Top 10 Guess Who Songs
Winnipeg's the Guess Who was one of only a handful of Canadian bands found American success in the '60s and '70s. Driven by the powerhouse, soulful vocals of multi-instrumentalist Burton Cummings, the band scored a number of hits prior to having originally disbanded in 1975, yet many of their songs remain an important part of rock's history. Ultimate Classic Rock gives you our picks for the Top 10 Guess Who Songs.
The banality of the morning commute and the day in the life of a blue-collar worker has never sounded so rocking as in this first entry into the Top 10 Guess Who Songs. Despite having lost guitarist Randy Bachman leading up to the making of the record, the Guess Who sound as vital and energetic as they did on previous singles.
‘Clap for the Wolfman’
This paean to famed radio disc jockey Robert Weston Smith, better known as Wolfman Jack, drops a number of musical references in the song, much in the same spirit as Don McLean's 'American Pie'. When the listener hears Burton Cummings reference The Crystals' 'Da Do Ron Ron', Gene Chandler's 'Duke of Earl', one can't help but wonder what kind of influence Smith's musical choices might have had in Cummings becoming the musician he was.
‘Hand Me Down World’
The twin guitar attack of Guess Who guitarists Kurt Winter and Greg Leskiw dominates this 1970 hit from the Guess Who. This next track in our Top 10 Guess Who songs is a straight-forward mid-tempo rocker that sees Burton Cummings contemplating the state of the world, feeling as though too many people are overlooking the some of the basics that keep the human race moving forward.
‘Share the Land”
If 'Hand Me Down World' was Burton Cummings kicking back against the world, “Share the Land' is the total antithesis of that idea. A song that preaches the idea of “all for one and one for all,” the track is bolstered by a communal chorus and more fantastic guitar work courtesy of Kurt Winter and Greg Leskiw.
Perhaps one of the finest kiss-off songs ever recorded, there is no hidden meaning to be found in this 1969 hit. The lyrics of “Seasons change and so did I — you need not wonder why” and “On my way to better things … I found myself some wings,” arguably sum up the song the best and why Cummings has “No time left for you.”
A song that is a euphemism in the greatest sense of the word, Cummings laments the “…best years [that] have come and gone.” Coming to terms with the loss of love isn't something that the vocalist takes lightly, feeling that everyone but him was in on the joke.
Carried by a simplistic guitar riff that verges on jazz music, this laid-back Randy Bachman-penned song also includes a wonderful flute solo performed by Burton Cummings. The song reached the No. 22 position on the Billboard Top 100 Singles chart. Bachman's inspiration behind the song's guitar riff was reportedly inspired by fellow Canadian guitarist Lenny Breau.
‘No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature’
What originally started out as separate songs written by Randy Bachman ('No Sugar Tonight)' and Burton Cummings ('New Mother Nature'), the songwriting pair decided to meld the two songs into one after they realized that both tracks were written in the same key.
'These Eyes' was the first American hit for the Guess Who and claims the No. 2 position in our list of Top 10 Guess Who Songs. Legend has it that record producer Jack Richardson had mortgaged his house to allow the band to record 'Wheatfield Soul.' We'd say it was a good gamble on Richardson's part as this record was the start of a remarkable career for these Canadians.
Arguably the Guess Who's biggest hit, it is no small wonder that this would be the track that claims the No. 1 position in our Top 10 Guess Who songs. 'American Woman' was also the Guess Who's entry on Ultimate Classic Rock's Top 100 Classic Rock Songs list. The track starts out on a bluesy note before turning into one of the group's most rocking songs. The song undoubtedly played a big part in helping the group nab their first American Top 10 album which was subsequently awarded gold sales status.