5 Songs To Summarize The Career Of The Guess Who
Their Finest Works
The Guess Who found worldwide fame after a string of hits in the late ’60s all the way through the ’70s. It goes without saying that they made it big in Canada first but it wasn’t long before they gained international recognition especially after enlisting the help of popular musicians like Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman (before he went on to form Bachman–Turner Overdrive).
They may have disbanded in 1975 but their songs remain iconic. It wasn’t easy making a hit back in the ’70s because there were dozens of stellar tracks released by legendary artists. But The Guess Who did it and therefore cemented their spot in the rock ‘n roll pantheon.
5. Laughing (Canned Wheat, 1969)
Although this only peaked at #10 in the US Billboard Hot 100, it topped the charts in Canada. Cummings and Bachman wrote this in just 10 minutes which was usually what worked for them when it came to songwriting. According to Bachman, “We find that if we have to sit down and ponder, it doesn’t happen.”
4. Undun (Canned Wheat, 1969)
This is Cumming’s favorite song and he once said that it’s also “one of the best songs ever written by any Canadian songwriter.” It was initially the B-side of “Laughing” but was eventually released as a single because of its popularity. With those jazz elements, it’s not hard to see why this got so much love from listeners.
3. No Time (Canned Wheat, 1969)
This was a hit on both sides of the Atlantic. It’s beautifully done and clearly one of the band’s finest musical moments. Bachman revealed that this was partly inspired by two Buffalo Springfield songs – “Rock & Roll Woman” and “Hung Upside Down.” He further added: “That was our country-rock song. Me and Burton trying to be like Neil and Stephen Stills.”
2. These Eyes (Wheatfield Soul, 1968)
The delivery is spot on. This song helped them break into US and it only took Bachman and Cummings 15 minutes to write it. More than their breakthrough success, These Eyes also helped them land a US record deal. It peaked at #6 on the US Billboard Hot 100.
1. American Woman (American Woman, 1970)
They went in hard with this masterpiece. It was a hit in several countries but the lyrics became a subject for debate whether it was about the war. But Cummings set the record straight when he explained: “What was on my mind was that girls in the States seemed to get older quicker than our girls and that made them, well, dangerous. When I said ‘American woman, stay away from me,’ I really meant ‘Canadian woman, I prefer you.’ It was all a happy accident.”