Category Archives: BURTON CUMMINGS


UPDATES TO OLD POSTS: FAUST V (1975/2015), ALAN PRICE Savaloy Dip (1973/2016), THE TURTLES Elenore (Present The Battle Of The Bands) (1968/1993), ROSE ROYCE In Full Bloom (1977/2016) & BURTON CUMMINGS (The Guess Who) Plus Signs (1990)

Upgrades to some of our older posts. Follow the links in the text.

Faust V Unreleased Virgin Promo Cassette (MP3)FAUST
V (Virgin Promo Cassette)
Thanks to this blog’s original mentor, The Heat Warps, we’ve been sharing the extremely rare, promo-only cassette release of Faust V since not long after we started operating back in 2007. It’s a release that has been shrouded in online misinformation since we first saw it at The Heat Warps. But recently, thanks to Slipperman, we now have a “remastered” version of V, re-edited with newly researched titles and a better overall sound that fixes the “glitches, gaps and track breaks.” Slipperman actually passed this on to us months ago, so we apologize for taking so so to upgrade our original post (HERE), which still includes the original version for those maniacs out there resistant to revisionism (you know who you are). Thanks Slipperman.

Savaloy Dip - Words & Music by Alan PriceALAN PRICE
Savaloy Dip
It’s been a popular bootleg amongst Alan Price aficionados since it was almost/sorta/kinda/but not really released in 1974. We’ve had the bootleg version in our archives for years. It was finally officially issued this year, with a much-needed sonic upgrade and a new running order. Find both versions on the original post HERE, and get a hard copy of the excellent 2016 CD version of Savaloy Dip at Amazon, HERE.

Elenore (aka The Turtles Present The Battle Of The Bands)
When we recently spotlighted all of our Turtles and Flo & Eddie posts last week (HERE), 3410 was kind enough to share this rare, 1993 Repertoire Records reissue of The Turtles Present The Battle Of The Bands – which the label inexplicably titled Elenore – while adding a slew of bonus tracks (many of which appeared on The Turtles’ own odds & sods issue, Chalon Road). Elenore, however, has a better bit rate and mastering, not to mention a couple more oddities in the form of single mixes, that will it all worthwhile for collectors. We’ve added liner notes for The Turtles’ oddball “multi-band” concept album (from the Sundazed CD version), and photos of the parody bands (from the original White Whale LP version), to add some detail to the project. We’re replacing our original post with 3410’s Repertoire version, HERE. CDs of Elenore are expensive at Amazon, HERE.

In Full Bloom (Expanded)ROSE ROYCE
In Full Bloom (Expanded)
We’ve had two Rose Royce productions by the great Norman Whitfield (The Temptations, The Undisputed Truth) in the archives for a while… the Car Wash soundtrack and In Full Bloom. Just a couple of months ago, In Full Bloom got the 2016 Expanded Edition treatment, with remastered sound and four bonus singles. Not the biggest of deals, but Whitfield’s production work is even more glorious with upgraded mastering, so we’ve upgraded our old post, HERE.

Plus Signs
This obscure 1990 release from the lead singer of The Guess Who is actually a new post. But, we’re now pairing it with two other obscure Burton releases we’ve had for years, neither of which have receive much traffic. So, maybe between the three of them, they’ll find enough solo Cummings fans to keep the links alive for a while. Plus Signs was Burt’s first LP in 6 years (and last solo studio album for 28 years), and it’s immediately apparent from the driving (ill-fitting) techno rhythms, and the lack of his notable piano work, that Burt was struggling with the changing tides in music at the dawn of the 90s. Check it out for yourself, along with 1981’s Sweet Sweet and 1984’s Heart, HERE. Just don’t look at how expensive it is at Amazon, HERE.


