The Guess Who

Canadian Classic Rock
Biography

The Guess Who

The Guess Who

 

Before the implimenting of Canadian content regulations, homegrown musicians usually didn't get alot of airplay, and in reflection of some cases, proper respect. In the early '60's the Winnipeg scene was alive and vibrant with new and innovative sounds. On the top and leading the pack was a group of kids then going by the name Chad Allan and The Expressions, then The Reflections. Between '62 and '65 they released a number of singles, including a remake of Bobby Lewis' "Tossin' and Turnin'". But radio stations largely ignored the group despite their local following.

The first turning point was in 1965 when the band sent a '45 to the local radio stations. On it was "Shakin' All Over", and simply the phrase 'guess who?', in what turned out to be unintentional ingenius marketing. The group stuck with the name and were soon touring western Canada and southern Ontario.

In '66 the band took their biggest step in their evolution, as Allan and Ashley were replaced by Burton Cummings, leader of another Winnipeg group, The Deverons. Their first single from their self-titled debut with Cummings, "His Girl", reached England and got them signed with King Records in the UK. A hastily put together tour of Britain ensued. However managerial woes plagued the band and they returned to Canada broke shortly thereafter. By '68 the band was still toiling at the scene, having recorded a demo for coca cola with The Staccatos the year before, when Nimbus 9 Records here in Canada released CANNED WHEAT. The album demonstrated the band's raw penchant for innovative sounds, such as "Laughing", Undun" and the original version of "No Time". In "The Key" we were treated to some of Bachman's most original playing, complete with violin bows. The group was also making strides with their live show, by this time playing coast to coast and well into the States.

Later that year they also released WHEATFIELD SOUL, which contained the smash ballad "These Eyes", which sold over a million units worldwide and reached #3 on Billboard's Top 100. The group released another quintessential record in 1970. AMERICAN WOMAN contained a remake of "No Time", "No Sugar Tonite/New Mother Nature" and the full length version of the title track. The shortened version became the first single by a Canadian group to top Billboard.

Dissension between Cummings and Bachman over the direction the band should be following was growing and Bachman ventured off to release his solo venture, AXE. He returned to the studios with the group later that same year, but contributed only nominally on SHARE THE LAND. Backed by the title-track , it seemed to lack the normal feel without Bachman's full input, despite the success of the other singles "Bus Rider" and "Hand Me Down World". The group's future was put on hold after Bachman officially announced his departure in '71 to form Brave Belt, then later Bachman Turner Overdrive.

1971 also saw the release of their first best of package while they regrouped, coming back with new guitarists Kurt Winter, ex of Brother and Greg Leskiw of Wild Rice for SO LONG BANNATYNE. A new funkier sound with more emphasis on piano and less on roots rock and roll was evidence of it now being Cummings' band, with the singles "Albert Flasher", "Sour Suite" and "Hang On To Your Life".

Leskiw's stay on guitar was short-lived and he was replaced by Don McDougall for '72's ROCKIN lp. Bill Wallace had also replaced Kale on bass in the middle of recording such classics as "Running Back To Saskatoon", a tale of life on the Canadian back road, as well as the reggae-flavoured "Follow Your Daughter Home" and "Guns, Guns, Guns" (a track Cummings re-did on his '79 solo record DREAM OF A CHILD). The group also released their first live record that same year, LIVE AT THE PARAMOUNT.

ARTIFICIAL PARADISE and NUMBER TEN both hit the shelves in '73 but both seemed to lack anything special except for "Orly", a jazzed-up ragtime piano tune. .. catchy really and "Glamour Boy", about a washed up lounge singer.

ROAD FOOD came out in '74 with new guitarist Domenic Troiano, who'd replaced McDougall. Featured on the album was the tribute to the famed radio dj Wolfman Jack, "Clap For The Wolfman" and "Star Baby". POWER IN THE MUSIC came out in the spring of '75 and was more of a contractual obligation than anything. With Cummings' interests leaning towards a solo career, the album's only noteworthy song was the reminiscent "When The Band Was Singing Shakin' All Over", ironic huh?

