Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Guess Who

1-5-10 The Guess Who “The Best Of” (April 1971)

RCA US LP LSPX-1004 (1971) including a psychedelic black-light day-glo poster (as partially illustrated)

Side 1

  1. These Eyes
  2. Laughing
  3. Undun
  4. No Time
  5. American Woman
  6. No Sugar Tonight / New Mother Nature

Side 2

  1. Hand Me Down World
  2. Bus Rider
  3. Share The Land
  4. Do You Miss Me Darlin’
  5. Hang On To Your Life

The Guess Who – the venerable Canadian band – the “pre” band of Bachman-Turner Overdrive. I am very familiar with all the songs on Side 1 (Randy Bachman is on all the cuts on Side 1, but not on any on Side 2, that I know of), and about ½ of Side 2 (never even heard the last two songs, I confess – they certainly weren’t ‘hits’!). “Undun” (11/69) and “No Time” (1/70) are my two favorite songs here. Where’s “Albert Flasher” (6/71)? Or “Clap For The Wolfman” (8/74)? I know, I know…they came after this LP, and are likely the stars on their “Best Of Volume 2” LP.

Being that they’re Canadian, the song “American Woman” (3/70) isn’t very complimentary, is it?

Sure do like the psychedelic black-light day-glo poster! To be fair, one would’ve heard this band on both AM & FM radio, once upon a time. AM radio would’ve played the single edit of “No Sugar Tonight” (3/70) and FM would’ve played the version here, segued with “New Mother Nature”.

In 1971, I was more interested in American or British bands – I was big time into Jethro Tull, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath by the time this album walked down the pike. If I wanted to hear any Guess Who material, all I had to do was turn on the radio, anyway. I would’ve had no concept at all about a ‘Canadian act’ – how it would differ from a U.S. act – nor would I have cared about that.

They were mightily popular, so – as far as I was bothered – they were somebody else’s concern.

All 70’s vinyl has a certain amount of interest for me in 2010; this one was an RCA Dynaflex LP: “Dynaflex is the RCA trademark for a new development in record manufacturing that provides a smoother, quieter surface and improved ability to reproduce musical sound. This lightweight record also virtually eliminates warpage and turntable slippage.” Gee, I remember warped ones of these flimsy Dynaflex LP’s!


REVO said...

As a child of five, I remember being confused by "The Who" and "The Guess Who." When I got older I marveled at the idea of a group naming themselves so close to the name of The Who. I wouldn't have done it. My favorite hit by The Guess Who is the weird "Rain Dance," which I have never heard on "classic rock" since it was a hit in what, 1972?

And "Dynaflex" was an attempt by RCA to reduce album breakage during the shipping phase. They could warp like made but breaking? That was hard to do. You can make a black vinyl taco with a "Dynaflex" album!

Ron Kane said...

I see that "Rain Dance" peaked on 9/4/71 - doubtlessly creating a need for "Greatest Hits Vol. 2" (which I think actually exists). B.T.O. wouldn't chart until '74, however.

Brian Ware said...

I'm very fond of these guys as well. I have a really solid 2 CD anthology called "Track Record" which has everything I need. I'm familiar with those Side Two tracks as I saw them live around 1970 on the "Share The Land" tour with a guy named Kurt Winter who replaced Randy Bachman. I remember them being rock solid and really nailing the harmonies. I never get tired of hearing "Undun".

chas_m said...

Randy Bachman is still worshipped as a god here in Canada.

I was primarily familiar with TGW through their US hits in the early 70s, "American Woman" (you make a great point about this, Ron!) and "Clap for the Wolfman" (which was one of my favourite songs of that year, probably because I was getting into "The Midnight Special" and knew who Wolfman Jack was!

Bachman's success really kept Canada in the forefront of the heavy 70s rock groove well into the 90s. :)

REVO said...


I'm afraid I can't go there on "Clap For The Wolfman!" I had not heard that number since it was in the charts and a few years ago I heard it on the oldies at the gym. Let's just say I didn't like it up front and it really didn't age very well; almost the antithesis of the spiffy "Undun."