Prior to obtaining this excellent CD release I was an occasional listener of The Guess Who. This CD has made me a ‘full time’ listener. This band was tight. All the songs on this CD grow on you, some catch your attention right away. With each album they grew musically, you can hear it as the music progresses year by year. Burton Cummings was the “jewel” that made this band shine. His contribution was essential to their success. After hearing this CD I’m ready to purchase The Guess Who’s entire collection. Purchase “Anthology” you won’t be disappointed.
38 of their best-known classics on 2 CDs including 13 Top 40 hits. Digitally remastered. RCA. 2003.
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The sound quality on this CD is as good as any remastered work I have ever heard. Burton Cummings’ voice is first rate and the remastering work done here make the playback of his voice and the band’s musicality like you are live and upfront in a small concert hall. Whether you are a casual fan or serious afficionado of this group this CD is a must.
Now this is more like it. This is what I consider the complete “Guess Who”. While all of the hits are there and since they have all been reviewed to death over the years especially (dare I say it) “American Woman” I’ll focus on some of the songs that should have been hits or overlooked album cuts that are also happily included . From the “B’ side of the hit “Laughing” is “Broken”, one of the best “B” side ballads never released on its own. The practice that took place back in the 70’s in Canada anyways was to sometimes release a single as a two sided hit hence it was known as “Laughing/Broken”. Also is the pre Guess Who tune by the then named “Chad Allen and the Expressions” “Shakin’ all Over” as well as an alternate version of “Shakin’” Other songs that deserved to be included ” Smoke Big Factory” and “Shoe Biz Shoes” are also represented. Randy Bachman the lead guitarist and Burton Cummings the main vocalist and keyboard player were a terific duo as songwriting partners. They had differences and Bachman had other successes with the groups “Brave Belt, Union, Ironhorse and of course Bachman-Turner Overdrive” as well as both he and Cummings having solo successes. They reunited over the last year and seeing them together again was pure magic. If you can’t see them live you can relive it through these cuts. Or buy their live CD and DVD as well to complete the set.
At first I thought do we really need another Guess Who collection? But really this is by far the best place to start. Strongest track selection on any Guess Who album, period! It contains just about all the essential album stuff and a few excellent hard to find single tracks but no filler. Contrary to what some said here the sound first rate! I just compared tracks on this to the excellent Buddha remasters and there was no distinguishable difference. The sound is a big improvement over many previous releases, especially the strange remastering of “Ultimate Collection”, which had too much dynamic range compression. But for me the best part of this collection is probably the 3 radio advertisment recordings hidden at the ends of the discs. The “Canadian Invasion” ad which promoted “These Eyes” is hilarious!
RCA finally got it right this time by releasing “The Guess Who Anthology”, which is an excellent 2-cd set that covers the band’s career from the early sixties to the mid- seventy’s. What’s nice about this collection is that it includes their first hit “Shakin’ All Over” (also covered by The Who) as well as a few other rarities from that time period (60’s). You have most of the choice songs from each Guess Who studio album ever released with the exception of “Friends Of Mine” (from Wheatfield Soul) but that song was 10 minutes long so it’s understandable that because of it’s time length it was omitted from this collection. The hits such as “These Eyes”, “Laughing”, “Undun”, “No Time”, “American Woman”, “No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature”, “Hand Me Down World”, “Share The Land”, “Hang On To Your Life”, “Albert Flasher”, “Rain Dance”, “Glamour Boy” and “Star Baby” are all here plus twenty seven other songs as well (including more hits). This collection is also remastered and sounds great, much better than other collections I’ve owned. If you enjoy listening to groups such as Three Dog Night, Bread, Grand Funk, etc, then you’ll love this latest Guess Who collection.