The Guess Who

It's Time

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Though this Canadian LP was issued under the Guess Who name, the group still hadn't quite completed its evolution from its prior incarnation as Chad Allan & the Expressions. Indeed Allan himself was still in the band during sessions for the recording, writing one of the tracks, "Guess I'll Find a Place." But a couple British Invasion covers and guitarist Jim Kale's "Don't Act So Bad" excepted, every song was written by Randy Bachman. Even more crucially, much of the material went in a decidedly harder-rocking direction than much of what the group had previously cut, with newcomer Burton Cummings injecting a new raunchiness into the material on which he sang lead vocals. "Believe Me," which is very much in the style of Paul Revere & the Raiders' fiercest sides, is the clear standout, but the moody Manfred Mann-ish "Seven Long Years" and the surly garage rocker "Clock on the Wall" are also highlights. Other tracks go into a smoother poppier mold, like "And She's Mine," which sounds like a hybrid of the milder British Invasion groups and the harmony rock of the Beach Boys. Overall it's the effort of a band still finding their style, something you could say of innumerable releases from the era. But of the many such bands making derivative records such as this, the Guess Who were by this point one of the best such acts, both as musicians and writers. If that sounds like damning with faint praise, it's not meant to. Even if this isn't as original as the best British and American groups of the time, or indeed as Guess Who themselves would later become, it's still respectable and at times quite exciting, and certainly a good listen overall.

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