With the band now on hiatus, a second greatest hits package came out in '76. Peterson, Troiano, Winter and Wallace came back that same year with THE WAY THEY WERE. Despite the release of three singles including "Silver Bird", the phenom that was The Guess Who was all but dead. They released GUESS WHO'S BACK in the summer of '78 but still failed to garner any real renewed interest in the band and they were living on name alone, despite the release of "C'mon Little Mama". ALL THIS FOR A SONG was released later that same year and was met with the same lacklustre response.

'81's NOW AND NOT THEN was their next release but both "Love Lite" and "After The Night" failed to make a dent in the charts. A small tour followed but The Guess Who's time had run out. Ironically though they would resurface only two years later. Again showing how ahead of their time they were, a reunion with Bachman, Kale, Cummings and Peterson resulted in a mini-tour Cummings penned "The Twilight Zone tour" because it was like turning back the hands of time fifteen years. The reunion resulted in a couple of live records and the new singles "Let's Watch The Sun Go Down", the politically motivated "What's Gonna Happen To The Kids", "Creepin' Peepin' Baby Blues" and "C'mon and Dance". Interest in the group again soon faded and the guys again went off to do their own things.

However Kale and Petersen would again resurface in '94 under the guise of The Guess Who. With an unknown supporting cast, a second album called LIBERTY was released on an independant label. Among the guest contributors was Zappacosta. Interest in the group waned again (or never really existed this time) and again the name The Guess Who faded into the sunset.

Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings performed together for the first time in fourteen years in May of '97 for a crowd of over 40,000 at The Forks in Winnipeg for a Red River flood relief benefit concert organized by Tom Jackson. It was always thought that creative differences between Bachman and Cummings would likely prevent an actual reunion. But they reunited and performed together again in August of 1999, two years later, for 5,000 athletes and 22,000 fans at the closing ceremonies of the Pan Am games at the Winnipeg stadium along with the other two original members of the Guess Who; bassist Jim Kale and drummer Gary Peterson. This led to the 'Running Back Thru Canada' tour during the summer of 2000, whih became the biggest grossing Canadian tour that year.

With Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman, Winnipeg, Manitoba was blessed with two of the most outstanding pop musicians in the business. The likelihood of one small city producing two such enormous talents is remote. Though many people walked through the members only dressing room, it's the version with Cummings, Bachman, Peterson and Kale that most people relate to as The Guess Who. They showed on timeless occasions their innovations of recording techniques while experimenting with different sounds why they were Canada's top draw for most of the sixties and into the seventies. No Canadian band today can honestly say they weren't somehow influenced by The Guess Who. Carrying the maple leaf proudly as they preached the gospel of rock and roll across the globe, they were indeed a Canadian treasure.

Bachman and Cummings - Red River Flood Relief benefit, May, 1997

Written by Dan Brisebois of
CanConRox


Discography

Shakin' All Over
Shakin' All Over (1965)

Shakin' All Over
Tossin' & Turnin'
Stop Teasing Me
Like I Love You
Till We Kissed (Where Have You Been)
Shy Guy
Shot of Rhythm N' Blues
I Want You to Love Me
I'd Rather Be Alone
I've Been Away
Tuff E Nuff
Turn Around & Walk Away

Hey Ho
Hey Ho What You Do to Me (1965)

Hey Ho
I Should Have Realized
Hurting Each Other
Made In England
I'll Keep Comin' Back
Stop Teasing Me
Could This Be Love
Theme From A Music Box
Don't Be Scared
Inside Out
Goodnight Goodnight

It's Time
It's Time (1966)

All Right
And She's Mine
As
You Know He Did
Baby Feelin'
Clock On The Wall
Don't Act So Bad
Believe Me
Seven Long Years
One Day
Gonna Search
Guess I'll Find A Place

The Guess Who
The Guess Who (1968)

Shakin' All Over
Tossin' And Turnin'
Stop Teasin' Me
Where Hve You Been All My Life
And She's Mine
Flying On The Ground Is Wrong
His Girl
Clock On The Wall
This Time Long Ago
Believe Me

Wild Pair
A Wild Pair (1968)

I Need Your Company
Mr. Nothin'
Very Near From Rear
Hey Good Hardy
Somewhere Up High

Canned Wheat
Canned Wheat (1969)

No Time
Minstrel Boy
Laughing
Undun
6 a.m. Or Nearer
Old Joe
Of A Dropping Pin
Key
Fair Warning

Wheatfield Soul
Wheatfield Soul (1968)

