Saturday, May 18, 2013

You got rave reviews and you’re front page news (The Guess Who)

I'm still on a bit of a Guess Who kick.

I came back from San Francisco with a few more of their albums including #10 and Glamour Boy has been a song I can't seem to get enough of.

#10 came out in 1973 and was the 10th studio album by The Guess Who to feature Burton Cummings as the lead vocalist.

I remember the song being on the radio a lot in 1973 when I was in my first year in the fifth form. I have no idea why I didn't buy it at the time because the group and the album were pretty cool in the early seventies.

The song wasn't a huge hit though and it holds a quirky place in the band's history. Quirky because it is a hard song to pin down. Written by Burton, it's tempting to try and see it as a personal song about fame and the price paid a la Roger Waters' The Wall but that reading doesn't really hold up in a convincing way.

Rather than being a personal song it's probably better viewed as an observation on some plastic pop star, obscure or famous. For some reason I can't help thinking it could be about the androgynous Ziggy Stardust!

Whatever - Burton Cummings voice is the real star on the song and I'm a sucker for the middle bit of Billy Shears drama on the extended album version.

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