Laughs aside, the instrumentation is always topnotch (except during "Friends Of Mine," when they sound like they don't know what they're supposed to be doing), the melodicism is very smart and usually singalongable and, when he's not acting like an idiot, Burton's voice is a wonder of nature, going from low/mid crooning to really cool intense screaming in the blink of a blinkity fellow. As for the BC Doors/Morrison rip off..crazy..he was influenced at the time by Jim but he was only paying tribute to him and at the same time showing how talented he was.
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he Guess Who existed both before and after Burton Cummings (and you will find examples of pre- and post-Cummings releases reviewed on this page), but nobody cares. From hard rock to country to jazz, bluegrass, blues, psychedelia and anything else they wanted to tackle, The Guess Who made it happen. My point is that Chad Allan has an adequate voice, low enough to be croony and enjoyable, if a little crybabyish and cracky during the faster parts. This features two songs from the first album, zero from the second album, four from the third album and I have no clue where the other four came from. It's perfectly enjoyable material, of course, but let's get to the REAL Guess Who shenanigans! If you could, try to make that a nationally recognized catchphrase. Please make me a bumper sticker and hire an aeroplane in every city in America to fly around making smoke letters with that popular catchphrase: No More Fidgeting In The Pissbucket!
For all intensive porpoises, The Guess Who will always be associated in the minds of FM radio listeners with that singin', yellin', cocky, long-haired (and later mustachioed) little Winnipeggian who made classic rock hits like "American Woman," "No Time" and "No Sugar Tonight" sound so darn intense. Not with guns, bitches and crack cocaine, but with good old hard work, creativity and regular powdered cocaine. And the songs themselves stick with you like a swarm of killer hornets after you thwak their nest with your arm over and over again. Super goodnesses include the sugary sweet concoction "We Can't Go On This Way" and the Byrdsy "Baby's Birthday," which really isn't that great a song but it sounds like the Byrds kinda! With more of a specific sound and all, instead of just copying more popular bands from elsewhere. Say it all the time and write it on the side of your car: No More Fidgeting In The Pissbucket! Use it in school textbooks and in popular hip-hop songs of the day.
I first heard this 10-minute epic on a Halloween night years ago. I agree it IS a tad lengthy, especially when played back-to-back with other great songs by the GW. Prindle, "Friends of Mine" WOULD be the most cutting Jim Morrison parody of all time if it wasn't serious. If you tried to parody it, you honestly couldn't make it any more laugh-out-loud absurd. You keep thinking its reached its horrific nadir, and then it manages to become even stupider. [email protected] remember requesting FOM Holloween night by phoning into a roomate who was a student DJ (Ed Black) @ a small Minnesota State College. I only remembered the poem, "Flanders Fields", and have been trying to find out the name of this song, and the artists..finally went though my old albums to get a hint, and even though I didn't remember, even when I saw the cover, I knew "Wheatfield Soul" was it, and I also knew it was the song, "Friends Of Mine." But then, I didn't have a turn table to play it on, so I looked up the lyrics, and remembered all of the reasons why I love this track..you never lived in the 60's and 70's, you really don't get it, but if you did..me..it's totally understandable...
When I first heard it, I couldn't believe it was the same band who recorded other classic rockers like These Eyes, Clap For The Wolfman, American Woman Bus Rider. And you can't get any more experimental than with Friends Of Mine. Never got on the radio anywhere, except when I played it during one of my shows at a college radio station in Kentucky. Any other radio DJ's out there who have similar stories? Man oh man, how did no one point out to them how transcendantly dumb that was? long, low time ago, my Aunt Chris gave me a big ol' slap of old vinyl recordings to enjoy at my leisure.
Lord knows that I was already a fan of the band through my father's Share The Land LP, but (a) I certainly didn't know that Randy Bachman was ever in the band, and (b) this album cemented my reputation amongst the ruling class elite as a Guess Who fan and supporter. "No Time" was a fuzzy rocker with shouts at the end, "Laughing" was a sad, accessible ballad type thing and "Undun"? So yeah, as for embarrassment, it's kept to a minimum here because they don't try to hit any real HIGHS - they just play solid, really strong melodic music of jazzy, rockin' and basic pop ballad types. Not that Standing Stone isn't the finest piece of musical ingenuity he's created since "Yesterday." No no, that would be the theme from Spies Like Us.
The overall mood of the record is somber, sad, dark - there are a couple of points of almost semi-light, but even those tunes (or rather, TUNE - "Of A Dropping Pin") sounds tired and achey, more Charley Horse than Charlie Chaplin - YES! Oh sweet "Undun." Featuring the most evil jazz chords (and harmonics! [email protected] was at a going-away party for one of my wife's co-workers last night, and it was at some redneck dive in Douglasville, Georgia that was having Karaoke night.
The title track is a killer sleaze-rock cover later made even scuzzier by The Who and The Cows, album-closer "Turn Around and Walk Away" is a sorrowful '60s ballad well worth your sandy dollar, and 1963 single "Shy Guy" is a cute little bouncy ball about a timid fellow. Why in Hell would he have chosen to go by "Dick" when "Rich" was a possibility? Just don't spend too much dough (bread) money cash on it, because it's really, really short. Secondly, the songs are full of horns and strings and delightful things, which also comes as a surprize since there weren't none on the previous records or the following records for the most part! How is he going to find a real job when he discovers that this "rock and roll" thing isn't going to work out?
Unfortunately, every other song is a blatant Beatles ripoff with Mc Cartney-stylized vocals, one-note-at-a-time piano and harmonica breaks, and thin George Harrisony guitar solos with shouts of "Waaooow! The songwriting is as substandard and generic as any Pickwick "Merseybeat" ripoff, and it's difficult to believe that a band this derivative would some day pen such masterworks as "Put On Your High-Heeled Sneakers," "Those Nashville Sneakers Always Get Me Down" and "Don't Give Me No Hand Me Down Shoes." Which got me to thinking -- what if ALL our favorite Guess Who songs were about shoes? And finally, only one of these five songs is up to the standards that the band would set for themselves with their next album. However, Nikki Sixx was in my office today, which is almost the exact same thing. [email protected] a short thought on The Staccatos.
In particular, the 10-minute jamthon "Friends Of Mine" is the most atrocious, STUPID Doors ripoff that you're likely to run across this side of "The Celebration Of The Lizard" by The Doors.
It begins just fine, with the "Smells Like Teen Spirit" bass line (take that to your grave and cash it, Kurt Cobain! I think they did a good job..are still writing about them !!!
but I decided to keep it low key and somewhat mainstream).