After guitar legend and founding Guess Who member, Randy Bachman, left the band, a new line-up of musicians including guitarist Kurt Winter replaced him and brought in some fresh and innovative ideas. That was a major shakeup for the group's musical style as well. 1972's ROCKIN' album was a strange little Guess Who project. It certainly broke new ground for the band with the unusual rocker, "Heart Broken Bopper" opening the album with some strange guitar tuning effects. And lead vocalist, Burton Cummings, seemed to be in some sort of retro mood, with a number of songs written with 1950's themes of some sort.
While The Guess Who's career seemed to take a big downturn after 1970's huge success with the "American Woman" single, guitarist Randy Bachman seemed to have great success for a time after reforming his Brave Belt band into Bachman Turner Overdrive.
But, meanwhile The Guess Who only had very moderate success with the ROCKIN' album, with "Heartbroken Bopper" only charting at #47 on Billboard's Hot 100 charts in 1972. The follow-up single, "Guns, Guns, Guns" did even worse, only making it to just #70. Yet, the album was far more interesting and worthwhile than this might indicate. "Heartbroken Bopper" was the hardest rock single this Canadian act issued since the searing classic , "American Woman". It deserved better U.S. success than this.
Strangely, when Rockin' was previously issued on Cd, the order of the tracks was completely altered although one 2003 remastered import did restore the original track order. On the first C issue, the "Hi Rockers" medley of songs was split up into separate tracks with "Sea Of Love", "Don't You Want Me" and the very good, "Heaven Only Moved Yesterday" split up into separate tracks. But now the new Cd issue of this great classic album is supposed to include some rare bonus track materials according to the claims and hopefully retores the original track order as well.
This new issue of this version of the album sure sounds interesting. This album was always one of my favorite Guess Who projects, although considered a near throw-away by many music critics. But The Guess Who were always one of the great Canadian acts of all time. Burton Cummings was always a great vocalist.
The bottom line is that this is a must-have album for fans of Canadian rock acts like The Guess Who. This great act can do no wrong in my view. +++(Three stars out of four)