RANDY BACHMAN & BURTON CUMMINGS The Thunderbird Trax (2006) The Guess Who Bandmates

FrontThe Thunderbird Trax (1987/2006)
Officially Released Demos From The Ex-Bandmates

More from the kindness of strangers (meaning: rarities found in Readers Links). This post isn’t the best place to start if you’re just now getting curious about Burton Cummings and/or Randy Bachman, as these tapes, by the former Guess Who bandmates, are but long-lost demos never intended for public consumption. But, fans will find some interest in these rare 1987 recordings… and the story that goes along with their eventual release. Both Cummings and Bachman were pretty much at career lows at this point in time, but were still communicating and working together, albeit, outside the public eye – and this collection was written and recorded by the pair (with a drum machine) in Bachman’s toolshed in 1987. Then… promptly forgotten about, until almost 18 years later when Burt decided to sell a cherished ’57 Thunderbird that Randy was lusting after. After buying it from Burt, and getting the classic car restored, Bachman was “given a bag of junk stuff that was in the car: pencils, manuals, tire gauge, old registration and a tape.” The “tape” was this collection of homemade demos. The duo dubbed it The Thunderbird Trax, pressed up CD copies and has been selling it at shows (and through their website) since 2006. Musically, The Thunderbird Trax is more fascinating than essential, but the stylistic spirit of the old Guess Who is present, even if the entire band vibe isn’t. Many thanks to Thomas for posting this rarity in Readers Links. Of course, as regulars around here know, we love The Guess Who, and have tons to choose from if you’re interested, including THE GUESS WHO: Canned Wheat & American Woman (both HERE), Share The Land & The Way They Were (both HERE), So Long, Bannatyne (HERE), Rockin’ (HERE), Artificial Paradise (HERE), #10 (HERE), Road Food (HERE), Live At The Paramount (HERE), Live At Electric Ladyland, 1975 (HERE) – as well as RANDY BACHMAN & BURTON CUMMINGS: Jukebox (HERE) and solo BURTON CUMMINGS: Up Close And Alone (HERE), live at Massey Hall (HERE), Heart & Sweet Sweet (both HERE), June 16, 1977 The Bottom Line (HERE) and an unusual Canadian rarity with A Guess Who connection from SCRUBBALOE CAINE Round One (HERE).

American Dream (5:06)
In Your Eyes (3:46)
Yo Te Amo (6:08)
Just About Sane (3:36)
Martyr (3:05)
Something About That Woman (5:20)
Saturday’s Gloom (3:18)
Another One (5:36)


THE GUESS WHO Live At The Paramount (1972) + Tons Of Guess Who Upgrades, Re-ups & Bonuses

FrontLive At The Paramount (1972)
Their Only Official Prime Time Live LP

Regular readers know that we’re big Guess Who fans around here. Last year, some of the band’s albums were given a long overdue reissue treatment, so we’ve upgraded some of our old posts to include the 2012 remasters (which include must-have liner notes and bonus tracks) for #10 (1973, HERE) and, one of my personal faves, Road Food (1974, HERE). We’ve also re-upped a couple of others, with improved 2004 versions (plus available bonus tracks), including So Long, Bannatyne (1971 HERE) and Rockin’ (1972, HERE). Not to mention a 2010 upgrade for Share The Land (1970, HERE). And, of course, we’ve still got the first-rate, 2000 bonus track Buddha reissues of Canned Wheat (1969) and American Woman (1970, both HERE). To draw attention to all this stuff, and our other GW/Burton Cummings posts, we’re offering this expanded version of The Guess Who’s only official prime time live album, 1972’s Live At The Paramount. In 2000, Buddha reissued the original LP with six bonus tracks, so it now stands as a great live document of a square peg band of rockers that only got some of the due they righteously deserved. Non-fans may only know their singles, and some might even be aware of how unpredictable, goofy, dumb and uncool The Guess Who could sometimes be on their albums. But, that’s exactly what hardcore followers have always loved and appreciated about the band… through all its revolving door personnel changes over the years. Our like-minded pal BB Chronicles has a bunch of hard to find live GW boots at his place, HERE… but if you want to experience the full monte of our Guess Who fascination, just click HERE, where you’ll find ALL of the releases mentioned above, plus solo Burton Cummings material (including one with Randy Bachman), the hard to find Canuck offshoot, Scrubbaloe Caine, rare live material (a 1975 radio show at Electric Ladyland, with Dominic Troiano) and more. These days, Live At The Paramount is loss-leader priced at Amazon, HERE.

