Friday, May 19, 2006

Bachman Cummings Songbook: A Review

Bachman Cummings Songbook is an interesting idea: a greatest hits collection from three different, yet related, acts: The Guess Who, Bachman Turner Overdrive (BTO) and Burton Cummings solo career. This has some pluses and minuses.

From the plus perspective, it never gets boring. You have 30 or so minutes of Guess Who, then the CD switches gears and you have 20 minutes of BTO before the CD finishes off with 20 minutes of Burton Cummings. The three different sets are unique enough that you don't get bored listening for 70 minutes, yet similar enough that the collection doesn't seem disjointed.

The negative has more to do with what's not here than what is. The Randy Bachman set is incomplete to say the least. As a long time Randy Bachman fan I would have loved to see Brave Belt's Dunrobins Gone, his solo Prairie Town, and Union's Mainstreet U.S.A. on this collection. And all that is without the obvious BTO that's missing: Take it Like a Man, Rock is My Life and this is My Song, Roll On Down The Highway, Blue Collar, Down To The Line, Gimme Your Money Please &tc...

While we are discussing what's missing, some of the more obscure Guess Who hits, such as Rain Dance, or some more Burton Cummings, the gorgeous Dream of a Child being the obvious choice, would have been a nice addition. Again the list could get lengthy, and what it boils down to is the negative aspects of this CD is that it's not CD's. It would have been nice to special edition this set, with a 2 CD option for those of us who want more.

All that said, this is a great collection that will hopefully make that trek to the cottage this long weekend a little better. My complaints are mere quibbles, and it is clear that what this CD represents is a setlist for the Bachman Cummings live show. It does the job well, as one listen makes me think it's time I caught these two live again.

The packaging is also very good, with Burton Cummings commenting on every song, plus words to the songs. The only thing missing is Bachman's commentary on the BTO songs. Instead Cummings directly comments on all songs, his and Bachman's. Again, that is mere quibbling, and more than made up by the CD itself (right), which looks like an old record: a great touch.

Song list:

Guess Who Songs
These Eyes
American Woman
Albert Flasher
No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature
No Time
Share The Land

Sour Suite (a commercial for the Wheatfield Soul Album)

BTO Songs
Let It Ride
Takin' Care Of Business
You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet
Hey You
Lookin' Out For No. 1

Burton Cummings Songs
Stand Tall
My Own Way To Rock
I'm Scared
Break It To Them Gently
I Will Play A Rhapsody

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