The Guess Who

Live at the Paramount

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The August 2000 reissue of Live at the Paramount on the Buddha label has 13 songs, the whole 75 minutes of music from the first of two shows, and provides the best explanation of how the Guess Who endured as a major concert draw years after their biggest hits were behind them; when they were spot-on, as they were that night, they gave an exciting show. Remixed and remastered properly, this is now a killer concert album, showing off the double lead guitar attack that was a hallmark of their live sound in blazing glory, energizing even familiar songs like "New Mother Nature," and Burton Cummings near the peak of his form with the band as a singer. Surprisingly, the songs that were left off of the original LP included several hits, both vintage ("These Eyes," "No Time") and relatively recent ("Rain Dance," "Share the Land"), though the highlight is "Sour Suite," which is a dazzling showcase for Cummings as a singer and pianist. The remixing also helps the material that was on this album originally, pumping up the volume on the bluesy jam that opens "American Woman," which also sounds a lot better (and is worth hearing in the 15 minute jam version featured here). "Share the Land" comes off better here than its official version, set ablaze by Kurt Winter's and Don McDougal's guitars and a spirited vocal performance.

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