The Guess Who – Rockin’ / The Best Of The Guess Who, Volume II (1972+73) [Reissue 2019]
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 79:57 minutes | Front, Scans NOT included | 3,62 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/96 kHz | 80:21 min | Front Cover | 1,76 GB
2 LP on 1 SACD | Features Stereo and Quadrophonic Surround Sound | Vocalion # CDSML 8562
Rockin’ takes The Guess Who into a new direction in 1972 primarily featuring the songwriting of Burton Cummings, striding away from their bread and butter Top 40 hit parade. But this album never received the same level of notoriety as the first four Guess Who albums, including the first one without Randy Bachman, Share the Land. This strange exercise has its best parts showing up on The Best of the Guess Who, Vol. 2, which is now restored on Hybrid Quad SACD from the original masters by Michael J. Dutton.
Rockin’ is Greg Leskiw’s last of three albums with the Guess Who; he came onboard with Kurt Winter for Share the Land and recorded So Long, Bannatyne as well, the two men slipping into the big shoes of Randy Bachman. This finds Burton Cummings in a definite ’50s mode, “Running Bear” and “Nashville Sneakers” being throwbacks to another time. The album predominantly features the songwriting of Cummings, though Kurt Winter does lend a generous hand. As an artistic statement it’s all very interesting, but for a band whose bread and butter was the Top 40, this stuff tempts fate a bit too much. Along with the musical about-face, this is also the darkest Guess Who album, featuring a black-and-white cover and a black-and-white gatefold, and when the band’s not back in the past, pre-color TV, they are doing boogie-woogie like “Get Your Ribbons On” or going negative with “Guns, Guns, Guns.” “Guns, Guns, Guns” does have a terrific melody (though you’ll swear Aerosmith nicked from this one as well), with Burton Cummings showing signs of life. “Smoke Big Factory” is the only other tune next to “Heartbroken Bopper” and “Guns, Guns, Guns” that sounds truly like the Guess Who, a good album track borrowing much from Lou Reed’s first solo album version of “Berlin.” The guitars are innovative and it’s too bad the album wasn’t full of more of these instead of the travels back in time. The “Sea of Love”/”Heaven Only Moved Once Yesterday”/”Don’t You Want Me” medley is another oddity, quasi-psychedelia meets doo wop, stranger than the Zappa-ish “Musicione” track from the Guess Who’s #10 LP. When you spin this right next to 1973’s Bachman-Turner Overdrive II, you can really feel what both Bachman and Cummings brought to the table, and despite Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s reign of hits initiated with that album, neither band achieved the heights of the first four Guess Who albums, including the first one without Bachman, Share the Land. Rockin’ is a strange exercise whose best parts showed up on The Best of the Guess Who, Vol. 2.
The Best Of The Guess Who, Volume II
The Guess Who have released many hits compilations, beginning with the two-volume Best of the Guess Who collections in 1971 and 1974, respectively. A pair of superior collections from the the CD era are 1988’s Track Record: The Guess Who Collection and 1999’s Greatest Hits. Track Record: The Guess Who Collection includes all but two songs from The Best of the Guess Who, Vol. 1 and all but four from The Best of the Guess Who, Vol. 2. Those who want the four left off of Track Record: The Guess Who Collection will find them on Greatest Hits.
01. Heartbroken Bopper
02. Get Your Ribbons On
03. Smoke Big Factory
04. Arrivederci Girl
05. Guns Guns Guns
06. Running Bear
07. Back To The City
08. Your Nashville Sneakers
09. Herberts A Loser
10. Hi Rockers!: Sea Of Love / Heaven Only Moved Once Yesterday / Don’t You Want Me
12. Albert Flasher
13. Rain Dance
14. Sour Suite
15. Life In The Bloodstream
16. Guns Guns Guns
17. Heartbroken Bopper
18. Runnin Back To Saskatoon
19. Follow Your Daughter Home
21. Glamour Boy
Tracks “01-10” is “Rockin’” (LP ‘1972)
Tracks “11-21” is “The Best Of The Guess Who, Volume II” (LP ‘1973).
Remastered from the Original Master tapes by Michael J. Dutton.