THE GUESS WHO Road Food (1974)

FrontRoad Food (1974)
GW’s Harmonic Ode To The Road

The Guess Who were a great singles band, but unless you were a fan you may not have realized how entertaining their albums were. Next to the radio-friendly hits were sometimes bizarre and decidedly non-commercial offerings. While leader Burton Cummings’ biographical balladeering could sometimes be self-indulgent, inside jokes and comic forays were curious sidetracks from the group’s spontaneously rockinstoner fun. Road Food is my favorite, though I’d be the first to admit it might pale next to greats like Share The Land (HERE), So Long Bannatyne (HERE) and another personal fave, Rockin (HERE). Those are all post-Randy Bachman releases that spotlight replacement guitarist/writer Kurt Winter. This was Winter’s last with the band… and The Guess Who were never the same after his departure. Road Food rocks with full harmonies and even a concept, of sorts, about life on the road. For this 2012 reissue, the original CD’s side reversal has been fixed, so that the album now begins with the pre-LP 45, “Star Baby” (a groupie diary that should have been a hit, with a quiet “fuck” slipped into the fade) and ends appropriately with Cummings biographical summation, “Ballad Of The Last Five Years” (roughly Winter’s tenure). The reissue sounds better, features two bonus tracks, has fantastic, unflinching liner notes (included, or click each page below for a pop-up enlargement) and is at Amazon, HERE.

Star Baby (2:40)
Attila’s Blues (4:55)
Straighten Out (2:26)
Don’t You Want Me? (2:22)
One Way Road To Hell (5:27)
Clap For The Wolfman (4:18)
Pleasin’ For Reason (3:19)
Road Food (3:41)
Ballad Of The Last Five Years (7:17)
Sona Sona (Remix) (3:24) – Bonus Track
One Way Road To Hell (Run-Through) (7:06)- Bonus Track

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10 Comments

  • 1
    jeffen
    November 8, 2009 - 19:08 | Permalink

    I bought a worn copy of this LP from the Salvation Army around 1981 (in Winnipeg the used bins used to be pretty thick with old Guess Who albums). Their albums gradually got less charming as they went along and this one still had its moments.

    P.S. I added you to my blogroll.

  • 2
    Capt. Willard
    November 8, 2009 - 19:13 | Permalink

    Many thanks J, we've done the same. Thanks again for The Spazzys.

  • 3
    Mieke
    November 8, 2009 - 20:08 | Permalink

    Thanks very much, I've been searching for this album for quite some time! :)

  • 4
    Argantonio
    November 9, 2009 - 10:28 | Permalink

    Unknown to me!
    BUT
    I cannot get out the boat!!!!!

  • 5
    Colin Gillman
    November 9, 2009 - 14:25 | Permalink

    Thanks. I'll try this out.

  • 6
    Capt. Willard
    November 20, 2010 - 00:02 | Permalink

    .
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    Find it HERE.
    .
    .
    .

  • 7
    Pastor Dave
    November 25, 2010 - 05:55 | Permalink

    I'm only familar with the Guess Who through the greatest hits albums, and I prefer to hear albums the way they were made, so how about a listing of the best albums by the Guess Who, with a short review or sentence or two as to why you like them…would appreciate your input.

    Dave

  • 8
    Capt. Willard
    November 25, 2010 - 13:35 | Permalink

    Thanks for the challenge Dave, but we've got some of our older Guess Who posts almost ready to re-post again, so there will be a bunch more coming up in a few days. Then you'll have a bunch (including some of my faves mentioned in this post), with essays on each, to choose from. Thanks.

  • 9
    KDNYfm
    December 10, 2012 - 14:22 | Permalink

    Other than the Clap, this is a great GW album. For the life of me, I cant understand why Burton still insists on playin CFTW live?!?
    Thanx for this one as well Willard!

    Al

    • 10
      Willard
      December 10, 2012 - 14:34 | Permalink

      At the time it was a much needed (American) hit for the band, and these days Burt’s an unabashed crowd pleaser. But… I fully understand your sentiment. At least it didn’t turn you off the rest of this excellent album. Thanks for chiming in.

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