Wheatfield Soul

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Wheatfield Soul
Studio album by The Guess Who
Released March 1969 (Canada)
April 26, 1969 (US)
Recorded September 1968 at A & R Studios, New York, New York
Genre Rock, Psychedelic rock
Length 40:27
Label Nimbus 9
RCA
Iconoclassic (re-release)
Producer Jack Richardson
The Guess Who chronology
A Wild Pair
(1968)
Wheatfield Soul
(1969)
Canned Wheat
(1969)

Wheatfield Soul is an album released in 1969 by Canadian rock band The Guess Who. It is notable as being the first full album by the band to feature Burton Cummings on lead vocals throughout. "Lightfoot" is a tribute to fellow Canadian Gordon Lightfoot, while "Friends of Mine" is performed in the style of The Doors.

About the album[edit]

Wheatfield Soul, while not a major success, is still a favorite among the Guess Who's fan base. "These Eyes" was their breakthrough single, and a radio favorite across the world. "Pink Wine Sparkles in the Glass" has notable lyrics and is also a radio favorite in Winnipeg. "I Found Her in a Star" is an underrated ballad written by Cummings, which features fuzz guitar by Bachman.

The most notable track on the album, is "Friends of Mine". Strange Days by The Doors had just been released a year prior to the recording of this song, and Strange Days contained "When the Music's Over", which is clearly an influence to "Friends of Mine", as many of the vocal chords are similar, the song is lengthy and the lyrics are an attempt by Cummings to sound like his then influence, Doors' lead singer Jim Morrison.

An original version of "Friends of Mine" can be found on the Guess Who's posthumous compilation This Time Long Ago. The track features Cummings singing about "doing it" with "your very own mother" and smothering six month old babies. RCA most likely advised the group to not release that version on Wheatfield Soul.

Side two begins with "When You Touch Me", which has an opening guitar riff that sounds identical to that of Tiny Bradshaw's "Train Kept A-Rollin'". "A Wednesday In Your Garden" is another underrated track. A sole composition by Bachman, the song features jazz chords, perhaps inspired by The Zombies' usage of the same sound on many of their hit records. "Lightfoot" is written about fellow Canadian musician Gordon Lightfoot. "Love and a Yellow Rose" showcases many of the Guess Who's musical talents, as Peterson plays the tablas and Bachman plays a sitar and a fuzz guitar on the song.

"Maple Fudge" sounds similar to a Paul McCartney ballad, specifically "When I'm 64". The Beatles were a huge influence on the Guess Who, as the Guess Who often covered their songs on CBC's TV entertainment series Let's Go, or during any live performance in the early going of their career. "We're Coming to Dinner" closes the album.

Added to the 2009 remastered CD version was "When Friends Fall Out," "Guess Who Blues," and "Of a Dropping Pin." "When Friends Fall Out" never made it to any original, early Guess Who albums but was known for its strong drum beat and organ sound.[1]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars link
Robert Christgau B–[2]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings except as noted.

CD[edit]

  1. "These Eyes" - 3:45
  2. "Pink Wine Sparkles in the Glass" - 2:13
  3. "I Found Her in a Star" (Cummings) - 2:36
  4. "Friends of Mine" - 10:04
  5. "When You Touch Me" (Bachman, Cummings, Matheson) - 3:38
  6. "A Wednesday in Your Garden" (Bachman) - 3:20
  7. "Lightfoot" (Bachman, Cummings, Matheson) - 3:07
  8. "Love and a Yellow Rose" - 5:05
  9. "Maple Fudge" - 1:49
  10. "We're Coming to Dinner" - 2:43

2009 Remastered CD (IconoClassic ICON 1008)[edit]

  1. "These Eyes"
  2. "Pink Wine Sparkles in the Glass"
  3. "I Found Her in a Star
  4. "Friends of Mine
  5. "When You Touch Me
  6. "A Wednesday in Your Garden"
  7. "Lightfoot"
  8. "Love and a Yellow Rose"
  9. "Maple Fudge"
  10. "We're Coming to Dinner"
  11. "When Friends Fall Out" - 3:17
  12. "Guess Who Blues" - 3:31
  13. "Of a Dropping Pin" - 3:24

CD Mastered by Bob Irwin at Sundazed Studios, Coxsackie, NY and Vic Anesini at Sony Music Studios, NY

Personnel[edit]

  • Randy Bachman – Guitar, sitar, background vocals
  • Burton Cummings – Vocals, organ, harmonica, piano, guitar, keyboards, flute.
  • Jim Kale – Bass, background vocals.
  • Garry Peterson – Drums, percussion, tabla, background vocals.
  • Ben McPeek - Musical director.

Charts[edit]

Album - Billboard
Year Chart Position
1969 Pop Albums 45
Singles – Billboard
Year Single Chart Position
1969 "These Eyes" Top Pop Singles 6

References[edit]