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The Guess Who: Anthology

The Guess Who

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Album Review

This double set replaces both previously released RCA multi-disc overviews of Guess Who hits. As of its appearance in late 2003, both the flawed triple-CD 56-track The Ultimate Collection and 1988's excellent Track Record compilations were out of print. This release tries, and generally succeeds, as a comprehensive overview of the band's glory years. In fact, it's the only one to kick off with two pre-Burton Cummings nuggets: 1964's "Shakin' All Over" and a rare 1966 garage rocking psychedelic single, "It's My Pride." Collectors will also appreciate an early 1968 version of "When Friends Fall Out," a song re-recorded three years later for the American Woman album. From there on, this is a sturdy if unremarkable collection of fairly obvious selections, some of them, such as "Heartbroken Bopper," "Glamour Boy," and "Hang On to Your Life," reproduced in difficult to find single mixes. Of minor note, "Smoke Big Factory" from the underrated Rockin' makes its first appearance on a hits album, as do the Winter/Wallace co-penned "Cardboard Empire" from #10 and "Samantha's Living Room," an excellent cut written and sung by Don McDougal and culled from the terrific Artificial Paradise. Audio remastering, track annotation (with detailed recording dates, a helpful addition), and liner notes are all up to industry standards, something that could not be said of the muddled The Ultimate Collection. That leaves the 39- cut Anthology as an excellent introduction to the band for those who want to dig deeper than the many interchangeable single "best-of" discs that glut the market.

Customer Reviews

Should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Although this is a double album and probably a little "too much" for anyone less than a fanatic, the base songs of this album spotlight one of the greatest voices, some of the greatest songs in Rock & Roll history, along with one of the best song writing teams in Cummings and Bachman.

First, the voice. Listen to the voice of Burton Cummings and you will soon realize he had a unique quality to his voice that very few lead singers possess. When you hear him scream in songs like American Woman, Hang On To Your Life, and Heartbroken Bopper, his voice almost harmonizes with itself. Hearing him sing Undun and Nashville Sneakers, his voice has a great "jazzy" quality to it. Then listen to him sing a ballad such as These Eyes or Glamour Boy (a song slicing and dicing David Bowies arrival on the music scene) and you realize what a special talent he is. He could do it all.

Then there are the songs. Along with Randy Bachman later of Bachman-Turner Overdrive fame, they both together and separately crafted more hit songs during the late 60's and early 70's than any other band. From These Eyes, Laughing, Share the Land, Running Back to Saskatoon, Undun, No Sugar Tonight, No Time, American Woman, Sour Suite, and the underrated Albert Flasher, these were songs that actually outsold the Beatles, Joplin, and Hendrix at that time. The problem was that they also put a lot of "filler" songs on their albums in between the really great ones, much like this version of their greatest hits.

While bands like the B52's can get into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with only a few songs, why can't someone as talented as this band be considered as well. Though you could probably trim this album back to 12-13 songs (by removing songs such as Clap for the Wolfman, Hoe Down Time, Sona Sona, and Cardboard Empire), there are other songs in their catalog that should be sampled including Nashville Sneakers, Back to the City, and most of the album titled "#10". These are songs that have stood the test of time, but I'm afraid the band will never get the respect they rightfully deserve.

Underated

The Guess Who is probably the most underrated band in rock history! Tho I gotta say (or type) hehe. The track selectors got a little to carried away with this album. This is probably every good and bad song they've ever recorded. And overall I think their way better than their possibly more successful evil twin BTO.

Guess Who Anthology

What gives? Purchased the song "When the Band Was Singing "Shakin All Over"" and it includes about 3:24 of the actual song and 2:25 worth of commericals for other Guess albums.

Biography

Formed: 1963 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

While the Guess Who did have several hits in America, they were superstars in their home country of Canada during the 1960s and early '70s. The band grew out of vocalist/guitarist Chad Allan (born Allan Kobel) and guitarist Randy Bachman's Winnipeg-based group Chad Allan and the Expressions, originally known as first the Silvertones and then the Reflections. The remainder of the lineup featured bassist Jim Kale, pianist Bob Ashley, and drummer Garry Peterson. The Expressions recorded a cover of Johnny...
Full Bio