These Eyes
Pink Wine Sparkles In The Glass
I Found Her In A Star
Friends Of Mine
When You Touch Me
A Wednesday In Your Garden
Lightfoot
Love And A Yellow Rose
Maple Fudge
We're Coming To Dine

Born in Canada
Born in Canada (1969)

Shakin' All Over
Clock On The Wall
We Can't Go On This Way
Don't Act So Bad
One Day
Tossin' And Turnin'
Use Your Imagination
Baby's Birthday
Just A Matter Of Time
Gonna Search

Golden Goodies
The Guess Who? Super Golden Goodies (1969)

Shakin' All Over
Tossin' And Turnin'
Stop Teasing Me
Til We Kissed
Hurting Each Other
Flying On The Ground Is Wrong
His Girl
Clcok On The Wall
This Time Long Ago
And She's Mine

American Woman
American Woman (1969)

American Woman
No Time
Talisman
No Sugar Tonight
New Mother Nature
969 (The Oldest Man)(Instrumental)
When Friends Fall Out
8:15
Proper Stranger
Humpty's Blues

Share The Land
Share The Land (1970)

Bus Rider
Do You Miss Me Darlin'
Hand Me Down World
Moan For You Joe
Share The Land
Hang On To Your Life
Coming Down Off The Money Bag/Song Of The Dog
Three More Days

Pure Guess Who
Guess Who Play Pure Guess Who (1971)

It's My Pride
I'd Rather Be Alone
I Should Have Realized
Wild One
Like I Love You
I've Been Away
Baby's Got a Brand New Beau
Boston "T"
Shy Guy
Goodnight, Goodnight

Best Of vol 1
Best Of The Guess Who (1971)

These Eyes
Laughing
Undun
No Time
American Woman
No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature
Hand Me Down World
Bus Rider
Share The Land
Do You Miss Me Darlin'?
Hang On To Your Life

So Long Bannatyne
So Long Bannatyne (1971)

Rain Dance
She Might Have Been A Nice Girl
Goin' A Little Crazy
Fiddlin'
Pain Train
One Divided
Grey Day
Life In The Bloodstream
One Man Army
Sour Suite
So Long Bannatyne

Live At The Paramount
Live At The Paramount (1972)

Albert Flasher
New Mother Nature
Glace Bay Blues
Runnin' Back To Saskatoon
Pain Train
American Woman
Truckin' Off Across The Sky

The History Of
The History Of The Guess Who (1972)

Shakin' All Over
Flying On The Ground Is Wrong
His Girl
Where Have You Been All My Life
Believe Me
Tossin and Turnin
This Time Long Ago
Clock On the Wall
And She's Minde
Hey -Ho What You Do To Me

Rockin'
Rockin' (1972)

Heartbroken Bopper
Get Your Ribbons On
Smoke Big Factory
Arrivaderci Girl
Guns, guns, guns
Running Bear
Back To The City
Your Nashville Sneakers
Herbert's A Loser
Hi Rocker's! (Sea of Love, Heaven Only Moved Once Yesterday, Don't You Want Me)
Heaven Only Moved Once Yesterday
Don't You Want Me

Wild one
Wild one (1972)

Wild One
Baby Feelin'
I Want You To Love Me
Don't Be Scared
Tuff E Nuff
Pretty Blue Eyes
Could This Be Love
Shot Of Rhythm and Blues
If You Don't Want Me

The Best Of Vol. 2
The Best Of The Guess Who Volume 2 (1974)

Broken
Albert Flasher
Rain Dance
Sour Suite
Life In The Bloodstream
Guns, Guns, Guns
Heartbroken Bopper
Runnin' Back To Saskatoon
Follow Your Daughter Home
Orly
Glamour Boy

Artificial ParadiseArtificial Paradise
Artificial Paradise (1973)

Bye Bye Babe
Samantha's Living Room
Rock And Roller Steam
Follow Your Daughter Home
Those Show Biz Shoes
All Hashed Out
Orly
Lost And Found Town
Hamba Gahle-Usalang Gahle
The Watcher

#10
#10 (1973)

Take It Off My Shoulders
Musicioné
Miss Frizzy
Glamour Boy
Self Pity
Lie Down
Cardboard Empire
Just Let Me Sing

Superpak
Superpak (1973)