Pain Train (7:00)
Albert Flasher (3:00)
New Mother Nature (4:26)
Runnin’ Back To Saskatoon (6:25)
Rain Dance (2:53)*
These Eyes (4:30)*
Glace Bay Blues (3:20)
Sour Suite (3:58)*
Hand Me Down World (3:54)*
American Woman (16:54)
Truckin’ Off Across The Sky (7:22)
Share The Land (4:47)*
No Time (6:06)*
(*bonus tracks)


BURTON CUMMINGS Massey Hall (2012)

Massey Hall (2012)
We Heart Burt

Excellent live set from The Guess Who’s Burton Cummings (and band). Massey Hall is primarily a celebration of The Guess Who’s catalog (with a couple of solo hits tossed it) and finds Cummings in fine vocal form, with a reverent back-up band that delivers the necessary nuance and vocal harmonies. It’s no substitute for the 70s – live albums 35-40 years after the fact rarely are – but long time fans who’ve embraced one of Canada’s finest exports should be more than pleased with this collection. Available at Amazon HERE. Lots more Burt & GW HERE.

No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature (5:52)
Albert Flasher (3:09)
Clap For The Wolfman (4:22)
Laughing (3:18)
Guns, Guns, Guns (4:13)
Stand Tall (4:43)
Hand Me Down World (3:48)
Above The Ground (3:58)
Running Back To Saskatoon (4:45)
Undun (3:49)
I’m Scared (4:42)
USA (3:49)
These Eyes (3:57)
American Woman (4:55)
Timeless Love (4:12)
Star Baby (2:40)
No Time (4:44)
Share The Land (5:05)


THE GUESS WHO The Way They Were (1970/1976) + Share The Land (1970)

The Way They Were (1970/1976)
Share The Land (1970)
Unreleased Sessions … And A Fresh Start

RE-UPPED The most successful version of The Guess Who – the American Woman line up with Randy Bachman – imploded during the recording of their follow-up release. Without missing a beat, the band recruited two guitarists, Kurt Winter and Greg Leskiw, to fill the void left by the exiting Bachman, and quickly released one of their better, and most commercial LPs, Share The Land. The change turned out to be (at least temporarily) fortuitous, as the additions improved the group’s musical dexterity, both instrumentally and harmonically. From his previous band, Winter brought along at least one killer composition, “Hand Me Down World,” and he & de facto leader Burt Cummings hit the ground running, co-writing “Do You Miss Me Darlin‘” and “Hang On To Your Life.” While it’s true that The Guess Who’s commercial focus began to splinter after this album, true fans (and a lot of Canucks) still savored the many, increasingly strange albums that would follow. We’ve got a bunch in the archives. The Guess Who’s final, unreleased 1970 recordings with Bachman sat in the can for another six years until original producer Jack Richardson polished them up for release when GW split up in 1976. I’ve never been the biggest fan of The Way They Were, as the recordings seem sonically flat compared to the bright and snappy Share The Land, but it’s still an important missing link in the band’s history. One of the songs, “Miss Frizzy,” would be reworked for GW’s 1973 album, #10. In the last decade, The Way They Were has been abandoned and disseminated as bonus tracks for various reissues. NOTE: We’ve finally re-upped a 2010 remaster of Share The Land. Soundwise, it’s nothing “spectacular,” but it’s the best one so far, and the bonus tracks included long-needed refurbished tracks from The Way They Were. Find Share The Land (HERE) and The Way They Were (HERE) at Amazon.

