Once you get this record …
… is there any point in pursuing the albums from which it was drawn?
I can’t think of many other greatest-hits records that have so overshadowed the back catalog.
If you like the Guess Who’s singles — and lots of people did in the early ’70s — this record is the only one you need. It’s the only one I have. That said, I’ve thought about getting some of their earlier LPs to hear what — if anything — I’ve been missing. Please feel free to clue me in.
All these years on, I’m still not sure quite what to make of the Guess Who. Cool band or some inauthentic freakiness? You had lots of hooks and harmonies. You also had a hard edge to their stuff — the intelligent lyrics, the great guitar work and Burton Cummings’ voice turning to sandpaper when he really got into it.
In the last week of January 1970, another Guess Who song was rocketing up the charts. “No Time” and “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” by Sly and the Family Stone duked it out for No. 1, at least here in the Midwest. A couple of pretty good songs, eh?
“No Time,” the Guess Who, from “American Woman,” 1970. It’s out of print but is available digitally. “No Time,” written by Cummings and guitarist Randy Bachman, was the first single off that record.
Of course, it’s also available on “The Best of the Guess Who,” 1971. (That buy link is to a 2006 re-release with three extra cuts.)
When I pulled out my vinyl copy, which I’ve had for 35-plus years, I found the original picture sleeve and the original shocking-pink-and-midnight-blue poster that came with it.
(This is not my poster. Mine looks sharper. Flickr photo by Bradley Loos.)