January 20, 2008

guess who's coming back to dinner?


Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman, the two powerhouses behind the phenomenally successful `60's & `70's band THE GUESS WHO are at it again! Thank God!

It's my opinion (and others), that possibly the two the the most underrated, and distinctive voices in the history of Rock n Roll are: a) Ray Davies of of the Kinks, and b) Burton Cummings of The Guess Who....Ray and the boys are starting to be given their historic props - but It's time the world get hip to the legacy and importance of the guys who brought you such hits as: "No Time", "No Sugar Tonight", "These Eyes", "Laughing" and of course "American Woman". Other memorable tracks inclue: "Undone", "Guns Guns Guns", "Albert Flasher", and "Hang onto your life". Even after guitarist extraordinaire Randy left the band to create his other smash band BACHMAN TUNER OVERDRIVE, The Guess Who still kept having hits: "Star Baby", "Clap for the Wolfman", and "Glamour Boy".

In the mid seventies Cummings finally called it quites to pursue a solo career, while various permutations of the band (usually with the other two original members Gary Peterson, and Jim Kale) kept touring the club/fair circuit. I saw this band in the early eighties, not bad, but without a doubt not the real thing.

Over the years there have been several reunions and brief tours, most notably a 1983 show that resulted in a terrific live video & cd, that was followed by a brief tour.

Seems that Jim Kale now owns the rights to the band's name, and that's why since they began touring together again in 2005 (backed Toronto band Carpet Frogs) Randy & Burton go under the name Bachman-Cummings...works for me.

In 2006 the two released two discs: a package that included hits by Guess Who, BTO, and solo Cummings called Songbook...later they released a set of lost demos entitled The Thunderbird Trax.

Then finally in summer 2007 Bachman-Cummings released "Jukebox"...a disc of newly recorded classics songs that inspired them!

Here...take a look at the track listing:

1. Baby Come Back – The Equals
2.Who Do You Love – Bo Diddly/Buddy Holly/The Rolling Stones
3. I'm Happy Just To Dance With You – The Beatles
4. The Walk – Jimmy McCracklin
5. Don't Talk To Him – Cliff Richard & The Shadows
6. Man Of Mystery (INSTRUMENTAL) – The Shadows
7. Ain't That Just Like A Woman – Fats Domino
8. Little Queenie – Chuck Berry/Bobby Rydell
9. Good Times – Sam Cooke/The Rolling Stones
10. Like A Rolling Stone – Bob Dylan
11. Judy In Disguise (With Glasses) – John Fred & The Playboy Band
12. Don't You Just Know It - Huey ‘Piano’ Smith & The Clowns
13. Yeh, Yeh – Georgie Fame
14. Agent Double-O Soul – Edwin Starr
15. The Letter – The Box Tops
16. Ain't That Loving You Baby – Elvis
and finally:
17. American Woman 2007 – The Guess Who

I've heard "American Woman 2007" and "Who do you Love", and they both kick ass! Can't wait to get a copy of this one! (you can buy your's here ). I sure hope you gentlemen deceide to take this material on the road...specifically here in Central Florida!

Several years ago, Randy Bachman sent me this signed copy of THIS TIME LONG AGO, a collection of lost/unreleased Guess Who Tracks from between '67-'68 that he lovingly packaged. Recorded between hits "Shakin' All Over" in '65, and "These Eyes" in '69! These tracks were recorded after founder (and "Shakin'" singer) Chad Allen left the band and Cummings joined. The disc charts the band trying to come to grips with all the amazing new things happening in the worl and music those two years. Like on "Jukebox", they even did a handful of covers, and some dead on impersonations! They cover "Light My Fire" twice, both Doors style and Feliciano style! Petty neat. As well as versions of Cream's "White Room"(!), "Summertime Blues, and The Troggs' "Love is All Around"

A few original tracks that really stand out for me are: "Sitar Saga", " Maple Fudge", and "When Friends Fall Out". They also include a demo of their next hit (and first in a long line of many) "These Eyes". Here are a few of the covers, and do yourself a favor...get reaquainted with or discover Canadian Heroes THE GUESS WHO :


Randy Bachman

Burton Cummings

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