The Way They Were
Silver Bird (2:41)
Species Hawk (3:29)
Runnin‘ Down The Street (4:16)
Miss Frizzy (5:09)
Palmyra (5:48)
The Answer (3:54)
Take The Long Way Home (5:40)

Share The Land
Bus Rider (3:00)
Do You Miss Me Darlin (3:57)
Hand Me Down World (3:29)
Moan For You Joe (2:42)
Share The Land (3:56)
Hang On To Your Life (4:11)
Coming Down Off The Money Bag/Song Of The Dog (3:57)
Three More Days (8:53)
Palmyra (Bonus Track) (5:42)
The Answer (Bonus Track) (4:05)


THE GUESS WHO Canned Wheat (1969) + American Woman (1970)

Canned Wheat (1969)
American Woman (1970)
The Hits Albums

Since we just re-upped a bunch of Guess Who and Burton Cummings, and discussed these guys in comments, it seemed appropriate to post a couple of the band’s first, hit making records (since we already posted all their later, stoned albums). These two have some of the band’s biggest hits, “Laughing,” “Undun,” “American Woman,” “No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature” and both versions of “No Time,” originally issued on Canned Wheat, but later revamped, re-recorded and trimmed of two minutes for American Woman (and American radio). As focused as composers Cummings and Randy Bachman were on hit-making, there’s still some weirdness here, like Burt’s throat-shredding blues workout, “Humpty’s Blues,” and the 11-minute “The Key.” These are both 2000 re-issues with a measly three bonus tracks between them but, despite the stylistic diversions, you can’t go wrong with these early Guess Who releases. Amazon’s got both of these HERE and HERE.

No Time (5:38)
Minstrel Boy (3:19)
Laughing (3:03)
Undun (4:18)
6 A.M. Or Nearer (5:25)
Old Joe (2:58)
Of A Dropping Pin (3:42)
Key (11:17)
Fair Warning (1:50)
Species Hawk (3:33) –  Bonus Track
Silver Bird (2:41) –  Bonus Track

American Woman (5:11)
No Time (3:50)
Talisman (5:10)
No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature (4:55)
969 (The Oldest Man) (3:00)
When Friends Fall Out (3:04)
8:15 (3:31)
Proper Stranger (4:06)
Humpty’s Blues/American Woman (Epilogue) (6:12)
Got To Find Another Way (2:51) –  Bonus Track


THE GUESS WHO Rockin’ (1972)

Rockin (1972)
It is!

REUPPED A commenter nominated this 1972 Guess Who LP, Rockin‘, as their masterpiece. I wouldn’t go quite that far, but I can’t muster many arguments against it, either. After the hit-less So Long, Bannatyne [hitless in the States, that is], the guys seemed intent on tightening up their act, even though they left plenty of room for a few rollicking 50s piano stompers and more ongoing in-jokes. But, Burton Cummings never sang better than he did in 1972 and the duel-guitar rocker, “Heartbroken Bopper,” is a perfect showcase for Burt’s shoulda-been-iconic vocals. Like “Share The Land” before it, “Smoke Big Factory” features elegant, three-part harmonies, also echoed in “Heaven Only Moved Once Yesterday” – a vocal style that would be the selling point of 1974’s Road Food (HERE). “Smoke Big Factory” also highlights a semi-serious attribute GW was well-known for… environmental themes (go ahead, take an interpretational swipe at “Guns, Guns, Guns,” too). There are, of course, goofball antics (most of side 2, actually), but when GW focused itself they were capable of some serious rock and pop excellence… or, at the very least, some good times. “Heartbroken Bopper” is a great example of both. This is the 2004 reissue, which sounds better than the version we had previously posted. The 2010 version is at Amazon, HERE, and has two bonus tracks – both of which are connected to the album’s closer, “Hi Rockers.” “Sea Of Love” is the Guess Who’s cover, which is heard playing on the jukebox in the background behind the “high rockers,” while “Lost Sheep” is a variant of the composition, “Heaven Only Moved Once Yesterday,” with totally re-written sections. Both tracks are included here separately.

