Greatest Hits [RCA]
Performer: The Guess Who
Distributor: BMG (distributor)
Notes: Producer: Jack Richardson. Compilation producer: Paul Williams. Includes liner notes by Michael Hill. Canada's the Guess Who had numerous radio-friendly hits in the 1960s and early '70s, and the classic lineup featuring vocalist/keyboardist Burton Cummings, guitarists Randy Bachman and Chad Allan, bassist Jim Kale, and drummer Garry Peterson was a potent live act, as well. The band had huge hits with "These Eyes" in 1969 and the sarcastic "American Woman" in 1970 before Bachman and Allan left the group, to be replaced by Kurt Winter and Greg Leskiw. The new lineup had hits with "Share the Land" in 1971 and the novelty single "Clap for the Wolfman," a song for radio, DJ, and personality Wolfman Jack in 1974. Cummings possessed one of rock's most distinctive voices and was a fine writer, as well, and several of the Guess Who's album tracks are pop gems, including "Laughing," "Undone," "No Time," "Guns, Guns, Guns," and "No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature." This collection has everything you really need from this underrated band, whose sly, satirical pop smarts are usually always on display. ~ Steve Leggett
With the possible exceptions of Neil Young and the Band (whose long-time residences in and obsessions with the States have made them honorary Yanks), the Guess Who are Canada's most successful rock export. Beginning as an R&B band in the 1960s, the group went on to score hits via a wide range of pop styles from groovy, soulful pop ("These Eyes") to hippie sing-a-longs ("Share the Land") to riff-heavy macho-rock ("American Woman"). Founding member Randy Bachman left the band in 1970 to form MOR-rock kingpins Bachman-Turner Overdrive, while vocalist Burton Cummings continued on with a revamped Guess Who line-up into the '80s.
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