Guess Who, The


Band members               Related acts

- Bob Ashley -- vocals (1962-65)
- Chad Allan (aka Dave Kobel) -- vocals, guitar (1962-)
- Randy Bachman -- vocals, guitar (1962-70)
- Burton Cummings -- vocals, keyboards (replaced 

  Bob Ashley) (1965-)
- David Inglis -- guitar (1979)
- Jim Kale -- bass (1962-72 and 79)
- Greg Leskiw -- guitar (replaced Randy Bachman)

  (1970-72)
- Vance Masters -- vocals, drums (1979)
- Don McDougall -- vocals, guitar (replaced Greg Leswik)

  (1972-74 and 79)
- Gary Peterson -- percussion (1962-
- Dominic Trojano (RIP 2006) -- vocals, guitar (replaced 

  Don McDougall and Kurt Winter) (1974-76)
- Bill Wallace -- bass (replaced Jim Kale) (1973-)
- Kurt Winter (RIP 1997)-- lead guitar 

  (replaced Randy Bachman) (1970-74)

 

 

- Chad Allan and the Reflections
- Bachman Turner Overdrive
- Randy Bachman (solo efforts)
- Brave Belt (Randy Bachman)
- Brother (Kurt Winter)
- Burton Cummings (solo efforts)

- Delphia (Gary Peterson)

- The Fifth (Kurt Winter)

- Gettysbyrg Address (Greg Leskiw and Kurt Winter)

- Iron Horse (Randy Bachman)
- The James Gang (Domenic Trojano)

- Mood Jga Jga (Greg Leskiw)

- Mother Tucker's Yellow Duck (Don McDougall)
- Domenic Trojano (solo efforts)

- Union (Randy Bachman)

- The Vicious Circle (Don McDougall)

- Wild Race (Greg Leskiw)


Genre: rock

Rating: ** (2 stars)

Title:  Rockin'

Company: RCA Victor

Catalog: LSP 4602

Country/State: Winnipeg, Canada

Year: 1972

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: notch cut on top seam; gatefold sleeve; includes lyric sheet insert

Available: 1

GEMM catalog number: 5024

Price: $8.00

 

1972's "Rockin'" has always been kind of a mystery to me.  It's probably the least commercial of the band's releases and it strays the furthest from their distinctive top-40 pop/rock sound.  For whatever reason on tracks like 'Get Your Ribbons Out', 'Running Bear', 'Back To the City' and 'Nashville Sneakers' Burton Cummings and company seemed to have been bitten by the nostalgia bug. Such homages were never less than professional, but they simply don't add much to the band's catalog.  They also didn't exactly rescue flagging sales, though backed by an extended US tour the album actually hit # 79.  Mind you, these guys were simply too talented to turn in a completely useless set.  The fuzz-propelled opener 'Heartbroken Bopper' and 'Guns Guns Guns' were among the band's hardest rockers probably explaining why RCA tapped both as singles:

 

- 'Heartbroken Bopper' b/w 'Arrivederci Girl' (RCA Victor catalog number 74-0659)

- 'Guns Guns Guns' b/w 'Heaven Only Moved Once Yesterday' (RCA Victor catalog number 74-0708)

 

Not their best; not their worst ...  In the wake of the album's release guitarist Greg Leskiw quit reappearing as a member of Mood Jga Jga.  He was quickly replaced by Doug McDougall.

 

"Rockin" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Heartbroken Bopper   (Burton Cummings - Kurt Winter) - 

2.) Get Your Ribbons On   (Burton Cummings - Kurt Winter) - 

3.) Smoke Bug Factory   (Burton Cummings - Kurt Winter - Jim Kale) - 

4.) Arrivederci Girl   (Burton Cummings) - 

5.) Guns Guns Guns   (Burton Cummings) - 

(side 2)

1.) Running Bear   (Herdman) - 

2.) Back To the City   (Burton Cummings) - 

3.) Your Nashville Sneakers   (Burton Cummings) - 

4.) Herbert's a Loser   (Greg Leskiw - Kurt Winter) - 

5.) Hi Rockers!

    a.) Sea of Love   (McGinnis) -

    b.) Heaven Only Moved Once Yesterday   (Kurt Winter) - 

    c. Don't You Want Me   (Burton Cummings) - 

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: ** (2 stars)

Title:  Live at the Paramount

Company: RCA Victor

Catalog: LSP 4779

Country/State: Winnipeg, Canada

Year: 1972

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: notch cut on seam; gatefold sleeve

Available: 1

GEMM catalog number: 5025

Price: $8.00

 

Recorded in Seattle, Washington, "Live At the Paramount" was a forgettable live set. Routine song selection (why would you start a concert with 'Albert Flasher'?), coupled with uninspired (what was with the plodding MOR 'New Mother Nature'?) and occasionally sloppy performances did little to resurrect the band's rapidly declining career. Besides, did anyone really need a 16 minute plus version of 'American Woman'?  Elsewhere released as a single 'Runnin' Back to Saskatoon' b/w '' (RCA catalog number 74-0808) managed to brush the top-100 charts.  Even though it wasn't very good, the album sold well, reaching # 39. The collection's release also marked the departure of founding member Kale. He was replaced by bassist Bill Wallace. 

