-track’s theme fit right into Taylor’s image which was taking a heavier, brasher turn. Penned by Zwicewicz, it was also recorded by Seattle-based Widow only a few months earlier. Though the band was fronted by Robin Taylor, the two are in fact no relation.
Larusso again sat behind the controls for the record, which featured a cover of DalBello‘s “Don’t Get Mad Get Even”, also done by Helix the year earlier. Taylor’s third cross country tour soon followed. Playing with Lee Aaron, Holly Woods & Toronto and The Headpins featuring Darby Mills on one of the more infamous Canadian tours, it was dubbed The Lock Up Your Sons tour.
Taylor won the ’83 Juno Award for Most Promising Female Vocalist, beating out Lee Aaron in the process. But now officially without deal, Taylor continued on the road for the next few years, but the changing musical landscape, along with the inability to land a major distribution deal and outside interests, led to her leaving rock and roll for good in the mid 80’s.