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The Guess Who - Shakin' All Over!
Sundazed Records
By Beverly Paterson, The Lance Monthly
(more articles from this author)
2002-02-14
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Artist: The Guess Who
Title: Shakin' All Over!
Label: Sundazed Records (www.sundazed.com)

"The Guess Who are certainly one of the finest bands to ever be, and 'Shakin' All Over!' is an ideal introduction to their genius which was readily apparent even in the beginning."

The summer of 1965 saw the Guess Who score a top forty hit with a faithfully raunchy version of Johnny Kidd and the Pirates' "Shakin' All Over," but they unfortunately vanished from sight just as quickly as they had appeared. Well, that's not entirely true because they did remain pretty hot stuff in their native country of Canada. However, it would be a few good years before they invaded the American charts again, and once they did they got on a major roll and wound up spitting out one winning record after another right into the mid-seventies.

Naturally, most Americans aren't the least bit familiar with the very early work of the Guess Who, but all that is bound to change now that "Shakin All Over!" has been released, a collection of tracks recorded between the years 1963 and 1967. Listening to these stirring songs, it's obvious the band possessed true star power at a young age and would eventually soar to great heights.

Aside from the rattling title cut, the disc contains a flurry of equally catchy tunes that should have stormed the airwaves far and wide. The Guess Who expertly intertwined melodious Merseybeat pop flavored motions with the deadly blues-based bark of combos like the Yardbirds and the Animals, which produced a happening sound that nailed their own unique perceptions onto their influences. "Shakin' All Over!" explodes with ace musicianship, showcasing what excellent players the blokes are and how amazingly in sync they are with each other. There's no shortage of energy or enthusiasm in the band's material, and it's easy as pie to hear how much they really enjoyed laying these corkers down.

What also sets the Guess Who apart from the crowd is their songwriting skills. Although they were highly adept at copy tunes, their original compositions are unsually strong and reveal a sophisitcated depth. Save for the moodily introspective "Clock On The Wall," the lyrical content isn't necessarily heavy, as love and romance are the chief themes, but the hooks, arrangements and rhythms are consistently clever. The Guess Who definitely rocks with the best of them and rival the Dave Clark Five, the Knickerbockers and Paul Revere and the Raiders when it comes to sheer excitement and intensity.

"It's My Pride" pounds and pulsates to no end, breathy Mark Lindsay-styled vocals lead the racing "if You Don't Want Me," the raving "Believe Me" is enhanced by the lightning speed tinkle of an electric piano and some killer diller guitar blasts, "Gonna Search" plugs in as a head-bobbing garage band classic and "Seven Long Years" offers a gritty Eric Burdon type bellow sure to sire goose pimples galore. Then there's "I Should Have Realized," a punchy folk rock nugget that features a bout of cool harmonica blows, the pure pop beauty of "As" and a groovy instrumental called "Made In England." An absolutely gorgeous rendition of Buffalo Springfield's "Flying On The Ground Is Wrong," and the Hollies' harmony-infested "You Know He Did" further appears on the record.

"Shakin' All Over!" also includes a couple of previously unreleased tracks, "Use Your Imagination" and "Just A Matter Of Time," along with extensive liner notes.

The Guess Who are certainly one of the finest bands to ever be, and "Shakin' All Over!" is an ideal introduction to their genius which was readily apparent even in the beginning. Rock and roll honestly doesn't get any better than this!


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