Randy Bachman Every Song Tells A Story

Randy Bachman's memory is so sharp that there are times that you would swear he was a cyborg. Although it's more likely due to the fact he hasn't touched a drop of booze since the Guess Who hit regional pay dirt with their "Shakin’ All Over” single in the early ’60s. Whatever the case, the burly songwriter and guitarist extraordinaire can recall a lot of stories in vivid detail, and that's exactly what he does here before and after every single song, of which there are 15 (it may look like 16 on the disc's back cover but the final one, "Shakin' All Over,” is really just an abridged outro). If you've read Bachman's 2000 autobiography, Takin' Care of Business, then you probably know all of these stories, even if you don't remember them as well as Randy does. There are the details behind his hit duet with fellow Winnipeg expatriate Neil Young, "Prairie Town,” the story of how Bachman created "Undun" out of two jazz bits Lenny Breau taught him, and the saga of "White Collar Worker," a miserable little ditty that evolved and blossomed into B.T.O.'s biggest hit after its creator's old band repeatedly passed on it. There really is a story behind every song Bachman ever wrote, or at least that's the impression made by this collection, which was recorded live in front of what sounds like a few hundred soft-seated fans. The material is a mix of Guess Who and B.T.O. stuff, along with the aforementioned duet. Bachman's old songwriting partner/nemesis Burton Cummings figures prominently in several of the yarns, but his live parts are sung by a talented mimic, affording those selections an unintended air of hilarity. (True North)