Heartbroken Bopper (4:57)
Get Your Ribbons On (2:38)
Smoke Big Factory (4:00)
Arrivederci Girl (2:32)
Guns, Guns, Guns (5:01)
Running Bear (2:23)
Back To The City (3:39)
Your Nashville Sneakers (2:56)
Herbert’s A Loser (3:34)
Hi, Rockers! (6:49)
w/ Sea Of Love/Heaven Only Moved Once Yesterday/Don’t You Want Me

Sea Of Love (1:58)
Lost Sheep (6:24)


THE GUESS WHO So Long, Bannatyne (1971)

So Long, Bannatyne (1971)
Exactly What Were Those Guys Smoking?

REUPPED The first in a series of stoner strange Guess Who albums, light on hits (none, in this case) […in the States] but filled with WTF? fun. Fair-weather fans seeking radio friendly material like “Share The Land” and “American Woman” didn’t know what to make of curious, semi-comic diversions like “Fiddlin‘” and “Rain Dance,” but 70s types who savored unpredictable albums over sure-shot singles relished the band’s eye-poking irreverence. “Goin‘ A Little Crazy” abruptly shifts between string-laden jazz combo mode, traditional song form and a riffy drum solo, while “One Man Army” includes a cavernous bathroom scene with pissing patrons dissing the “shitty band playing on the stage.” Burton Cummings offers pure 50s hokum with “Life In The Bloodstream” as well as another in a string of cryptic song diaries, “Sour Suite.” Scattered within all this are elements of improvisation and theater. Those who grew up with this LP still embrace its flighty, random juxtaposition of styles (even if it all never really perfectly gelled). Those who are new to The Guess Who’s traveling frat party and are trying to figure out its point… just may miss it. No single track captures the album’s atmosphere, so try the title track, below. This is the 2004 reissue, which is better than the previous one we had up. The 2010 version came with two bonus tracks (now included), the 45 release, “Broken” b/w “Albert Flasher.” Find it at Amazon, HERE.

Rain Dance (2:47)
She Might Have Been A Nice Girl (3:16)
Goin‘ A Little Crazy (7:01)
Fiddlin (1:08)
Pain Train (3:46)
One Divided (2:41)
Grey Day (4:18)
Life In The Bloodstream (3:13)
One Man Army (3:58)
Sour Suite (4:10)
So Long, Bannatyne (6:00)

Albert Flasher (2:26)
Broken (3:09)


THE GUESS WHO #10 (1973)

10Front#10 (1973)
An Album Ripe For Rediscovery

REUPPED Easily, The Guess Who’s most underrated release. It’s a historically unpopular Guess Who LP that, its been pointed out, isn’t really #10 at all. But, putting all that aside (until comments), this set is a surprisingly organized album with sharp musical instincts and some pretty solid melodies which, somehow… simply missed its audience. There’s variety here, and it’s been suggested that both “Lie Down” & “Take It Off My Shoulders” are a result of Burton Cummings’ fascination with Elton John’s countrified Tumbleweed Connections. The band rocks hard on the densely packed “Musicione,” but what got all the attention was the radio-aimed “Glamour Boy,” a broad Cummings indulgence (like Ray Davies’ “Celluloid Heroes”), but with a killer melody nonetheless. GW kept #10‘s inside jokes and non-musical shenanigans to a minimum (kind of welcomed, actually) but the irreverence still seeps in everywhere. How many otherwise serious songs would open with a line like ‘Have a disease free summer in Asia?’ “Just Let Me Sing” is clearly from the “So Long, Bannatyne” mold, and there’s really not a bad track on the album… just no standouts. Still, #10 is a remarkably consistent Guess Who release and why it didn’t crack the American public’s consciousness is probably explained by their next big hit a year later, “Clap For The Wolfman.” With #10 The Guess Who tried to go straight, but US radio only wanted to play their goofball shit. This re-up is the 2012 reissue, with better sound, a bonus track and some fantastic, pull-no-punches liner notes (included, or click each image below for a pop-up enlargement). Find it at Amazon, HERE.