Shakin' All Over
Hey-Ho What You Do To Me
Tossin' And Turnin'
I Should Have Realized
Hurting EAch Other
I'll Keep Coming Back
Could This Be Love
Stop Teasin' Me
Till We Kissed
Theme From A Music Box
Don't Be Scared
Goodinight Goodnight
Clock On the World
We Can't Go On This Way
Dont' Act So Bad
One Day
Use Your Imagination
Baby's Birthday
Just A Matter Of Time
Gonna Search

Road Food
Road Food (1974)

Star Baby
Attila's Blues
Straighten Out
Don't You Want Me?
One Way Road To Hell
Clap For The Wolfman
Pleasin' For Reason
Road Food
Ballad Of The Last Five Years

FlavoursFlavours
Flavours (1974)

Dancing Fool
Hoe Down Time
Nobody Knows His Name
Diggin' Yourself
Seems Like I Can't Live With You, But I Can't Live Without You
Dirty
Eye
She Loves Me Like A Brother
Long Gone

Power In The Music
Power In The Music (1975)

Down And Out Woman
Women
When The Band Was Singin' (Shakin' All Over)
Dreams
Rich World-Poor World
Roseanne
Coors For Sunday
Shopping Bag Lady
Power In The Music

The Way They WereThe Way They Were
The Way They Were (1976)

Silver Bird
Species Hawk
Runnin' Down The Street
Miss Frizzy
Palmyra
The Answer
Take The Long Way Home

The Greatest
The Greatest Of The Guess Who (1977)

These Eyes
Laughing
Undun
No Time
American Woman
Hand Me Down World
Star Baby
Clap For The Wolfman
Dancin' Fool
Glamour Boy
Albert Flasher
When The Band Was Singin' (Shakin' All Over)

All This For A Song
All This For A Song (1979)

C'mon Little Mama
That's The Moment
It's Getting Pretty Bad
Raisin' Hell On The Prairies
Moon Wave Maker
Taxman
Sharin' Love
Sweet Young Thing
All This For A Song
Plastic Paradise

Tracks and Dialogue
Tracks and Dialogue (1979)

Now And Not Then
Now And Not Then (1981)

Together AgainTogether Again
Together Again (1983)

What's Gonna Happen To The Kids
Let's Watch The Sun Go Down
No Time
These Eyes
Creepin' Peepin' Baby Blues
C'mon And Dance
Undun
Love Grows
No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature
American Woman

K-Tel PresentsK-Tel Presents
K-Tel Presents The Guess Who (1985)

American Woman
Clap for the Wolfman
Rain Dance
These Eyes
No Sugar Tonight
Glamour Boy
Hang on to your Life
Undun
Follow your daughter Home
No Time
Albert Flasher
Dancin' Fool
Sour Suite
Star Baby
Laughing
Running back to Saskatoon
Life in the Bloodstream
Rosanne
Share the Land
Hand me down World

Other Hits
American Woman, These Eyes & Other Hits (1985)

These Eyes
Laughing
Undun
No Time
American Woman
Hand Me Down World
Bus Rider
Share The Land

The Best of live
The Best of Guess Who live (1986)

What's Gonna Happen to the Kids
Let's Watch the Sun Go Down
No Time
These Eyes
Creepin' Peepin' Baby Blues
Bus Rider
Rain Dance
Runnin' Back to Saskatoon
Sour Suite
Albert Flasher
Clap for the Wolfman
Laughing
Hand Me Down World
Glamour Boy
Hang on to Your Life
C'mon and Dance
Undun
Love Grows
No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature
American Woman

Track Record
Track Record (1988)

These Eyes
Laughing
Undun
No Time
American Woman
No Sugar Tonight / New Mother Nature
Hand Me Down World
Share The Land
Bus Rider
Do You Miss Me Darlin'
Hang On To Your Life
Albert Flasher
Broken
Rain Dance
Sour Suite
Heartbroken Bopper
Runnin' Back To Saskatoon
Follow Your Daughter Home
Orly
Glamour Boy
Star Baby
Clap For The Wolfman
Dancin' Fool
Sona Sona
A Wednesday In Your Garden
Proper Stranger
Life In The Bloodstream
Guns Guns Guns
Those Show Biz Shoes
When The Band Was Singin' (Shakin' All Over)
Power In The Music

No Strings Attached
No Strings Attached (1989)

