on July 25, 2000
This 30th anniversary reissue of The Guess Who's classic AMERICAN WOMAN album is handled with great care and respect, making the old appear and sound brand new.
A CD reissue of this Guess Who album wouldn't have occurred if they hadn't received a resurgence in popularity. This was due in part to last year's successful cover of the title track by Lenny Kravitz, and the group's mini-reunion at the 1999 Pan-American Games in Winnipeg. (These two events prompted the band to stage a hugely successful cross-Canada tour, where they did a commanding 12-minute performance of "American Woman" that made the crowds get out of their seats and party!)
The new and much-improved reissue of AMERICAN WOMAN doesn't suffer from sloppy engineering or muddy sound, unlike the 1988 CD release. The progressive chord changes, Randy Bachman's snarling guitar, and Burton Cummings' distinctive set of pipes are heard upfront, making it all sound as if it were recorded just yesterday. Thankfully, none of the tracks are subject to annoying edits this time around. One example is "8:15," which has the first five seconds that were cut from the initial CD release.
To top it all off, this AMERICAN WOMAN CD has the original cover art and photos, along with new liner notes, lyrics, an excellent bonus track ("Got to Find Another Way"), and useful track-by-track commentary written by Cummings. All these elements make for a truly magical listening experience for Guess Who fans young and old.
on September 24, 2000
I just got this beautifully remastered Cd version on Buddha. They did great job. The sound is amazing and the bonus track (which is different from the verison on Burton Cummings' "My Own Way To Rock" album) is pure Guess Who greatness. It's a never before heard version, which is why I got it in the first place. The whole CD is amazing. Great liner notes by Cummings and a lot of bonus photos from his personal collection. Beautifully redesigned--beautifully I stress. The guy who did it must have done it for the fans. It looks much better than my original LP. Much better! They didn't miss anything on here. Good job Buddha. This is better than any RCA compilation or re-release I own.
The title track from this album remains one of the great rock songs of all time. It is rather amazing how it continues to pop up in movies and commercials as well as getting air play. The Lenny Kravitz cover and the song's prominence in "Austin Powers, The Spy Who Shagged Me" are simply testaments to the enduring strength of this song. "American Woman" was the #1 single when I was living in Japan and I remember how they would play "American Woman" and then do the flip side, "No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature." The other big hit from this album is "No Time," but the forgotten gem is "Talisman," which is more of a progressive rock song featuring acoustic guitar and piano. "When Friends Fall Out" and "Proper Stranger" are more traditional rock songs. Even if you have the Guess Who's Greatest Hits CD, these other songs make this a worthwhile addition to your collection.
on October 1, 2006
It's too bad that too many people simply regard The Guess Who as a singles-oriented band geared for AM radio airplay. Certainly for a band like Three Dog Night, that was true, but the Guess Who were obviously wanting FM credibility, and they succeeded quite well with this, their third album for RCA. I really think some of their albums are really grossly overlooked, most people would pick up a Greatest Hits package over an album like Wheatfield Soul, Canned Wheat, or this one, American Woman.
American Woman marked the final Guess Who album with Randy Bachman, since he converted to the LDS (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) faith, yet his religious conversion didn't stop him from continuing on with music, as he earned quite a lot of success with Bachman-Turner Overdrive. You can see why Bachman left The Guess Who as BTO's music tended to be straight-ahead hard rock with a blue-collar mentality.
The title track was a huge hit, and it demonstrated the Guess Who now had a hard-edge approach. The music was basically the band's rant about American culture and attitudes influencing Canadian culture and attitude and how they didn't appreciate that. The song is full of great guitar riffs and nice fuzz lead guitars, with aggressive vocals from Burton Cummings. Lenny Kravitz did a cover of that song in 1998, and I heard his version, which, in my opinion, is vastly inferior to the original. For some odd reason, the Guess Who re-recorded Canned Wheat's "No Time and included it on this album. This is the familiar hit version with the lyrics found at the end of the original trimmed out. "New Mother Nature/No Sugar Tonight" was yet another hit on this album, which features some great vocal arrangements and nice use of acoustic guitar and electric piano. It's basically a medly of two songs segued together, and the combined both songs together at the end. As for the non-hits? Well they're just as great, if not even better, showing that The Guess Who was capable of holding their own on album, just as they did delivering radio hits. I am rather baffled why "Talisman" is so maligned. It's a very nice acoustic number, strangely with a strong prog rock feel. In fact it reminds me a whole lot like King Crimson, with acoustic guitar but no Mellotron. It actually sounds a bit like "Epitaph" from In the Court of the Crimson King! "969 (The Oldest Man)" is a rather bluesy instrumental piece, but unexpectedly the piece features a nice jazzy passage with nice flutework. "When Friends Fall Out", "8:15" and "Perfect Stranger" are all great non-hits, I especially like the use of acoustic guitar on "Perfect Stranger". "Humpty's Blues" is obviously the band exploring the blues, another example of the band wishing to be more than an AM dial band. If you want to see what the real Guess Who is like and go past just the hits, this is an excellent album to try.
