Yet another band from Canada! The Guess Who had their roots in the early sixties when they evolved out of a band called " Chad Allan and the Reflections", Chad Allan being a vocalist/guitarist. They changed their name to The Guess Who and released their first album in 1965. The hit " These eyes" went to number one in Canada and earned them a record deal with RCA. Guitarist Randy Bachman would later go on to form Brave Belt before forming that hit making machine, Bachman Turner Overdrive, in 1970. Guess Who member Burton Cummings went on to record a number of good solo albums.

The Guess Who 
The Guess Who - These Eyes, taken from their awesome "Live at The Paramount" album, released in 1972. This was the 9th album from this great Canadian outfit who were formed by vocalist/keyboard player Burton Cummings and guitarist Randy Bachman in the mid 60's. We actually featured their classic "American Woman" a few months ago and gave a detailed breakdown of their history in these pages at that stage, so we won't repeat it again here, but if you enjoy live albums, you'll love this one. The Guess Who were a really good band that had a number of charting hits, "These Eyes" being one of them. Their extended version of "American Woman" on this album just has to be heard to be believed!
  
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Biography by Steve Huey
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 Kidd and the Pirates' "Shakin' All Over" in 1965, which became a surprise hit in Canada and reached the U.S. Top 40. When the Expressions recorded an entire album of the same name, its record company, Quality, listed their name as "Guess Who?" on the jacket, hoping to fool record buyers into thinking that the British Invasion-influenced music was actually by a more famous group in disguise. Ashley had been replaced by keyboardist/vocalist Burton Cummings, who became lead vocalist when Allan departed in 1966. The Guess Who embarked on an unsuccessful tour of England and returned home to record commercials and appear on the television program Let's Go, hosted by Chad Allan. However, further American success eluded the Guess Who until the 1969 Top Ten hit "These Eyes"; the recording session for the accompanying album, Wheatfield Soul, was paid for by producer Jack Richardson, who mortgaged his house to do so. Canned Wheat Packed by the Guess Who produced three Top 40 singles later that year. In 1970, the Guess Who released the cuttingly sarcastic riff-rocker "American Woman," which, given its anti-American putdowns, ironically became their only U.S. chart-topper. The album of the same name became their first U.S. Top Ten and first gold album, and the group performed for President and Mrs. Nixon and Prince Charles at the White House. (Pat Nixon requested that "American Woman" be dropped from the set list.)

Trouble was brewing on the horizon, though. Guitarist Bachman, having recently converted to Mormonism, took issue with the band's typical rock & roll lifestyle, leading to clashes with Cummings. Finding the atmosphere unbearable, Bachman left the group in July 1970 and formed Brave Belt with Chad Allan, which later evolved into Bachman-Turner Overdrive. His place in the Guess Who was taken by Kurt Winter and Greg Leskiw, and the title track from their next album, "Share the Land," climbed into the Top Ten later that year, and several more singles charted afterwards. The group returned to the Top Ten one last time in 1974 with the novelty single "Clap for the Wolfman," featuring dialogue by deejay Wolfman Jack. Burdened by shifting personnel and loss of direction, Cummings broke up the band in 1975 and tried a solo career. The lineup from the Guess Who's glory years reunited in 1983, and a version of the group with constantly shifting musicians (occasionally original members) continues to tour. 

 

Randy Bachman
Burton Cummings
Domenic Troiano
Chad Allan
David Inglis
Jim Kale
Greg Leskiw
Vance Masters
Don McDougal
Allan McDougall
Bill Wallace
Kurt Winter
Terry Hatty
Dale Russell
Leonard Shaw
Bob Ashley
Garry Peterson
Bruce Decker

Bachman-Turner Overdrive
Three Dog Night
The James Gang
Grand Funk Railroad
Blood, Sweat & Tears
Brave Belt
Chad Allan
Sugarloaf
Collectors
Jo Jo Gunne
Looking Glass

 

If you have any contribution to make to this band or something to add, email me - Japie Marais.

 

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The Guess Who - 1965 - Hey Ho (What You Do To Me) - 3/5

The Guess Who - 1965 - Shakin' All Over - 3/5

The Guess Who - 1966 - It's Time - 3/5

The Guess Who - 1968 - Wheatfield Soul - 3.5/5

The Guess Who - 1969 - Canned Wheat - 4.5/5

The Guess Who - 1970 - American Woman - 4/5

The Guess Who - 1970 - Share The Land - 3.5/5

The Guess Who - 1971 - So Long Bannatyne - 2/5

The Guess Who - 1972 - Live at the Paramount - 4/5

The Guess Who - 1972 - Rockin' - 1/5

The Guess Who - 1973 - 10 - 1/5

The Guess Who - 1973 - Artificial Paradise - 3.5/5

The Guess Who - 1974 - Road Food - 2.5/5

The Guess Who - 1975 - Flavours - 2/5

The Guess Who - 1975 - Power In the Music - 1/5

The Guess Who - 1979 - All This For A Song - 1.5/5

The Guess Who - 1982 - Guess Who's Back - 4/5

The Guess Who - 1995 - Liberty - 1.5/5

The Guess Who - 1995 - Lonely One - 2/5

The Guess Who - 2001 - Running Back Thru Canada - 3/5

Rating

 

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