Take It Off My Shoulders (4:01)
Musicione (3:55)
Miss Frizzy (4:22)
Glamour Boy (5:22)
Self Pity (4:20)
Lie Down (4:40)
Cardboard Empire (3:24)
Just Let Me Sing (6:11)
Glamour Boy (Remix) (4:52) – Bonus Track



BURTON CUMMINGS Sweet Sweet (1981), Heart (1984) & Plus Signs (1990)

Sweet SweetHeartPlus Signs
Sweet Sweet (1981)
Heart (1984)
Plus Signs (1990)
Three Obscure Releases From The Voice Of The Guess Who

Admittedly, these releases are not among Burton Cummings’ best. Sweet Sweet, released on the independent Alfa label, has been roundly panned by fans and foes alike (kinda undeservedly), while Heart never even made it outside of Canada. Because of that, it took six years before Burton got another solo album out, for another label, Plus Signs. It would be his last solo studio album for 28 years, and its reliance of driving electronic beats, with little piano work, illustrates that Burton was having a hard time fitting into the landscape of the coming 1990s. Overall… an unworthy situation for a worthy artist. Still, if you’re a fan, like we are, there’s always something worthwhile in a BC release… a few solid tunes, that marvelous voice, a turned phrase that hits the spot. Additionally, the cassette rip of the uber-obscure Heart (which isn’t even listed at The All Music Guide) contains a bonus track not on the album version, “I Do My Vocals On The Boat.” Which we’ve included here. We’ve got tons more Guess Who, Burton Cummings, Randy Bachman (and Guess Who-related posts) in the archives, HERE. Neither Sweet Sweet (HERE) or Heart (HERE) have even made it to CD yet. While the CD of Plus Signs is going for hundreds at Amazon, HERE.

You Saved My Soul (4:21
Real Good (3:43)
Mother Keep Your Daughters In (4:13)
Something Old, Something New (4:38)
Nothing Wrong With The Road (3:38)
Gettin‘ My Daddy’s Car (3:05)
Bad News (4:30)
Someone To Lean On (3:19)
Sweet Sweet (5:02)
Firefly (4:53)

Love Dream (3:41)
Whatever Happened To Your Eyes (3:21)
Heart (4:22)
Will You Show Me (4:42)
CreepinPeepin‘ Baby Blues (3:31)
Over You (3:38)
Thrill a Minute (3:34)
Be Bop a Lula (2:41)
Not Too Appealing (2:46)
I Do My Vocals On The Boat (3:42) (Bonus Track/Cassette Only)

The Workaday (3:36)
Permissible To Cry (3:37)
Friend Of Inertia (4:15)
Take One Away (3:28)
Cerebral World (5:43)
I’d Love To Talk (3:19)
The Rock’s Steady (4:13)
One Day Soon (3:18)
Bridge In Time (4:31)
Boring Dreams (6:21)
Free (5:09)


BURTON CUMMINGS June 16, 1977 The Bottom Line

June 16, 1977 – The Bottom Line
Early & Late Show Soundboards

Two excellent live shows from Guess Who leader Burton Cummings (and band), recorded live at The Bottom Line in NYC, June 16, 1977. Burt was promoting his second solo album My Own Way To Rock, but wasn’t about to get away without revisiting the Guess Who, which he relegates to a five song set, mid-show. Listen below to a medley of three of those tunes. Burt sounds great, and is chatty, throughout the show. Among the musicians here is drummer Jim Gordon, of Derek & The Dominos fame… maybe one of the few who could adequately fill the shoes of Burt’s long underrated Guess Who drummer, Garry Peterson.

