Long before the Winnipegian group the Guess Who conquered the world with hits like "American Woman" and "These Eyes," they were the house band for a kids' dance show called LET'S GO, which aired after school on Canadian TV….
18 songs the band recorded in their early years for the Canadian Broadcast Company, previously thought to be lost tracks. Features "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man", "These Eyes", "Hey Jude" and "White Room".
Though this Canadian LP was issued under the Guess Who name, the group still hadn't quite completed its evolution from its prior incarnation as Chad Allan & the Expressions. Indeed Allan himself was still in the band during sessions for the recording, writing one of the tracks, "Guess I'll Find a Place." But a couple British Invasion covers and guitarist Jim Kale's "Don't Act So Bad" excepted, every song was written by Randy Bachman. Even more crucially, much of the material went in a decidedly harder-rocking direction than much of what the group had previously cut, with newcomer Burton Cummings injecting a new raunchiness into the material on which he sang lead vocals.
2016 three CD collection. As that noted hipster Plato once observed, when the mode of the music changes, the walls of the city shake. And there was certainly a whole lotta shakin' goin' on in 1967. A distended Summer of Love saw psychedelic pop emerging from the underground clubs to infiltrate the home-grown music scene mainstream, with the vast majority following in the footsteps of perennial market leaders The Beatles in surrendering to the new genre. As the year progressed, it seemed that more or less every element of the British pop world had been swept up in the blissed-out UFOria. Beat boom survivors, R&B stalwarts, sharp-suited mods, Swinging London soul revues, earnest acoustic folkies, Denmark Street hustlers, traditional pop acts… all abandoned or refined their previous identities to make music that reflected the ubiquitous influence of psychedelia in it's myriad paisley-patterned guises. Across four hours and eighty tracks, the all-singing, not-much-dancing Let's Go Down And Blow Our Minds anticipates the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love to chronicle a tumultuous twelve-month period of music-making within the British Isles.
The set is built around the A and B sides of singles, with album cuts salted in between. This is effective in charting the band's progression from melodic popsters to hard rockers and back to the pop-inflected music that closed out their career. The highlights are scattered throughout – "American Woman," of course; "Rain Dance," with its unnerving echoes of American massacres, the funky, improvised live "Truckin' Off Across the Sky," even the goofy "Clap for the Wolfman," which came when the Guess Who were all but finished. The Ultimate Collection works well as an introduction to the Guess Who, but will not gratify anyone with more than a basic need to know. On a sonic level, the set sounds good, however.
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.