 

Courtesy of YouTube, here are a couple of live clips:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VDSKKFElSw

'Runnin' Back to Saskatoon'

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcrGvZa5rlY

'Albert Flasher'

 



"Live At the Paramount" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Albert Flasher (Burton Cummings) - 2:31
2.) New Mother Nature - 4:18
3.) Glace Bay Blues (Don McDougall) - 2:51
4.) Runnin' Back to Saskatoon (Burton Cummings - Kurt Winter) - 6:16
6.) Pain Train - 6:10

(side 2)

1.) American Woman - 16:52
2.) Truckin' Off Across the Sky (Burton Cummings - Jim Kale - Don McDougall - Garry Peterson - Kurt Winter) - 7:03



let it 


Genre: rock

Rating: ** (2 stars)

Title:  Artificial Paradise

Company: RCA Victor

Catalog: LSP-4830

Country/State: Winnipeg, Canada

Year: 1973

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: --

Available: 1

GEMM catalog number: 5026

Price: $8.00

 

It's unfortunate 1974's "Artificial Paradise" is one of their "lost" efforts (I've only seen three copies in 20 years). Boasting their most talented line up since the original group called it quits, the set was tuneful, diverse and quite commercial. Highlights included 'Samantha's Living Room' (one of their prettiest ballads), 'Bye Bye Babe' and 'The Watcher'. Elsewhere, 'Follow Your Daughter Home' found the band taking a tentative step into reggae - not exactly their creative strength. Released as a single the track hit # 61. Unfortunately, with popular tastes rapidly moving away from top-40 rock, the band's core audience was growing ever smaller, the collection faltering at # 155. (I've always wondered about the album cover - the first time I saw it, I thought it was some type of business oriented promotional set ...)

"Artificial Paradise" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Bye Bye Babe (Kurt Winter - Bill Wallace) - 2:46
2.) Samantha's Living Room (Don McDougall) - 3:27
3.) Rock and Roller Steam (Kurt Winter - Bill Wallace) - 3:20
4.) Follow Your Daughter Home (Burtom Cummings - Kurt Winter - Bill Wallace - Don McDougall - Gary Peterson) - 3:21
5.) Those Show Biz Shoes (Burtom Cummings) - 6:48

(side 2)

1.) All Hashed Out (Burtom Cummings - Kurt Winter - Bill Wallace) - 4:41
2.) Orly (Burtom Cummings) - 2:55
3.) Lost and Found Town (Don McDougall) - 3:50
4.) Hamba Gahle-Usalang Gahle (Burtom Cummings - Kurt Winter - Bill Wallace) - 4:55
5.) The Watcher (Burtom Cummings - Bill Wallace) - 3:09

 

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  The Way They Were

Company: RCA Victor

Catalog: APL1-1778

Country/State: Winnipeg, Canada

Year: 1976

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: --

Available: 1

GEMM catalog number: 5317

Price: $8.00

 

 

By 1976 The Guess Who were all but history so RCA started to raid its corporate vaults for material to release before the band lost all of its fan base and sales potential.  That said, "The Way They Were" was actually an interesting and quite entertaining artifact.  The seven tracks dated back to a series of early 1970 sessions for what was a projected follow-on to the "Canned Wheat Packed By The Guess Who" album.  Before the album could be completed lead guitarist Randy Bachman's growing dissatisfaction with the band's lifestyle and his own Mormon beliefs led him to quit the band for a solo career, followed by a stint with Brave Belt and then massive mid-1970s successes with Bachman Turner Overdrive.  Burton Cummings, Jim Kale and Garry Peterson subsequently recruited new members Greg Leskiw and Kurt Winter; the revitalized band deciding to abandon the already completed tracks in favor of starting over again.  Those new efforts saw the light of day via the 1970 LP "Share the Land" with the previously completed tracks being shelved.  

 

So what do these seven songs sound like?  Well, first off they aptly captured the Bachman-Cummings-Kale-Peterson line-up's unique and instantly recognizable sound.  Hard to put your finger on it, but this lineup had a special chemistry that was never replicated in subsequent versions of the band.  'Silver Bird', 'Runnin' Down The Street' and 'The Answer' offered up a series of pretty ballads - maybe not the best thing they ever did, but certainly worth hearing.  Propelled by Cummings great voice, 'Species Hawk' and ''Palmyra'' offered up a pair of taunt rockers; the former with an interesting and unexpected flute solo.  Even the lesser songs had something going for them - check out Bachman's finger pickin' on the countrified 'Miss Frizzy'.  Best of the lot was the blazing 'Palmyra'.  Commercial, but sporting some trippy lyrics and more experimental than most of their catalog, it could have been a major hit.  Song for song better than any of the group's post-"Share the Land" LPs, you can only wonder what could have happened had the Bachman-Cummings partnership been able to keep it together.  

 

"The Way They Were" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Silver Bird   (Randy Bachman - Burton Cummings) - 2:39

2.) Species Hawk   (Randy Bachman - Burton Cummings) - 3:30

3.) Runnin' Down The Street   (JimKale - Garry Peterson) - 4:15

4.) Miss Frizzy   (Randy Bachman - Burton Cummings) - 5:11

(side 2)

1.)  Palmyra   (Randy Bachman - Burton Cummings) - 5:50

2.) The Answer   (Randy Bachman - Burton Cummings) - 3:56

3.) Take The Long Way Home   (Randy Bachman) - 5:45

 

 

 

 

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