Guess Who LPs titled Shakin' All Over appeared in both the U.S. and Canada in 1965, but they weren't the same records, though some of the same tracks were included on each release. The American Shakin' All Over was issued on the Scepter label; the Canadian one came out on Quality, and has been reissued on CD, making it much more widely available outside of Canada. The one being addressed in this review is the Canadian version. Though the Guess Who (or Chad Allan & the Expressions, as they were still confusingly getting billed in some respects) were already among the best bands in Canada's young rock scene by time of this album, they still had a long way to go before developing the style for which they'd become internationally known. In part that's because singer Burton Cummings had yet to join, but it's also because the group were still pretty derivative at this point, though they were writing much of their own material. The hit title track (a cover of Johnny Kidd's classic) is by far the most famous of these recordings, of course. Most of the remaining cuts were less powerful, including some oldies covers and originals that reflected both the lighter side of the Merseybeat sound and the lingering influence of the Shadows, who were big in Canada (although unknown in the U.S.). The version of Johnny Otis' "Tuff E Nuff," in fact, sounds a lot like the best and hardest-rocking material Cliff Richard did with the Shadows as his backup band. It would take a while, however, before the Guess Who delivered tracks of this quality on a consistent basis.
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