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The Best of the Guess Who

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  • Unlike many 60s groups, the Guess Who’s sound is summarized by its album titles: “Canned Wheat,” “Wheatfield Soul,” “Share the Land.” Theirs was a hard-rocking, wide-open sound that swept over the 1969-70 music scene like cool Canadian air.The first six songs (which comprised the first side of the original RCA Victor LP) are classic rock standards: Randy Bachman’s rat-a-tat guitar opening of 1970’s #1 “American Woman” (which withstood a flat Lenny Kravitz remake), the brisk jazz flair and flute of “Undun,” Burton Cummings’ surprisingly soulful growls on “Laughing” and “These Eyes.” These songs remain fresher on oldies radio than, say, the communal sentiments of “Share The Land” or the pretentious “Hang On To Your Life.”This set could’ve benefitted from including later hits like “Albert Flasher” (and even “Shakin’ All Over” from the band’s first incarnation). But these are included on 1990’s 2CD “Track Record” set. This budget-priced “Best Of The Guess Who” remains in print nearly 30 years after its release because it captures a solid, workmanlike rock band at its peak. Recommended.

    Posted on November 16, 2009