Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Guess Who - 1968 - A Wild Pair

Guess Who
1968
A Wild Pair




01. The Staccatos Song Of The City Sings
02. The Staccatos Where Did Holly Go?
03. The Staccatos Tell Her For Me
04. The Staccatos Runnin' Back To You Everytime
05. The Staccatos She Is Tomorrow
06. The Guess Who I Need Your Company
07. The Guess Who Mr. Nothin'
08. The Guess Who Very Far From Near
09. The Guess Who HeyGoode Hardy
10. The Guess Who Somewhere Up High

1. The Staccatos appearing courtesy of Capitol Records (Canada) Limited. 2. The Guess Who ? appearing courtesy of Quality Records Limited. 3. This record produced in Canada exclusively for Coca-Cola Ltd. by Nimbus 9 Productions Ltd. Toronto and manufactured by RCA Victor Company Ltd. 4. Recorded at Hallmark Studios Toronto.

Bass – Jim Kale
Drums – Garry Peterson
Guitar, Vocals – Randy Bachman
Keyboards, Lead Vocals – Burton Cummings




The first formal recorded output by this band, formerly known as "Guess Who? (Chad Allen & The Expressions), but now officially credited only as The Guess Who?, later to be shortened to simply Guess Who. This promo only release sold well enough to make it quite plentiful, even to this day, and is still available at comparatively reasonable prices for original copies. The Staccatos, with whom Guess Who shared the bill on this, would eventually evolve into The Five Man Electrical Band. Musically, I'm sure both bands would rather prefer to forget this, as it's almost embarrassingly commercial, highly produced pop. Its saving grace for underground fans is the fuzz guitar driven garage/pop cut found at B4 in the track list.

Nimbus 9 was a label started to get The Guess Who out of their contract with Quality in Canada to finally make it big in the states. The Guess Who were told to make 5 new songs for an album which they would share with the relative-unknown, Staccatos, also from Canada.
I believe the songs were recorded at the CBC studios in Canada, but I could be wrong.
The songs Bachman and Cummings came up with were not fly-by-night dreck. 5 full blown orchestrated (at times) psychedelia! They were stuck at CBC filming and recording the LET'S GO tv show for teens (with host and former member Chad Allen). There they did mostly covers of rock songs of the day with a few originals. They released non-lp singles at the time and were able to promote them on television. Here they got a chance to expand on ideas.

This collection of tracks is a must for hardcore Guess Who collectors. The Staccatos side is decent but falls by the wayside compared to Guess Who.

This lp was never reissued until the LET'S GO soundtrack cd  came out where the 5 songs appeared in a remastered state. The original mix can be found on the "Cummings and Goings" bootleg cd. Otherwise search record conventions and be ready to fork over big bucks like I did to get your own platter.

This split release was a promotional item commissioned by Coca-Cola Canada. It was yours to mailorder for 10 bottlecap liners plus $1.00. It sold 85K copies, at a time when a gold record in Canada was 50K copies! However because it was a promo, the music industry didn't award its sales.

Coke went to a lot of trouble in making this. They commissioned all-new songs, paid for special recording sessions in Toronto, extra session players, and even brought in New York producer Phil Ramone to do the mixing. At the time, such expenses and care were practically unheard of for rock acts in Canada. Companies all thought they could do everything on the cheap, which was one of many reasons why most of our ambitious 60s acts fled to the US to get their careers going. The Guess Who were our first band to gain international success while staying based in Canada.


The Staccatos

The Staccatos was a band from Ottawa, ON initially consisting of members: Dean Hagopian on vocals, Vern Craig on guitars, Brian Rading on bass and Rick bell on drums. Hagopian was replaced by guitarist/vocalist Les Emmerson prior to their first album, and Les became the band’s main songwriter.

They released the initial single, It Isn’t Easy, on small indie label Allied Records, and eventually got signed to Capitol Records where their first hit Small Town Girl was recorded. They followed with several other singles, usually landing on the top 40 charts and gaining them some recognition in Canada. They released their debut album Initially in 1966, mixing their hit singles with a handful of new recordings.

They eventually added a second drummer, Mike Bell, and released a new personal best single called Half Past Midnight. It was around this time that brand new label Nimbus 9 records contacted Capitol Records looking to record and release a promotional split LP for Coca-Cola with The Guess Who called A Wild Pair. Like Quality Records with The Guess Who, Capitol Records allowed this assuming that any publicity would only benefit their sales.

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