Monday, September 7, 2015

The Guess Who - 1969 [1989] "Wheatfield Soul"

Wheatfield Soul is the fourth studio album by the Canadian rock band The Guess Who. This album is notable for being the first full-length "Guess Who" album to feature Burton Cummings on lead vocals and the first without original lead singer Chad Allan.

Wheatfield Soul, while not a major success, is still a favorite among the band's fan base. "These Eyes" was their breakthrough single and a radio favorite across the world. "Pink Wine Sparkles in the Glass" has notable lyrics and is also a radio favorite in Winnipeg. "I Found Her in a Star" is an underrated ballad written by Cummings which features fuzz guitar by Bachman. The song "Lightfoot" is a tribute to fellow Canadian Gordon Lightfoot. Wheatfield Soul is the group's first psychedelic LP that also focuses on British influenced pop and rock.

The most notable track on the album, is "Friends of Mine". Strange Days by The Doors had just been released a year prior to the recording of this song and Strange Days contained "When the Music's Over", which is clearly an influence to "Friends of Mine", as many of the vocal chords are similar, the song is lengthy and the lyrics are an attempt by Cummings to sound like his then influence, Doors' lead singer Jim Morrison.

An original version of "Friends of Mine" can be found on the Guess Who's posthumous compilation This Time Long Ago. The track features Cummings singing about "doing it" with "your very own mother" and smothering six-month-old babies. RCA most likely advised the group to not release that version on Wheatfield Soul.

Side two begins with "When You Touch Me", which has an opening guitar riff that sounds identical to that of Tiny Bradshaw's "Train Kept A-Rollin'". "A Wednesday In Your Garden" is another underrated track. A sole composition by Bachman, the song features jazz chords, perhaps inspired by The Zombies' usage of the same sound on many of their hit records. "Lightfoot" is written about fellow Canadian musician Gordon Lightfoot. "Love and a Yellow Rose" showcases many of the Guess Who's musical talents, as Peterson plays the tablas and Bachman plays a sitar and a fuzz guitar on the song.
"Maple Fudge" sounds similar to a Paul McCartney ballad, specifically "When I'm Sixty-Four". The Beatles were a huge influence on the Guess Who, as the Guess Who often covered their songs on CBC's TV entertainment series Let's Go, or during any live performance in the early going of their career. "We're Coming to Dinner" closes the album.

Track listing

All songs written by Randy Bachman/Burton Cummings except as noted.

    "These Eyes" - 3:45
    "Pink Wine Sparkles in the Glass" - 2:13
    "I Found Her in a Star" (Cummings) - 2:36
    "Friends of Mine" - 10:04
    "When You Touch Me" (Bachman, Cummings, Rob Matheson) - 3:38
    "A Wednesday in Your Garden" (Bachman) - 3:20
    "Lightfoot" (Bachman, Cummings, Matheson) - 3:07
    "Love and a Yellow Rose" - 5:05
    "Maple Fudge" - 1:49
    "We're Coming to Dinner" - 2:43


    Randy Bachman – lead guitar, backing vocals, sitar
    Burton Cummings – organ, lead vocals, piano, rhythm guitar, flute
    Jim Kale – bass, backing vocals
    Garry Peterson – drums, backing vocals, percussion, tabla



  2. Probably my favorite Guess Who album - despite, and because of Friends Of Mine. Maybe I'm secretly Canadian.

  3. Chiquilicuatre y ZappaOctober 3, 2015 at 1:38 AM

    Friends of mine is clasic, thanks for the masterpiece in flac