"The only song I recognize on this album from any Top 40 lists or Guess Who live albums or Guess Who greatest hits albums is "These Eyes" (1969), which was their first big hit. I'd say the songs on this album are about like "These Eyes," which is to say alright, but not quite sufficient in interest or excitement levels. Burt Cummings was obviously influenced by The Beatles and The Doors here, especially in "Friends Of Mine," which has a pompously honest monolog ending in a shout, and overall sounds a lot like the Doors songs "The End" and "The Unknown Soldier." There are some appealing guitar parts throughout the album, and a few promising chord progressions (especially in "Pink Wine Sparkles In The Glass"), but in general the songwriting is just not quite there. The scuzzy drug references are somewhat depressing, like "And the Walrus does funny things to the veins in his left arm," and "To Flanders Fields the hippies go, to smoke the poppies there below," and too often phrases are repeated excessively. Burt's style of writing lyrics that sound great but have no meaning is already evident on this album. The opening riff in "When You Touch Me" sounds like it was copied directly from "Train Kept A-Rollin'" (Aerosmith / Twisted Sister / Yardbirds). "Lightfoot" is about Gordon Lightfoot, another musician from Canada, and the beginning of this song sounds like the Guess Who song "Key." It's nice that some of the more obscure Guess Who albums made it to CD, but this album is even weaker than "Canned Wheat," in my opinion, which in turn is a lot weaker than their popular albums like "Share The Land" and "American Woman.""
I remember this from '69 - Friends of Mine is the BEST!
Teri Kennemer | 11/12/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I lost this album last year when my house burned down. I have been looking and looking for it. A friend told me about Amazon.com and sure enough, I found it. I am ordering it and can't wait to once again listen to Friends of Mine. You should get it. You'll be so glad you did."
The Pinnacle of a Great Band
progs | Pittsburgh, PA USA | 04/19/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Guess Who were a virtual hit making machine in the 60's through mid 70's. Led by Burton Cummings smoky, soulful readings, and Randy Bachman's instinctive tunes smarts this band had hooks, chops, and pop sensibility to burn. This album is very indicitive of what was happening with many bands of the time. Stretching songs to 6 plus minutes, exploring political, sexual and "chemical" themes was almost mandatory by the time this album was released (1969). I mean, you had at least ONE album of this type right? What makes "Wheatfield Soul" so indespensible, however, is it's complete, full on assault of ALL these themes plus a solid dose of the usual pop excellence. "These Eyes" and "Pink Wine Sparkles in the Glass" are exactly why everyone who loved the Guees Who truly loved them. Tight pop masterpieces. The remainder of the album, however, is where things get real interesting. Cummings was wholly unafraid to drop names(Lennon-McCartney) or give nod to his influences (Jim Morrison on "Friends of Mine"). In fact, the reason that the legendary "Friends of Mine" succeeds so completely is because the Morrison influence is so firmly worn on the sleeve. Yeah, it's not "The End", but admit it...everybody loves the "and Kurt is the Walrus". The last album featuring Randy Bachman, a bit of evertything '69, "Wheatfield Soul" excels on all levels. Just one thing about the CD; wasn't there a spoken coda in "Friends of Mine"; something about the "bowels of death?" Doesn't matter, this album's great. But don't take my word for it...no, actually take my word for it."
progs | 09/11/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"vintage rock and roll. For the serious collecter"