Introduction (0:10)
Your Backyard (4:36)
Is It Really Right? (5:17)
Never Had A Lady Before (2:58)
Laughing (1:13)
These Eyes (2:26)
Undun (1:39)
American Woman (3:07)
No Time (3:34)
Mack The Knife (2:56)
Timeless Love (5:18)
My Own Way To Rock (5:56)
Framed (fade in) (5:00)
Stand Tall (5:07)
Charlemange (4:30)
Come On By (5:59)

Introduction (0:10
Your Backyard (4:41)
Johnny B. Goode (4:53)
Is It Really Right? (5:47)
Never Had A Lady Before (3:11)
Laughing (1:13)
These Eyes (2:26)
Undun (1:45)
American Woman (2:55)
No Time (3:42)
Mack The Knife (3:06)
Timeless Love (4:16)
My Own Way To Rock (6:01)
Framed (5:57)
Stand Tall (5:15)
Charlemange (4:35)
Come On By (5:52)

GAME TIME: The makeshift front cover above is ripped off from “Flying In The Key Of B,” a simple Simon-styled game by Ryan Burgess, based on Burton Cummings’ music (and recognizable mug). You can play by clicking HERE (for a pop up window).


BURTON CUMMINGS Up Close And Alone (1996)

Up Close And Alone (1996)
The Guess Who Frontman… Unplugged

For Guess Who fans, hearing former lead singer Burton Cummings in a live, unplugged setting is a dream come true. And, Burt delivers admirably, despite the nasally edge his versatile rock chops have developed in later years (though, it should be noted, the vocals on his just released, Above The Ground, sound pretty good). The overall beef with Up Close And Alone is the atrocious recording quality. Though released by MCA Canada (and reissued by Universal), this disc’s cavernous arena acoustics sound more like a fair bootleg than a major label release. That said, it’s not unlistenable and will, in fact, deliver plenty of repeated pleasures… but only once your ears grow accustomed to the unwanted ambiance. The stripped concept is tailor-made for Burt’s talents and hearing solo piano versions of Guess Who classics like “No Sugar Tonight,” “Laughing” and “Share The Land” is a treat. Long time fans might notice the unusual, conciliatory tone of Burt’s between-song patter, with gushing praise for Randy Bachman and nary a sour note for his familiar punching bags, former band mates. An attitude shift that no doubt led to The Guess Who’s touring reunion in 2000. With the inclusion of left field choices like “Ferry Cross The Mersey,” the comic “Gordon Lightfoot Does Maggie May” and a slew of post-GW hits, Up Close And Alone presents a well-rounded overview of an all-too-often under-appreciated great. Here’s to Vol. 2… with better sound. Amazon.

Albert Flasher
Timeless Love
Stand Tall
Sour Suite
Break It To Them Gently

Clap For The Wolfman
I Will Play A Rhapsody
Share The Land
Gordon Lightfoot Does Maggie May
You Saved My Soul
No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature
Ferry Cross The Mersey
Take One Away
I’m Scared
Dream Of A Child
These Eyes/Goodnight Everybody

(Formerly) ADVANCE LISTEN: Burt’s Above The Ground came out in December 2008. The 70+ minute disc (completely composed by Burt) is a rockin‘ affair, though, naturally, a tad more formulaic than the Guess Who’s free-wheeling years. The lyrics, it’s a safe bet, contains plenty about Burt’s personal life and times. Listen to “Kurt’s Song” below, presumably for the late Guess Who guitarist, Kurt Winter. Amazon.



Jukebox (2007)
Guess Who’s Friends Again?

Fans of the Guess Who know well the band’s history of in-fighting. Randy Bachman’s departure in 1970 was just one of many band-changing exits, as vocalist Burton Cummings assumed the mantle of group leader. Since that split, there’s been no shortage of parting shots, both in the press and on record. But… time wounds all heels, and since the turn of the century both Randy & Burt have made amends… and a few albums together, including this collection of ‘songs-that-inspired-us’ oldies released in 2007. Like almost every album of this kind ever made, Jukebox is no substitute for the band’s creative heyday. But it’s a fun example of some old pals playing some old favorites. You can hear Bachman’s roots in guitar oriented material like “Who Do You Love” and The Shadows’ “Man Of Mystery,” while Cummings hams it up on Fats Domino’s “Ain’t That Just Like A Woman” and “Ain’t That Loving You Baby.” There are a few flaccid rockers, at least one sore thumb (Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone”) and some excellent surprises (“Judy In Disguise” and “The Letter”). But the rekindled camaraderie of old friends makes it hard to hold anything against the project and its positive vibes. Listen to the duo’s lounge take on The Beatles and the live studio cover of their last hit together (from 4 decades back), “American Woman.”