These Eyes
These Eyes (1992)

These Eyes
Undun
American Woman
Clap For The Wolfman
When You Touch Me
Old Joe
No Sugar Tonight
Share The Land

At Their Best
At Their Best (1993)

American Woman
Share the Land
Attila's Blues
Running Bear
Bus Rider
No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature
Follow Your Daughter Home
Heartbroken Bopper
Albert Flasher
Rain Dance

Liberty
Liberty (1995)

Sweet Liberty
Loves All that Matters Tonight
Lonely One
Haunted Heart
Anything For Love
Rock N Roll Classic
The Razors Edge
I Feel Your Pain
Still Feels Like Love
Amy

Lonely One
Lonely One (1995)

Lonely One
Love's All That Matters Tonight
Sweet Liberty
Haunted Heart
Anything For Love
Still Feels Like Love
The Razor's Edge
I Feel Your Pain
Amy
Rock N' Roll Classic

The Ultimate... [BOX SET]
The Guess Who: The Ultimate... [BOX SET] (1997)

Disc: 1
These Eyes
Lightfoot
Maple Fudge
Of A Dropping Pin
Laughing
Undun
No Time
Proper Stranger
Humpty's Blues
8:15
When Friends Fall Out
American Woman
No Sugar Tonight / New Mother Nature
Hand Me Down World
Runnin' Down The Street
Share The Land
Bus Rider
Hang On To Your Life
Do You Miss Me Darlin'
Coming Down Off The Money Bag / Song Of The Dog

Disc: 2
Rain Dance
One Divided
Life In The Bloodstream
Sour Suite
Albert Flasher
Broken
So Long, Bannatyne
Heartbroken Bopper
Arrividerci Girl
Runnin' Back To Saskatoon
Glace Bay Blues
Truckin' Off Across The Sky
Follow Your Daughter Home
Bye Bye Babe
Orly
The Watcher
Those Show Biz Shoes
Guns Guns Guns
Heaven Only Moved Once Yesterday / Don't You Want Me

Disc: 3
Clap For The Wolfman
Road Food
Attila's Blues
Star Baby
Musicione
Glamour Boy
Lie Down
Dancin' Fool
Seems Like I Can't Live With You, But I Can't Live Without You
Loves Me Like A Brother
Hoe Down Time
Rosanne
Dreams
Women
When The Band Was Singin' "Shakin' All Over"
Lightfoot - (take 2 rehearsal, previously unreleased)
No Sugar Tonight / New Mother Nature
American Woman - (take 25 rehearsal, previously unreleased)

The Spirit Lives on
The Spirit Lives on (1998)

Bus Rider
Clap For The Wolfman
Dialogue I
No Sugar / New Mother Nature
Dialogue II
Laughing
Dialogue III
Hand Me Down World
Dialogue IV
Undun
Dialogue V
Share The Land / Gospel
American Woman
Prelude
These Eyes
No Time

Down The Road (Live)
Down The Road (Live) (1999)

Clap For The Wolfman
Star Baby
No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature
Rain Dance
Shakin' All Over
Undun
Runnin' Back To Saskatoon
Albert Flasher
Hand Me Down World
Orly
Follow Your Daughter Home
American Woman
These Eyes
No Time

Greatest Hits
Greatest Hits (1999)

These Eyes
Laughing
Undun
No Time
American Woman
No Sugar Tonight / New Mother Nature
Hand Me Down World
Share The Land
Hang On To Your Life
Albert Flasher
Rain Dance
Sour Suite
Heartbroken Bopper
Guns, Guns, Guns
Follow Your Daughter Home
Star Baby
Clap For The Wolfman
Dancin' Fool

Runnin' Back Thru Canada
Runnin' Back Thru Canada (2000)

Disc: 1
Runnin Back to Saskatoon
Guns Guns Guns
These Eyes
Rain Dance
Glamour Boy
Lookin' Out for #1
Sour Suite
No Sugar Tonite/New Mother Nature
Talisman
Let it Ride
Undun
Follow Your Daughter Home

Disc: 2
American Woman
Albert Flasher
Hand Me Down World
Orly
Takin' Care of Business
Laughing
Clap for the Wolfman
Bus Rider
No Time
Share the Land


See Also
B.T.O.
Burton Cummings


Other Biographies

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