My Favorite Records:The Guess Who – Canned Wheat

This is the another installment in my series of favorite records.

In yesterday’s podcast I talked about the Guess Who, and how I believe they are greatly underappreciated, given the incredible amounts of great music (not to mention big hits) they generated in the 60s and 70s. And as luck would have it, we’re to the end of the G’s in my Top 50 Album series.

The Guess Who made 4 excellent records in a row between 1968 and 1970, starting with Wheatfield Soul (hard to find, except on an oddly paired double album CD) and ending with Share the Land. Any of them could be on this list, but I’m going to settle on just one- Canned Wheat from 1969.

cannedwheatCanned Wheat is the best place to start for those who remember the Guess Who only for their long string of radio hits. This is an excellent rock record that features some fine Guitar work from Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings’ great voice.

No Time, the first track, is a classic rock standard, that you’ve heard before. Minstel Boy is a beautiful and sad number inspired by a Thomas Moore poem. Laughing and Undun, two classic rock gems, follow.

Every other song on this record could easily have been a hit. In fact, this record could be a greatest hits record for a lot of popular bands. And it’s just one of 4 great records in a row by this under-appreciated band.

One of the things that impresses me the most about the Guess Who’s records is how well they have aged. These records sound like they could have been recorded yesterday. The true sign of musical genius is the ability to make music that still sounds fresh 20 years later. Bob Dylan does it. Springsteen does it.

And so did the Guess Who.

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