Baby Come Back (2:43) Recorded By The Equals
Who Do You Love (5:08) Recorded By Bo Diddley
I’m Happy Just To Dance With You (3:56) Recorded By The Beatles
The Walk (3:16) Recorded By Jimmy McCracklin
Don’t Talk To Him (2:56) Recorded By Cliff Richard & The Shadows
Man Of Mystery (2:07) Recorded By The Shadows
Ain’t That Just Like A Woman (3:06) Recorded By Fats Domino
Little Queenie (4:19) Recorded By Chuck Berry
Good Times (2:41) Recorded By Sam Cooke
Like A Rolling Stone (6:21) Recorded By Bob Dylan
Judy In Disguise (With Glasses) (2:57) Recorded By John Fred & The Playboy Band
Don’t You Just Know It (4:10) Recorded By Huey “Piano” Smith
Yeh, Yeh (2:56) Recorded By Georgie Fame
Agent Double-O Soul (3:07) Recorded By Edwin Starr
The Letter (4:03) Recorded By The Box Tops
Ain’t That Loving You Baby (2:36) Recorded By Elvis Presley
American Woman 2007 (4:44) Recorded by The Guess Who


THE GUESS WHO Artificial Paradise (1973)

Artificial Paradise (1973)
A Stoner FM Band At Heart

A unique album in the Guess Who’s musical canon, as it finds group leader Burton Cummings taking a rare back seat, fully composing only 2 songs for Artificial Paradise. Bill Wallace, Don McDougal and Kurt Winter add to the group’s evolving compositional interplay, the Guess Who’s most democratic since Share The Land in 1970. The result is more variety, unique flavoring and tons of harmonies (the vocals neared perfection on the band’s next LP, Road Food). There were also fewer hits. But, Guess Who fans have always known the group’s albums were far more enlightening than the high profile singles. Artificial Paradise is another example of The Guess Who’s substantial stoner/FM cache. Apparently, there’s a new, October 2010 reissue at Amazon (HERE).

Bye Bye Babe
Samantha’s Living Room
Rock and Roller Steam
Follow Your Daughter Home
Those Show Biz Shoes
All Hashed Out
Lost and Found Town
GahleUsalang Gahle
The Watcher


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



THE GUESS WHO Live At Electric Ladyland (1975)

Live At Electric Ladyland (1975)
Live Radio Show From The Troiano Years

Here’s an unreleased January, 1975 live radio broadcast capturing The Guess Who, with new guitarist Domenic Troiano, promoting the band’s next-to-last 70s album, Flavours. There are only a few songs from The Guess Who’s illustrious catalog in the repertoire, as Burton and the boys were selling a ‘new beginning’ for the group. It didn’t take. The hands down highlight, however, is Burton’sLong Gone” – at 14 minutes, a lengthy and vindictive reaming of an “ex-employee.” Even in his introduction he calls it “Canadian hatred.” It’s Burton at his surly best and the song’s progression recalls the band’s early experimentation with form, highlighting extended, improvised sections, some killer grooves and underappreciated drummer Garry Peterson. It also displays an interplay between Burton Cummings and Domenic Troiano that could have been intriguing, but wouldn’t make it past two albums. The sound is good, with only a few minor issues. Listen below.

Introduction (0:28)
Dirty (6:30)
‘ Yourself (4:18)
Hoe Down Time (4:52)
‘ Fool (4:57)
Eye (6:19)
Straighten Out (5:37)
Long Gone (13:34)
Sour Suite (4:25)
Orly (4:29)

Comment Bonus: Burt’s 1976 solo debut ended with this lounge version of ex-partner Randy Bachman’s BTO hit, “You Ain’t Seen Nothin‘ Yet.” It could be argued it’s a semi-sincere homage, since it’s too elaborate to just be a Bachman dig. But then… it’s hard to tell. Regardless, it’s a classic cover.