on August 17, 2009
This was the first Guess Who album I bought ( I remember balking over the 'outrageous' $3.99 I shelled out for the vinyl! ). I was subsequently horrified that this one didn't have "Share The Land" or "Hand Me Down World" on it (!)...just a bunch of "filler" material. Well, almost four decades have passed, and that "filler" material, much of which comprised what was originally side two of the LP, has mellowed like the finest wine! "American Woman" may not have as many designated hits as "Share The Land", but this is prime vintage Guess Who, folks. "Talisman" is simply gorgeous...it evokes the mood of sitting indoors on a rainy day. "When Friends Fall Out" should have been a hit! Ditto "Perfect Stranger". It's such a shame that a great many people will never hear the obscure gems on this album, simply because they were never given the official sanction of being on a Greatest Hits Album. For me, this one has always complemented "Share The Land": between these two albums, you've got most of the radio hits, as well as some killer "off the wall" material.
on August 7, 2000
As a Guess Who fan from way back, it's hard to contain the excitement generated from the band recently. They just wrapped up a highly successful tour of their native Canada, and as anyone who saw any of the shows will tell you, they're sounding better than ever. A lot of the credit for getting the band back into the public eye has to go to Lenny Kravitz. Even though he destroyed "American Woman" on the recent Austin Powers soundtrack, the track went to the top of the charts, exposing the song to a whole new generation. The band is enjoying a new popularity, which in turn prompted Buddha to begin reissuing the band's back catalog.
This was one of the band's biggest selling albums, containing three major hits: the title track, "No Time" and "No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature." The album was previously available on CD, but like the other domestic releases from the band, the sound was awful. Thankfully, the folks at Buddha took the time to do the job right, adding new liner notes, photos, and a bonus track ("Got to Find Another Way"--which previously appeared on Burton Cummings' 2nd solo album). Combine all this, and you can't go wrong. All reissues should be as good as this one.
on April 28, 2014
I hate it when you buy a "remastered" CD and it sounds nothing like the original album. I had this issue with Tommy James Greatest hits. This CD is identical to the original album, which I still own. I bought it because their greatest hits album does not include 969 and When Friends Fall Out. The entire CD is fantastic and sounds just like my album except cleaner.
on November 22, 2002
Definitely a very good album; almost every song is good, and some are very good! This Top 40 version of "No Time" has a nice strong beat, but also check out their earlier, longer, clearer, and more rockish version on their "Canned Wheat" album. Many people, including myself, believe that's the superior version. "Talisman" is the perfect example of Burt lyrics that sound great but mean nothing: "...neither can a tombstone kill a feather." Huh? Anyway, too dull for my taste, although for many years I thought the piano part sounded suspiciously like CSNY's "Wooden Ships," and was I surprised to hear Burt sing some lyrics from "Wooden Ships" over this song as a joke on their recent live album! "No Sugar Tonight / New Mother Nature" is great fun to sing or play, using any one of the many vocal lines, and the way the two separate songs blend together at the end is clever and wonderful. "When Friends Fall Out" is delightfully intense, especially for acoustic guitar. "8:15" might be my favorite--it really moves, like an accelerating monorail. "Humpty's Blues" has spacy, hypnotic, harmonized guitar lines that are very nice and offset the otherwise mindless blues progression. If it weren't for the unimaginative blues song and a couple relatively dull ones, I'd give this album 5 stars instead of 4.
on July 29, 2006
While The Guess Who had their moment in the sun, they certainly didn't enjoy the success of other 70s rockers like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd or The Who. I'm always surprised how many of my peers are unaware of The Guess Who. "You know, they did that song American Woman," I say. "Oh, okay."
In fact, the song "American Woman" was the first song by a Canadian band to hit #1 on the USA rock charts. Other recognizable songs on this album are "No Time" and "No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature". "No Sugar Tonight" is one of those songs that causes me to turn the volume up when I happen to catch it playing on the radio, and "American Woman" is a decent enough rock song, so I decided I'd check out the album and see what other gems it might hold. The first thing I noticed was that the album version of "American Woman" has a delightful acoustic blues intro that never gets aired on the radio. The other thing I noticed was that there is not one bad song on the album. "Talisman" might seem a little out of place at first, but only because it is a slower song sandwiched between some good rock tunes. "969 (The Oldest Man)" is a short little instrumental that might not be for everyone for no other reason than the fact that it is instrumental, but I like it just fine.
In this digital age, it was far more convenient to buy this album on compact disc than to track down an original LP (and setup my turntable in my already cluttered room). These days record labels keep putting on bonus tracks and messing up with the continuity, so the version I bought was this 30th anniversary remaster with one bonus track, "Got To Find Another Way". Granted, it's a good song, but the album really should end with the "Humpty's Blues/American Woman (Epilogue)" which mirrors the acoustic intro and brings the album full circle.
Every song on this album is great. The only one that might take some getting used to is "Talisman." It is a little slower and with a different vibe, but still a great song. Get this for your collection today.
on April 8, 2004
I must say, the first cd attempt at this great album left a bit to be desired. It was a little heavy on the low end (bass) and the the first 8 seconds of the song "8:15" are cut out. Now Buddha is right on the money with this one. All the detail & dynamic range of the original recording are right there for our pleasure. These songs never sounded better ! My only complaint is why only one bonus track ?(the other Guess Who Buddha remasters had at least 2 & we all know there is plenty of great stuff to choose from) I did really enjoy this early version of "Got to find another way" (Burton later did his own version of this on his 2nd solo lp "My own way to Rock") After finding out what a great job Buddha did on this & the other 3 Guess Who albums they remastered & re-released, I only wish they would have continued with the rest of the Guess Who catalog.