Friday, November 2, 2012

Burger Run with the Guess Who: Road Food

The album o' the day is one from relatively late in the Guess Who's career as a band. Their hitmaking days were largely over by the time Road Food was released (1974), but there was one last, great hit from this Lp, "Clap For The Wolfman", an homage to the howlin', prowlin' Wolfman Jack which wrapped a narrative of thwarted love around interjections from the Fanged One via the dashboard radio speaker.

At the time, the band had already gone through some major changes, with the departure of Randy Bachman and his brother to form Bachman-Turner Overdrive, and the band was down to 5 guys at this point. Although widely panned by critics at the time, it was still a much better album than, say #10, from the year before, or Power In The Music from a year later. In fact, it sounds more like a Burton Cummings solo album than any of the Guess Who records that came before, with Cummings front-and-center on the vocals, and his piano moved into the spotlight as well. (Burton himself might just have regarded this as a warm-up, as his amazing solo debut came in 1976, just two years later.)

In addition to "Wolfman", "Star Baby" was a highlight, one of those "should've been a hit" moments that inexplicably didn't get airplay... probably because no one was taking the Guess Who seriously by this time. It's not the Guess Who album I'd direct folks to who'd never heard them before, but it's a great period piece and if you love "American Woman", you'll love this too.

For further investigation:

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