|Single by The Guess Who|
|from the album Canned Wheat|
|Recorded||1969 at RCA Studio A, New York, New York|
|Label||RCA Victor 0195|
|The Guess Who singles chronology|
"Undun" is a popular song by Canadian rock band The Guess Who. It spent two weeks at #21 on the Canadian Singles Chart in November–December 1969 and reached #15 on the U.S. adult contemporary chart and #22 on the Billboard Hot 100.
It was written by Randy Bachman after hearing Bob Dylan's "Ballad in Plain D", which included the phrase "she was easily undone". Bachman's song tells the story of a girl whom he had seen at a party who slipped into a coma after dropping acid. The song structure is based around new jazz guitar chords Bachman had learned from his friend and neighbor Lenny Breau. Bachman's former bandmate Burton Cummings, during The Guess Who's 2000 reunion tour, Running Back Thru Canada, declared the song to be one of Bachman's finest compositions and "one of the best songs ever written by any Canadian songwriter". Bachman himself has stated that "Undun" is his favorite song from his time as a member of The Guess Who.
The original 4:17 version of "Undun", complete with a country guitar section at the end, appeared on The Guess Who's 1969 album, Canned Wheat, and was initially released as the B-side of the single "Laughing" which peaked on August 23, 1969. The song was subsequently released as a 3:26 single (omitting the country guitar section) after it gained popularity when disc jockeys started turning the "Laughing" record over.
Cultural references and cover versions
Numerous jazz and other genres' artists have covered "Undun". These include Hennie Bekker, Steve Cole, The Phil Dwyer Septet, Kurt Elling, Ranee Lee, Sophie Milman, Hugo Montenegro, and Alexander Zonjic.
|Canadian RPM Singles Chart||21|
|US Billboard Hot 100||22|
- The Guess Who, "Undun" Canadian Chart Position Retrieved March 6, 2015
- The Guess Who, "Undun" U.S. Chart Positions Retrieved March 6, 2015
- The Guess Who: The Concert (recorded in Winnipeg, June 30, 2000), Directed by Rico Labbe, Saifer Entertainment, 2000
- "Undun by The Guess Who", Songfacts
- Hennie Bekker, Cover Story Retrieved March 6, 2015
- Steve Cole, Undun Retrieved March 6, 2015
- The Phil Dwyer Septet, A Canadian Songbook for Jazz Retrieved March 6, 2015
- Kurt Elling, Nightmoves Retrieved March 6, 2015
- Ranee Lee, Maple Groove Retrieved March 6, 2015
- Sophie Milman, Make Someone Happy Retrieved March 6, 2015
- Hugo Montenegro, Colours of Love Retrieved March 6, 2015
- Alexander Zonjic, Doin' the D Retrieved March 6, 2015
- Bachman, Randy (2011). Randy Bachman's Vinyl Tap Stories. Penguin Canada. ISBN 9780143185772.
- "Top Singles - Volume 12, No. 16, December 06, 1969". RPM. 1969-12-06. Retrieved 2013-09-24.