The guess who – american woman

The guess who – american woman

Garry peterson

«American Woman» es una canción lanzada por la banda de rock canadiense The Guess Who en enero de 1970, perteneciente a su sexto álbum de estudio del mismo nombre. Más tarde, en marzo de 1970, se publicó como un sencillo acompañado de «No Sugar Tonight», y alcanzó el número uno durante tres semanas, a partir del 9 de mayo, tanto en el Billboard Hot 100 de Estados Unidos[4][5] como en la lista de singles de la revista canadiense RPM.[6] La revista Billboard colocó el sencillo en el número tres de la lista de singles del Hot 100 de fin de año de 1970,[7] y apareció en el número cinco de 1970 en la lista de fin de año de RPM. El 22 de mayo de 1970, la RIAA certificó el single como disco de oro,[8] y alcanzó el número diez en los Países Bajos, Suiza y Austria, y el número veinte en el Reino Unido y Nueva Zelanda.

La música y la letra de la canción se improvisaron en el escenario durante un concierto en el sur de Ontario[10] (el guitarrista, Randy Bachman, recuerda que fue en un concierto en Kitchener,[11] aunque Burton Cummings, el cantante principal, dijo que fue en el Broom and Stone, una pista de curling en Scarborough)[12] Bachman estaba tocando notas mientras afinaba su guitarra tras sustituir una cuerda rota, y se dio cuenta de que estaba tocando un nuevo riff que quería recordar. Siguió tocándolo y los demás miembros de la banda volvieron al escenario y se unieron a él, creando una jam session en la que Cummings improvisó la letra[11] Se dieron cuenta de que un chico con una grabadora de casete estaba haciendo una grabación de contrabando y le pidieron la cinta[13] Escucharon la cinta y anotaron la letra que Cummings había extemporizado y que luego revisó[12].

The guess who – american woman songs

Canada has consequently been a contributor of several bands that have caused repercussion in the history of rock, although of course not at such a macro level as the British or Americans, but cases like The Band, Voivod, the great Rush or the superb Neil Young are already weighty names for the cold nation to feel proud musically.

Even more primal were the Guess Who, a band that appeared almost at the same time as The Beatles and that had many elements to be considerably a legendary band, with a very British invasion sound but with powerful doses of American culture in their lyrics.

They were the cradle of what later was the Bachman Turner Overdride, due to its founder Randy Bachman, but they were a bit forgotten, but not so much thanks to their 1970 hit «American Woman», from the album of the same name, a seductive song that was an ode to the American woman, the evil one, that could make you lose your senses, the song rather in its lyrics is about escaping from this kind of deadly seduction of a woman. An undisputed classic. Here is the original version:


The song’s lyrics have been a source of controversy, as they were interpreted as an attack on U.S. politics. However, Jim Kale, the group’s bassist and co-author of the song, disproved this by explaining his view of the lyrics:

«The popular belief was that it was a chauvinistic tune, and that had nothing to do with its content. The fact was that we came from a very puritanical and conservative place, from a quiet country, and suddenly there we were in Chicago, Detroit or New York, all these terribly big places with their huge city problems. After a particularly grueling tour we did, it was a real treat to come home and see the girls we had grown up with. Besides, the war was on and it was terribly unpopular. In Canada we didn’t have a draft system and we were thankful for that. A lot of people said it was an anti-American song, but it wasn’t true. We weren’t anti-anything. John Lennon once said that the meanings of songs come out after they are recorded. Somebody has to interpret them.

Jim kale

We can safely say that The Guess Who was the first Canadian group to succeed in the American market. The origins of the group date back to 1963, passing through different denominations until arriving at the name that led them to success. In the first line-up we can find guitarists Allan Kobel and Randy Bachman, bassist Jim Kale, drummer Garry Peterson and pianist Bob Ashley.  This line-up would change throughout their career.

This album is the classic case in which a theme eclipses the rest and the popular memory only remembers that theme, but in the recording we find really good themes, such is the case of the ballad «Talisman» or the instrumental «969 (The Oldest Man)». We can even find a magnificent blues «Humpty’s Blues». Therefore, it is a recording that should be in every collection.

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