The Guess Who

Shakin' All Over!

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Sundazed's Shakin' All Over! is naturally a godsend for dedicated Guess Who fans, presenting a 24-track summary of the group's recordings between 1963 and 1967, all taken from the original master tapes for the first time. This alone, along with the originally unissued "Use Your Imagination" and "Just a Matter of Time" and John Einarson's liner notes make this a fine fan package, but what makes this more than just a for-fans-only release is that the music is quite good. It is true that some of it is a little generic in the sense that they were a North American band finding their voice by turning out British-styled pop/rock, both in the driving Animals sense and the melodic Merseybeat style. It's very clear at certain points they're still developing their style, including their taste in covers, but they generally sound very appealing, both when they rock hard and when they indulge in candy-coated melodies. In fact, they can rock pretty damn hard, not just on the title song, but on another Johnny Kidd cover called "Baby Feelin'," Johnny Otis' "Tuff E Nuff," Randy Bachman's great "Believe Me" (which sounds a bit like early MC5) and "It's My Pride," plus Burton Cummings' fine "If You Don't Want Me," while on the other end of the spectrum, Bachman's instrumental British Invasion tribute "Made in England' is pretty endearing, as is the sweet (albeit dippy) "Stop Teasing Me" and the pretty cover of Neil Young's "Flying on the Ground is Wrong." (Young, in the liner notes, claims Bachman was an early influence, and it's not only possible to hear that, he's absolutely right that Bachman was quite a guitarist.) In one sense, this is a specialist release, since it will only appeal to Guess Who freaks and '60s guitar band fanatics, but it will satisfy both camps equally.

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