Top 10 Songs Of The Guess Who

The Guess Who Songs

Photo: By Shayne Kaye from Victoria, Canada (Burton Cummings) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Guess Who’s career began in 1965 under the direction of original lead singer Chad Allen. Their recording of “Shaking All Over,” got the band their first record deal on a Toronto label. Soon after the band would enlist a very popular singer by the name of Burton Cummings and his songwriting partner Randy Bachman. The band eventually signed a record deal via their experience writing jingles for Coke. Signed to RCA records, the band landed their first U.S. Hit with “These Eyes,” in 1969. Their next hit “American Woman,” would catapult the band to international fame and remain the band’s most well known song. The song’s success in 1970 was no small feat as there were so many iconic records released in 1970 by bands like the Doors, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, Janis Joplin and so many others.

Eventually, so-called life style differences between Randy Bachmanand the rest of the band encouraged Randy to leave the band. Randy Bachman went on to form an even more successful group for the time period called Bachman Turner Overdrive (BTO). Burton Cummings would also move on to a solo career as the core of The Guess Who eventually disbanded in 1975. However, for a six year period starting in 1969 with Wheatfield Soul the band released eleven studio albums with their main lineup. Various live albums, greatest hits packages and reunion issues have been released since 1975. However, the band’s six year period between 1969 and 1975 is what defined the era of the Guess Who. We take a look here at the best of those years in our Top 10 Guess Who Songs list.

# 10 – Shakin’ All Over

Well no better way to start a Top 10 Guess Who Songs list than with their first hit. The song was originally recorded and released by the Guess Who in 1965. At the time the band were known as  Chad Allan & the Expressions.  The song hit No.1 on the Canadian music charts. On the U.S charts it stalled at No.22. The  song has been widely covered by many bands including The Who. The song was written by Johnny Kidd of Johnny Kidd and the Pirates.

# 9 – Clap for the Wolfman

This one is what we call groove Guess Who. A great song written in tribute to the legendary DJ Wolfman Jack. The song even contains snippets of the Wolfman. The song was released on the Road Food album in 1974. It was written by Burton Cummings, Bill Wallace, and Kurt Winter. A great representation of AM rock radio in 1974.

# 8 – Hand Me Down World

When comparing the songs “Hand Me Down World,” to “Clap for the Wolfman,” you would think you were listening to two different bands. It’s amazing how music changed so significantly between the years 1970 and 1975. The strains of psychedelia can still be heard on the “Hand Me Down World,” track. It’s completely gone on “Clap for the Wolfman.”

# 7 – Laughing

This one is pure Burton Cummings. One listen to this song and you can hear the future notes and styles of a song like “Stand Tall.” The song “Laughing,” was released on the Canned Wheat album in 1969. The song hit No.1 on the Canadian music charts. It hit No.10 on the United States Top 100 Billboard singles charts.

# 6 – No Sugar Tonight

It’s hard to believe that when the Guess Who released “American Woman,” as a single in 1970, they included “No Sugar Tonight,” as the B side on the “American Woman,” 45 record. The song was released on the spectacular American Woman album in 1970.  It was an easy choice to be included on out Top 10 Guess Who Songs list. This is a definite fan favorite.

# 5 – Undun

Well speaking of B sides, the great track “Undun,” was originally released as the B side to Laughing. The song “Undun,” had been released as the last track on the 1969 Canned Wheat album. As great of a song as “Laughing,” was, many fans were raving more about the B side”Undun.”  Eventually, the record company released the song as a single because many radio programmers were playing the B side more than the A side. Just one listen to the song and you will see why. Just pure late 1960’s soul groove perfection.

# 4 – Share The Land

The great Guess Who song “Share The Land,” was released on their 1970 album of the same name. The song was written by Burton Cummings after Randy Bachman had left the band. The “Share The Land,” single was another successful release for the band. The song reached No. 2 on the Canadian music charts and No.10 on the U.S. Billboard music Charts.

# 3 – No Time

“No Time,” was the Guess Who at their progressive music best. The song was originally released on their Canned Wheat album in 1969. However, it was the new version released on their 1970 album American Woman that became the hit. And what a hit it was. The song reached No. 1 on the Canadian music charts. It reached all the way to No. 5 on the U.S. Billboard Mainstream charts.

# 2 -These Eyes

With Burton Cummings on lead vocals, the band’s recording of “These Eyes,” elevated the rock ballad concept to a whole new level in 1969. The song “These Eyes,” became the band’s first top 10 U.S. Hit. The song was written by Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman. “These Eyes,” was released on the Wheatfield Soul LP. On this song the Guess Who completely demonstrated that these guys could really play and sing like no one else.

# 1 – American Woman

As much as we love to choose No. 1 songs that may deviate from the typical Top 10 lists, it just can’t be done for this band. “American Woman,” was such a major hit for the band that there is no possible way we could not list it as the No. 1 song on the Top 10 Guess Who Songs list. It’s not just the bands greatest recording, it also stands as one of the most important recordings in rock and roll history.

It’s one of those songs that should never be covered because the original is just so iconic. Yes, it has been covered but we are not going to mention those artists here because this is all about the Guess Who. You just can’t write about the Guess Who without talking about “American Woman.”


3 Comments

  1. Ed Wilberding July 6, 2016
  2. Jim Geruzzi September 27, 2016
  3. Doug Birdwise April 5, 2020

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